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Energoatom: Russia kidnaps, tortures Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant engineer

by Martin Fornusek July 28, 2023 11:41 PM 2 min read
Serhii Potynh, an engineer at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant was has been kidnapped and tortured by Russian occupation authorities in June 2023. (Source: Energoatom/Telegram)
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Russia has illegally held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant engineer Serhii Potynh in captivity since June and subjected him to torture, Ukraine's state nuclear energy company Energoatom reported on July 28.

"More than a month ago on June 23, 2023, the (Russian) invaders abducted Serhii Potynh, a labor protection engineer of the Central Technical and Administrative Department of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, who remained to work at the station," Energoatom wrote on its Telegram channel.

According to the company's statement, Potynh was seen at a police station where the occupation authorities held other employees of the plant and local residents.

"Serhii, held in actual captivity by the Russians, is regularly subjected to torture and physical violence."

The occupation authorities reportedly hospitalize him after every round of torture so that he does not die. Potynh's relatives living under occupation confirmed that he is alive, Energoatom informed.

Potynh suffers from constant harassment even though no charges were pressed against him, the statement said.

Russia has occupied the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the nearby city of Enerhodar since March 2022.

Energoatom previously reported on July 21 that the Russian-appointed "General Director" of the plant is putting pressure on Ukrainian workers who have refused to sign contracts with Russia's state nuclear operator to reactivate the fourth reactor.

According to Energoatom, the operational staff brought in from Russia lacks the necessary expertise to work in the plant. Russian forces occupying the plant are trying to reconcile this by coercing Ukrainian specialists to work with them.

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on July 24 that they had observed anti-personnel mines around the plant. On July 22, the IAEA reported explosions "some distance away from the plant."

In late June, Ukraine's officials warned that Russia is planting explosives at the nuclear power station with a possible intention of a terror attack by releasing radiation.

Locals near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant brace for potential disaster: ‘It would be the end of us’
Editor’s note: For this story, the Kyiv Independent talked to residents who live in Russian-occupied settlements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. For their safety, we have changed their names. From the rooftop of his home, Anton can easily see the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant…
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