Putin orders Russian takeover of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered his government to resume operations at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in the Russian-annexed Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine.

“The government will ensure that the nuclear facilities at the plant … are incorporated as federal property,” the executive order said.

The power plant has been occupied by Moscow forces since March and is close to the front line.

Putin’s decree came as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said he was traveling to Ukraine for talks on the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

Grossi will “continue its consultations” on the establishment of a nuclear safety and protection zone around the plant, the IAEA announced on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s state nuclear agency Energoatom said earlier on Wednesday after the plant’s operating company moved to Moscow that Russia was “creating pseudo-companies named after Ukrainian companies.”

“It’s just a pity that they are trying to involve Ukrainian nuclear professionals, who have been working heroically under…the occupation for more than seven months” at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Energoatom said on social media.

Russian forces detained power plant chief Ihor Murashov for two days before releasing him on Monday.

But Grossi said his detention and release posed “no risk” to the plant’s operations.

Bombings have affected the area around the plant in recent months, with Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of attacks that have raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

Russia news

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