War in Ukraine: Russians torture workers to death at Ukrainian nuclear plant

Since March 11, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ernerhodar in eastern Ukraine, has been in Russian hands. The employees must work for the State Federal Agency for Atomic Energy of Russia (Rosatom).

And the Russian occupiers apparently do not shy away from brutality in the nuclear power plant either.

Now Andriy Honcharuk had to find out in an extreme way what happens when Ukrainian employees refuse to carry out dangerous orders. He was tortured by Russian forces on the ground and died in hospital as a result of this abuse. This was confirmed by the mayor of Enerhodar.

► Honcharuk was a diver in the hydro department of the nuclear power plant and therefore regularly worked in the cooling tanks.

Russians force Ukrainians into dangerous maneuvers

The Russian occupiers of the nuclear power plant have been claiming for weeks that the Ukrainian employees are storing weapons in the nuclear power plant, allegedly even hiding them in the cooling basin. This is apparently intended to justify the emptying of the pools.

► The cooling basins of the nuclear power plant are used to cool the fuel rods and are therefore a central part of the nuclear power plant. If the cooling fails, it can quickly become dangerous.

“Now they are harassing and torturing the employees of the power plant’s hydro department to (…) justify the need to drain these pools,” reports Energoatom, the Ukrainian operating company originally responsible for the Zaporizhia NPP.

A spokesman for Energoatom told the Ukrainian news agency Interfax what the emptying of the cooling pools would mean: “If this happens, the safety systems of the largest European nuclear power plant will remain without cooling, which (…) can endanger nuclear safety. In addition, it is not advisable to carry out such work in the warm season, because there is a risk of overheating and equipment failure,” the company warned.

Professional diver Honcharuk refused to carry out the Russians’ orders due to the danger that would be caused by a drain and paid with his life. According to Energoatom, on June 29, already in a coma, he was taken to the Enerhodar hospital with various injuries. The wounds proved too bad to save his life. He died of his injuries on Sunday.

The current operator of the nuclear power plant, Rosatom, is a Russian state company founded by Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin (69) in 2004 and emerged from the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation. According to estimates by experts from the European Parliament, the agency controls 98 percent of nuclear material in Russia.

There are currently about 500 Russian soldiers, heavy equipment, tanks and explosives in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

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