Ukrainian operator says employees at seized nuclear plant are working at ‘gunpoint’

Olexander Prokopenko / Associated Press

The operator of the Ukrainian power plant that was captured by Russians on Friday said the employees of the facility are now working at “gunpoint.”

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was seized by Russia and a fire was extinguished at the facility in its training center.

Petro Kotin, the head of the state-owned nuclear power site in Energoatom, said in a Telegram post that Russian troops “entered the territory of the nuclear power plant, took control of the personnel and management of the nuclear power plant,” CNN reported.

Staff “were admitted in the morning to perform their duties” but the company has not been given any communication with employees, with Kotin gathering information from sources inside the facility. 

“The station management works at invaders’ gunpoint,” Kotin said, according to CNN.

Russia has falsely blamed Ukraine for the attack on the facility and says it is operating normally. 

Officials say there have been no changes in radiation amid the fighting, including the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, Rafael Mariano Grossi. Only one reactor is currently working at around 60 percent capacity. 

Russia also captured the Chernobyl nuclear plant last week.

Ukraine has one of the world’s largest nuclear fleets: Four power plants and 15 reactors provide about half of the country’s power. The country, however, houses no nuclear weapons.

Tags Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Energoatom Nuclear power stations Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

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