Staff At Russian Captured Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Are Being Tortured, Ukraine Says
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Russian soldiers are said to be 'torturing' Ukrainian staff inside the captured Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, a senior Ukrainian politician has claimed.
According to Ukrainian energy minister Herman Galushchenko, workers at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been held hostage for four days.
Despite Russian forces seizing the plant last Friday, March 4, the UN's nuclear monitoring agency has since said the radiation levels amongst the six reactors remain undamaged.
However, according to state-ran Russian news agency TASS, the plant is being operated 'jointly' between Russian troops, Ukrainian specialists and the national guard.
Galushchenko seems to contradict this claim, saying: 'Russian occupation forces torture the operating staff of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. According to our information, occupiers compelled the Plant's management to record an address that they plan to use for propaganda purposes.'
He added: 'Russia's propaganda machine aims to create one more fake for its citizens and international community in an attempt to justify its crimes.
'Operating staff of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant have been held hostage for 4 days. There are about 500 Russian soldiers and 50 units of heavy equipment inside the station. The employees of the station are physically and psychologically exhausted.'
Galushchenko also appealed to the international community, urging it to 'take all measures' to remove Russian forces from the captured nuclear site.
⚡️Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Galushchenko: "We are on the verge of the largest man-made disaster in human history"— Stratcom Centre UA (@StratcomCentre) March 4, 2022
'A breakdown at a nuclear power plant due to the use of weapons by Russian troops will lead to a disaster for the whole of Europe', he added, saying the 'responsibility for this will be entirely on Russia'.
He also urged the international community to 'stop Russia's nuclear terrorism together. We must do it now – until it's too late'.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also spoken out about the claims, saying: 'These recent developments added to the IAEA's growing concerns about the safety, security and safeguards impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the country's nuclear facilities, including its four operating nuclear power plants as well as the Chernobyl site.'
The news comes as a power line at Chernobyl was reportedly severed, sparking concerns over radioactive material leaking into the air.
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