The boss of the under-siege Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine has been kidnapped by Russia, local reports claim.
The facility is dangerously close to the front line between opposing Russian and Ukrainian forces, with the occupying Russian forces using the plant to store their heavy weapons, and there were worries last month that it could melt down in a similar way to Chernobyl in 1986.
But now its director-general, Ihor Murashov, has been seized by Russian forces.
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The shocking at happened at 4pm yesterday (September 30), with nuclear company Energoatom claiming that the troops stopped the man's car near the site, put a blindfold on him and took him to a still-unknown location.
Energoatom president Petro Kotin said: “His detention by (Russia) jeopardizes the safety of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
“He was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction.
“Russia needs to stop immediately the acts of nuclear terrorism towards the management and personnel.
“This jeopardizes the safety of operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant".
It is not know exactly why Russian troops took him, and as always the Kremlin has yet to comment.
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But world leaders are worried by the developments.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said: “MFA condemns in the strongest terms illegal detention of Director General of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Ihor Murashov by the Russian occupants.
“This crime is yet another act of the state terrorism by Russia and it represents a grave violation of international law.”
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And International Atomic Energy Agency boss Rafael Grossi urged Russia to return Murashov “immediately”.
And an IAEA spokesman said: “We have contacted Russian authorities and are requesting clarifications.
“The IAEA sought clarification from the Russian authorities and has been informed that the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant was temporarily detained to answer questions.”
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