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IAEA head seeks release of Ukrainian nuclear plant chief

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog demanded the release of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant director-general. He claimed that his detention posed a danger to safety and security.

Russian patrol seized Ihor Murazhov on Friday (30 September). The state-owned company that manages the plant stated Saturday that the Russian authorities had confirmed the arrest.

“IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed hope that Mr Murashov would return to his family safely, promptly, and be able resume his important functions in the plant,” the agency tweeted late Saturday.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, claimed that Murashov had been abducted by Russia. He called it an act of terror.


Zelenskiy stated in his nightly video address that “This is yet another example of clear Russian terror” and demanded that the terrorist state be subject to an ever-increasing penalty.

The IAEA reached out to the relevant authorities in order to get clarifications about his temporary detention. It stated that it had a “very important impact” on him as well as nuclear safety and security standards.

Grossi will hold talks next week in Moscow and Kyiv about the creation of a zone of protection around Zaporizhzhia’s plant, the watchdog stated Saturday (1 October).


Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, said that Grossi had promised him by telephone that the IAEA would make every effort to free the ZNPP director kidnapped by Russia.

Kuleba stated that Ukraine is ready to allow IAEA experts to rotate at Zaporizhzhia’s station. Since September, several IAEA experts have been at the power station.

Kuleba stated on Twitter: “I stressed Russia must withdraw troops, military equipment from the station.”

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