Russia appoints an employee of “Zaporizhia” as station manager… and Kiev fires him

On Thursday, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom announced the dismissal of the new Ukrainian director of the Russia-appointed Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, who took over control of the site, and once again called on employees not to cooperate with Moscow.

On Wednesday, Yuri Chernychuk, who worked at the plant, announced in a statement “accepting” the Russian proposal to oversee the nuclear site.

In the first reaction to this, the head of Energoatom Petro Kotin said today: “Yuri Chernichuk betrayed … Ukraine and moved to the ranks of the enemy,” after being “one of the main engineers of the power plant and performed his duties during the war.”

“Instead of doing all that was in in his power to liberate the station as soon as possible, he decided to help the Russian occupiers legitimize their criminal takeover (of the site) and is now inciting other employees to do so,” he added.

According to Kotin, Chernchuk “was fired from Energoatom and will sooner or later appear before the judiciary and the people to hold him accountable for his actions.”

For months Moscow and Kiev have been exchanging accusations of having bombed Zaporizhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, which raised fears of a serious accident.

Kotin again denounced the “pressure”, “intimidation” and “extortion” exerted by the Russian military on the site on Ukrainian employees, he said.

He addressed the station workers, saying, “Resist and don’t sell your souls to the devil and don’t sign miserable contracts with Russia.”

For his part, a spokesman for the Russian company Rosenergoatom, which has been running the site since the beginning of Russian control over it, confirmed Wednesday that “the whole team administrative, including the mechanical officer and his assistants, and all those who hold important positions” voluntarily signed new contracts.

Cotten responded Thursday, “That’s a big lie.”

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