The situation in Enerhodar remains tense. Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) employees are being forced by pressure and torture to sign contracts with Rosatom and obtain Russian citizenship. Slidstvo.Info talked to the plant’s employees and the mayor of the occupied Enerhodar.
The journalists of Slidstvo.Info found out how Enerhodar lives under Russian occupation and identified the military who may be involved in the torture of Ukrainians.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ENERHODAR
As the mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, told Slidstvo.Info, the situation in the city remains tense — there is a critical shortage of medicines, food and hygiene products. Russians are resorting to forced passportisation of the local population.
“Searches of apartments continue very actively. The occupiers are behaving aggressively. About 15 thousand people remain in the city (before the occupation, there were about 53 thousand residents in Enerhodar — ed.) There is pressure on the locals to get passports and also on the employees of the nuclear power plant to sign contracts with Rosatom,” says Dmytro Orlov.
According to the mayor, up to 1,000 Russian soldiers are currently stationed at ZNPP.
“These are Kadyrov’s regiments. They have rotations there quite often. For the last two weeks, there have been a lot of Kadyrov’s men. It’s hard to say who is subordinate to whom. At the beginning of the invasion, they had conflicts with each other,” Orlov said.
The mayor talks about the Russians mining the ZNPP and the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir.
“The perimeter of the ZNPP is mined. Forest belts are also mined, and from time to time, even near the plant, even near the technological equipment, these mines explode, because wild animals fall under these tripwires and explosive devices. And from time to time, even IAEA inspectors (International Atomic Energy Agency, — ed.) hear explosions near the nuclear power plant. They (the Russians — ed.) put the mines that have been triggered back. The territory of the nuclear power plant remains mined,” says Dmytro Orlov.
Slidstvo.Info also managed to talk to ZNPP employees who are still in the city. For reasons of their safety, their names are not disclosed.
They confirmed the information about the plant being mined and described the possible consequences of the explosion.
“Some security systems have been mined, which may lead to the inability to operate the reactors for several years,” said a ZNPP employee.
In his opinion, this was done for terror. The situation in the city is difficult — the Russian military is putting pressure on local residents.
According to Slidstvo.Info’s sources, Russian soldiers from Kadyrov’s Akhmat units are in Enerhodar.
A screenshot from the Telegram channel of Ramzan Kadyrov with the text: “All strategic positions occupied in the Zaporizhzhya oblast are under the close control of the Akhmat special forces. This is reported by my dear BROTHER, commander of the OMON “Akhmat-Grozny” of the Rosguard in the Chechen Republic, Anzor Bisaev.
Our fighters control absolutely all occupied points, co-operate well with their fellow soldiers from other military formations and crush the Ukrofascist Bandera guerrillas and foreign mercenaries”.
PEOPLE ARE BEING TORTURED AND ABDUCTED IN THE CITY
For a year, Russians have been kidnapping and torturing residents of Enerhodar who refuse to cooperate with the occupiers and obtain Russian citizenship. And ZNPP employees are being forced to sign contracts with Rosatom.
According to the mayor, Dmytro Orlov, some of the nuclear plant’s employees remain in the city — 2-3,000 of them go to work, while the rest have had their passes blocked by the Russians, so people can neither leave the city nor get to the plant.
“In fact, they are like hostages. If they do not sign contracts with the company from Rosatom and do not receive Russian passports, the occupiers block the passes. Unless, of course, they are critical personnel whom they cannot replace. Therefore, they are forced to allow our employees to work and ensure nuclear radiation safety,” says Dmytro Orlov.
But at the same time, Russians kidnap and torture these workers to force them to sign a contract with Rosatom and change their citizenship.
“The pressure is constant, and there are many cases when they even apply physical pressure, including physical beatings and psychological abuse. Even at the workplace. Both the military and the security services put pressure, kidnap and take people to torture chambers who refuse to sign a contract,” says the mayor.
The ZNPP employee contacted by journalists is currently not going to work. The woman said that there are significantly fewer people in Enerhodar left. Some of them left when it was still possible. And some were abducted by the occupiers. Thus, her relatives were arrested by the occupiers and taken to an unknown destination last year. The abducted Ukrainians also worked at the ZNPP.
“They take those who do not want to cooperate with the occupiers and do not receive Russian passports. They especially target men. They take them to the police and torture them,” the woman says.
According to her, some employees who have signed contracts with a Russian company hand over their colleagues to the FSB (Russian secret service, — ed.): “And the FSB goes to the addresses and checks everyone.”
According to Dmytro Orlov, the Russians are trying to break down the locals and brand them as traitors by forcing them to obtain Russian passports, so that as many people as possible do not wait for de-occupation.
