Oct 11, 2022 - World

Russia kidnaps another official from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukraine says

a general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

A general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Russian forces kidnapped a senior official at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and are holding him at an unknown location, Ukraine's nuclear power operator said in a Telegram post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Valeriy Martynyuk, a human resources executive, is the second official from the Zaporizhzhia plant to be detained by Russia this month.

  • Director Ihor Murashov was released several days after being detained but did not return to his post.

The big picture: The kidnapping is intended to extract information about the Ukrainian personnel at the plant, Energoatom added in the post. The Ukrainian agency said Russia wants to force employees to work for its state nuclear agency, Rosatom.

  • "We appeal to the IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi and the entire world community to take all possible measures for the immediate release of Valeriy Martyniuk from the captivity of the Russian occupiers and his return to the performance of duties."

What they're saying: "We condemn Russia’s actions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and the pressure exerted on the personnel of the facility," G7 leaders said in a joint statement Tuesday.

  • "This is a further irresponsible escalation and we will hold Russia responsible for any incident caused by their actions," they added.

State of play: Russian troops have occupied the plant since March but continued to operate it with its Ukrainian staff.

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