Updated: Sat, 01 Oct 2022 03:56 PM IST
THE NUCLEAR power provider of Ukraine has accused Russia of kidnapping the head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant on Saturday, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed four regions of the country.
Reportedly, Murashov was detained on his way from Europe's largest nuclear plant to the town of Enerhodar around 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Friday, company chief Petro Kotin said in a statement, as reported by the news agency Reuters.
Kotin also added that Murashov was blindfolded and was taken to some unknown location. "He was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction," Kotin wrote on the Telegram messaging app, adding there was no immediate word on Murashov's fate.
Kotin also demanded Russia to immediately release Murashov. On the other hand, Russia did not immediately acknowledge the accusations.
Meanwhile, at least 30 people were killed and 88 wounded after a Russian missile struck a civilian convoy in Zaporizhzhia city of Ukraine on Friday, CNN reported citing Ukrainian officials.
"The enemy launched a rocket attack on a civilian humanitarian convoy on the way out of Zaporizhzhia," Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, said on Telegram.
According to media reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday formally announced the annexation of four regions - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and claimed that "this is the will of millions of people."
Reportedly, Putin said the residents in the four annexed regions will now be Russia's "citizens forever".
"There are four new regions of Russia," Putin said in a lengthy speech declaring the annexation of Ukrainian territories in the St George's Hall at a Kremlin ceremony. The speech was filled with highly critical rhetoric about Ukraine and its Western allies, reported Al Jazeera.
Earlier, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday said that his country is submitting an "accelerated" application to join the NATO military alliance soon after Russia on Friday announced the annexation of four partially-occupied Ukrainian regions.
European Union leaders, meanwhile, condemned Russia's "illegal" annexation. According to the statement, the member countries said that they will never recognise the illegal 'referenda' that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results.
(With inputs from agency)