U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi is expected to travel to Kyiv and Moscow next week to discuss the creation of a safe zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on Oct. 1.
Russia is accused of using the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant – the largest nuclear power plant in Europe – as a shield and a tool of blackmail. Its forces occupied the plant in the early day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and have been shelling Ukrainian positions and residential areas from the plant's territory.
IAEA experts present at the nuclear power plant reported several explosions in the vicinity of the plant on Oct. 1, believed to have been caused by landmines.
On Sept. 30, Russian forces kidnapped Ihor Murashov, the head of the nuclear power plant, when he was on his way home, according to Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom.
The IAEA said in its statement that after hearing the news of Murashov's kidnapping it has been in contact with the relevant authorities and has been informed that Murashov is in temporary detention.
“Such a detention of any member of the plant staff would be a source of grave concern in itself, but also for its psychological impact and pressure on the rest of the staff - which is detrimental to nuclear safety and security," Grossi said.