Ukraine news: Nuclear fears explode as Zaporizhzhia power plant staff tortured | World | News

Petro Kotin, who heads up the country’s nuclear power industry, claimed Russian forces in control of the plant were torturing the Ukrainian operators kept on to keep the facility running. The facility, near the town of Enerhodar in southern Ukraine, was claimed by invading Russian forces in March.

Mr Kotin described the situation at Zaporizhzhia as “very bad now”, and “worsening all the time”.

He said the workers were confined to “their facilities”, and that they were subjected to “all kinds of psychological pushes”.

He told Sky News: “Over the last three weeks, there’s been an increase of shelling at the site.

“The actions from Russia increase the danger to nuclear and radiation safety onsite.

“Also, the conditions of our staff there are really decreasing.”

He added: “They captured about 1,100 personnel from the site, and they kept them in their facilities, the captured facilities and police facilities in the town of Enerhodar.

“One person was killed, another person was heavily wounded.

“They’re trying to push on them to accept the Russian world.

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Rafael Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency has previously denounced the situation at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant as “out of control”.

Mr Grossi said the outward signs at the facility indicated a “catalogue of things that should never be happening in any nuclear facility”.

He added: “And this is why I have been insisting from day one that we have to be able to go there to perform this safety and security evaluation, to do the repairs and to assist as we already did in Chernobyl.”

He warned: “If an accident occurs at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, we will not have a natural disaster to blame – we will have only ourselves to answer to. We need everyone’s support.”

Mr Grossi then issued an emotional appeal to both Ukrainian and Russian authorities.

He said: “So I’m pleading as an international civil servant, as the head of an international organisation, I’m pleading to both sides to let this mission proceed.”

Mr Kotin added on Monday: “Every day, in the morning, we have contact with plant management, because the plant is operated under our control.

“But this is only related to operation and physical (issues). We have our channels of communication, but we understand they can be controlled by Russians at any time.”

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