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Ukraine’s state nuclear energy operator Energoatom Head Petro Kotin on Dec. 1 fired Yury Chernichuk, acting chief engineer of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, for collaborating with Russia.
Kotin assigned Dmytro Verbytskyi as the acting general director of the plant and Ihor Murashov, earlier kidnapped by Russian troops, as the station’s chief engineer, according to Energoatom.
On Nov. 30, Russia’s state nuclear power operator Rosatom said it made Chernichuk run the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.
According to Energoatom, Chernichuk was ordered to try to convince the Zaporizhzhia plant’s staff to sign contracts with Rosatom, promising them alleged “high wages, stability, and social benefits.”
Kotin, Verbytskyi, and Murashov called on the nuclear power plant’s workers not to cooperate with occupying forces.
Previously, Murashov held the position of general director.
After his abduction by Russian forces on Sept. 30 and several days of captivity, International Atomic Energy Agency reported Murashov would no longer manage the station.
Russian troops have been in control of the plant since early March and have used it as a military base and attacks on Ukraine, according to multiple reports by Ukrainian authorities and local officials.