Employees of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant testify

A view shows the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, Ukraine on August 30, 2022. Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters

An engineer at the plant says Russian security forces are using torture to keep employees from speaking before an International Atomic Energy Agency panel expected on Thursday, September 1.

Thursday, September 1, A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, in the southeast of Ukraine, in the midst of a war between Ukraine and Russia, wants a permanent presence to avoid potential disaster. In An article published on August 25The telegram It also reveals testimony from plant workers – either on the job or deserters – who say Russian security forces tortured them to prevent them from speaking in front of members of the United Nations.

They spoke on condition of anonymity, describing a situation of fear and intimidation, including multiple arrests. “We are all concerned about the possible visit of representatives of the IAEA. They are (Russians, editor’s note) Organize provocations and then blame Ukraine. That seems to be what they plan to doAn engineer told the newspaper. They plan to have two or three representatives in each control room to keep our staff presence to a minimum for the duration of the visit.“.

Also see – War in Ukraine: IAEA visits nuclear plant despite hostilities

According to this engineer, many of the plant’s employees were arrested at home or on their way to work: “Now I understand that their army is weak, but their FSB service works. One of their methods here is to take the control room staff to the basement.L,” he said, “Using Russian colloquialism to refer to secret police detention and torture“, notes telegram. The engineer continues:Our administration is keeping quiet about this so as not to create panic, but the people returning from these ‘conversations’ in the basement are keeping quiet. Don’t be surprised if, during the task, they suddenly start saying what they were asked to do.»

All three witnesses said they either worked at the plant or had recently left it telegram Russian forces have been severely depleted in manpower and imposed operational restrictions that make it difficult to do their jobs.

More than 11,000 people worked at the Zaporizhia power plant, one of four nuclear power plants that supplied half of Ukraine’s electricity before the war. Since then, Kiev and Moscow have accused each other of bombing the Dnieper River near the compound, near the town of Energodar, and endangering the area. Ukrainian operator Energoatom It warned on Saturday of the risk of radioactive leaks and fires after the new strikes. In recent weeks, Zaporizhia has crystallized Western concerns. The UN ordered a halt to all military operations in the surrounding area.

Initially, Ukraine feared that such a visit would legitimize Russia’s occupation in the eyes of the international community. Before this “Dangeroussituation, President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday urged the UN nuclear police to send a team as soon as possible. The group of 14 arrived on Wednesday, 50 kilometers from the compound of the same name, as the crow flies from the complex, which has been occupied by the Russians since early March and is the subject of serious concern by the international community.

See more – Nuclear power plant in Ukraine: ICRC asks to “stop playing with fire”

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