Russian troops won't let Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant staff evacuate with their families, Ukraine's military says


Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine on March 29.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine on March 29. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Russian soldiers are preventing employees of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from evacuating a nearby frontline town with their families, Ukraine's military said Wednesday. 

"In Enerhodar, the Russian occupiers organized a so-called 'evacuation' for family members of Zaporizhzhia NPP employees — yet employees of the power plant are not allowed to leave the city," Ukraine's General Staff of the Armed Forces said in a statement.

Russia-backed authorities have ordered the evacuation of thousands of civilians along the southern front as a Ukrainian counteroffensive looms.

Enerhodar, where most of the nuclear plant’s staff live, was among 18 settlements whose residents were evacuated over the weekend. The evacuees were moved to recreation centers and hotels in the southern towns of Berdiansk and Kyrylivka, while others were taken to Russia's Rostov region, Ukraine's military said.

Remember: The Zaporizhzhia plant is Europe’s largest nuclear power station and has been held by Russian forces since early in the invasion last year. It is mostly operated by a Ukrainian workforce.

The plant's position on the front lines means shelling in the surrounding towns and near the facility is common. The UN's nuclear watchdog again raised concerns earlier this week about safety at the plant, describing the situation as being "increasingly unpredictable."

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