“The staff is holding on. It is difficult. This pressure has been going on for more than a year now and it is only getting worse every day. Now there is a forced passport issue… with physical and psychological pressure,” says Dmytro Orlov.
The mayor’s words were confirmed by ZNPP employees, whom Slidstvo.Info journalists managed to contact. According to their testimony, there is currently “operation of a nuclear facility in violation of regulations and international law” at the plant.
An employee of ZNPP also confirmed that about 3,000 members of staff remain at the plant. Before the occupation, about 12,000 people worked there. He does not know exactly how many people signed a contract with the Russian company, but not all of them did so voluntarily.
“Some did it only after torture. Workers were taken away, firstly those responsible for the maintenance, and tortured — they used electric shocks, cut their fingers to the bone. I was personally taken four times,” the man says.
RUSSIAN MILITARY AND COLLABORATORS IN ENERHODAR
The occupiers appointed Yurii Cherniichuk, who had been the deputy chief engineer of the plant before the full-scale invasion, as the so-called director of ZNPP.
After the seizure of ZNPP, Cherniychuk agreed to head the fake “operating organisation” created on its basis, which is subordinated to Rosatom.
The Security Service of Ukraine has already served him with a notice of suspicion of aiding the aggressor state. It has also been established that Yurii Cherniichuk is forcing Ukrainian nuclear engineers to sign contracts with the pseudo-entity and helping to connect Ukrainian power plants to the Russian energy system.
In addition to Cherniichuk, the plant’s employees added that Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Rosenergoatom, was involved in the pressure on workers.
Kadyrov’s units are mainly based in Enerhodar. This is confirmed by propaganda news in the Russian media.
For example, in February 2023, Rossiya 24 TV channel aired a report about the Akhmat-1 riot police of the Chechen Republic’s Rosgvardia patrolling the city.
The Akhmat-1 riot police unit was created recently, in September 2022, and is involved in the war against Ukraine. The unit is headed by Alikhan Shavkhalov with the callsign Legion.
The text on the picture: “Upon arrival in the Russian Zaporozhye region, in the territory of the special military operation, the fighters of the OMON “Akhmat-1” of the Directorate of the Rosgvardiya for the Chechen Republic began to develop a plan for the fulfilment of their operational and combat tasks”.
Alikhan is in the occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia oblast and is actively involved in the war against Ukraine, leading his unit. His presence in Enerhodar is confirmed by propaganda videos of Russian media.
Journalists of Slidstvo.Info identified several other riot police officers from Akhmat-1 who were in Enerhodar.
25-year-old Ravil Isparov from Grozny. According to information from social media, the occupier studied at the Chechen State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Physical Education.
In this photo, Ravil is pictured with other Russian servicemen — Mansur Biygereev and, probably, Kamal Yusupov — also from the Akhmat-1 riot police.
Bilal Israilov, 29, from Grozny, was also identified. He has several photos with a geotag in Enerhodar.
In addition to Kadyrov’s newly created riot police, there was also an Akhmat-Grozny unit in Enerhodar under the leadership of Anzor Bisayev.
According to Ukrainian law enforcement, it was Bisayev who was involved in the abduction of a teenager in the Kyiv oblast. Bisayev interrogated the minor about the Ukrainian Armed Forces and then forced him to leave the house and go outside, where, on his orders, the occupiers grabbed the boy. They put a knife to his throat and continued interrogating him at gunpoint. Law enforcement officers have already notified Bisayev of suspicion for this.
Anzor Bisayev was also in Enerhodar and stayed on the territory of the ZNPP. This is evidenced by Ramzan Kadyrov’s reports.
It was also discovered that fighters of the Akhmat-Grozny unit guarded polling stations during the pseudo-referendum in Enerhodar.
The text on the screenshot from Ramzan Kadyrov’s Telegram channel: “There are 45 polling stations in the city of Energodar, Zaporizhzhya Oblast. The referendum on the region’s accession to Russia is proceeding according to plan.
There are 19 polling stations in the area of responsibility of fighters from the Chechen Republic under the leadership of dear BROTHER, commander of the OMON “Akhmat-Grozny” of the Department of the Federal Guard for the Chechen Republic Anzor Bisayev. Each of them is in perfect order and well-protected. Our soldiers solve security issues at the highest level”.
The journalists identified another Akhmat-Grozny fighter, Khizir Badidayev from Grozny.
He has several photos with a geotag in Enerhodar, where he is with other Russian soldiers. Currently, Badidayev is probably in the Donetsk region, in the occupied Popasna.
Earlier, Slidstvo.Info and Schemes identified Russian military personnel who are likely to be involved in the incident at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.