Russian officials have arrived to Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant, demanding to take control of the facility, according to a statement from Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-operated nuclear energy company.
Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Station has been occupied by Russian forces for more than a week now, with Energoatom previously claiming its employees have been forced to work at "gunpoint.”
Energoatom said 11 people from Rosatom, the Russian state atomic energy company, arrived to the plant on Friday and that a representative of the group said the plant now belonged to Rosatom.
“According to a representative of this group, they were sent to assess nuclear and radiation safety after the shelling and seizure of the station, as well as to provide assistance with repairs,” the statement said.
“Another reason for their appearance was voiced as the refusal of the pro-Ukrainian leadership and ZNPP personnel to cooperate with the invaders,” it added.
The statement said that two top-level engineers from Russian nuclear power plants in Balakovo and Rostov were among the 11 Russians that arrived on Friday.
The statement said that all six power units at the plant are in operation, but added that the station management is forced to agree on all technical issues with the Russians.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Saturday that two of the plant’s four high voltage offsite power lines have been damaged, but that the amount of power the plant needs in order to keep operating safely can be provided with one line available.
Rosatom has not commented on the issue.