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Rosatom turns Europe's largest NPP into a torture chamber – investigation

Tuesday, 19 September 2023, 13:00

Law enforcement agencies and independent researchers, including international journalists, have collected numerous testimonies of torture and inhumane treatment committed by the Russian occupation forces with the knowledge of Rosatom during the occupation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and Enerhodar, the plant’s satellite town.

Source: Ukrainian non-governmental organisation Truth Hounds which documents and investigates international crimes committed by the Russians during their war against Ukraine.

The report describes extensive evidence of torture and inhumane treatment committed by the Russian occupation forces at the ZNPP and Enerhodar with the assistance of the Russian state corporation Rosatom.


The report is based on direct and indirect evidence that covers:

  • eyewitness testimony,
  • photographic and documentary evidence,
  • digital evidence,
  • secondary sources, including reports by human rights organisations,
  • news and media.

Eyewitnesses provided Truth Hounds with clear, unequivocal descriptions of torture and other crimes, including:

  • aggravated assault and battery,
  • choking,
  • electric torture,
  • forcing victims to dig their own graves,
  • mock execution,
  • threats of rape of victims and their relatives,
  • keeping detainees in overcrowded cells without food, water or fresh air.

The testimony of Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov indicates that approximately one thousand people have been detained and subjected to torture or ill-treatment in the network of torture centres in Enerhodar since March 2022.

It has been confirmed that at least one person, a ZNPP employee named Andrii Honcharuk who worked as a diver at the station, was tortured to death.

Employees are simply abducted from their workplaces at the ZNPP, taken to interrogations or tortured by FSB officers, often with the participation and knowledge of Rosatom employees or agents.

Witnesses interviewed by Truth Hounds report that although Rosatom employees are not usually directly involved in acts of torture, they are fully aware of the practice of torture and that the torture "‘would have been impossible’ without their knowledge".

Quote: "This report raises awareness of the horrific events at the ZNPP, analyzes the evidence within the context of applicable laws," Truth Hounds emphasises.

Researchers have collected facts that prove that:

  • Rosatom's control over the ZNPP violates international contractual obligations.
  • Rosatom facilitated and incited the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, violating international humanitarian, criminal and human rights law.
  • Rosatom violated its obligations to respect human rights, outlined in the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business Activity in the Aspect of Human Rights, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Global Compact UN.

At the same time, it is said that the Russian Federation finances Rosatom. The Russian Federation would only be able to operate the ZNPP in cooperation with Rosatom.

It is also emphasised that during the preparation of the report, the Truth Hounds found evidence of other serious violations of international law, which will be thoroughly investigated and highlighted in subsequent reports.

The report is part of a global campaign led by Ukrainian and international lawyers, activists, diplomats and politicians seeking justice and accountability for the actions of the Russian armed forces, state and state-controlled agents for crimes of aggression, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of ecocide being committed since the beginning of Russia's illegal aggression against Ukraine in 2014.

For reference:

  • The Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear facility in Europe, with six reactors with a nominal capacity of 6,000 megawatts.

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