The head of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been released, UN nuclear watchdog Rafael Grossi said on Monday, after a detention that Ukraine blamed on Russia and alleged. characterized as an act of terror.
Ukraine said a Russian patrol detained Ihor Murashov on Friday as he traveled from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to the town of Enerhodar, where many of the plant’s employees live. Ukrainian personnel continue to operate the plant under conditions that the International Atomic Energy Agency says put safety at risk.
The IAEA said on Saturday it had been in contact with “the relevant authorities” without mentioning Russia by name and had been informed that Murashov was in “temporary detention”.
“I welcome the release of Ihor Murashov, Director General of #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in #Ukraine; I have received confirmation that Mr. Murashov has returned safely to his family,” Grossi posted on Twitter on Monday.
Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of damaging buildings on the plant’s grounds and the IAEA has called for the creation of a protective zone around the site to reduce the risk of an accident potentially catastrophic. Grossi is due to hold talks in Moscow and Kyiv this week.
The IAEA said on Saturday that Murashov’s detention “has an immediate and serious impact on decision-making to ensure the safety and security of the plant”, adding to existing security issues at the facility.
New York Post