Russian forces at Chernobyl killed 9, kidnapped 5 and ransacked power plant – World News

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Russian soldiers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant at Pripyat also demolished almost every piece of firefighting equipment at the site and destroyed 698 invaluable computers

The New Safe Confinement at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which cover the number 4 reactor unit on May 29, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The New Safe Confinement at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which cover the number 4 reactor unit on May 29, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian forces absolutely decimated the Chernobyl power plant during their five-week occupation of the nuclear site, reports show.

Along with destroying 698 computers, 344 vehicles and 1,500 radiation dosimeters, troops also killed nine Ukrainians and kidnapped another five, reported the Washington Post.

Russian soldiers also demolished almost every piece of firefighting equipment at the site and laid waste to numerous pieces of irreplaceable software.

Officials are still attempting to fathom the extent of the damage at the site and what it means for Chernobyl and the surrounding area in terms of nuclear contamination.

Since their invasion began, Russian forces have been accused of recklessly shelling the plant and “digging in” defensive positions within the exclusion zone, potentially spreading radioactive soil when they left.







A photo shows damage and military remains left at Chernobyl Nuclear Power after Russian troops withdrew from the area on April 1
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Image:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

There have also been reports of Russian soldiers suffering from radiation poisoning after being positioned at the power plant.

In 1986, Chernobyl was the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history and has since been under strict regulatory control in order to contain the radiation. An exclusion zone of roughly 1,000 square miles is enforced around the site with the aim of restricting access to hazardous areas and reducing the spread of radiological contamination.

Now, experts are assessing the consequences are of Russian troops violating safety measures and accessing the site without due care. Reuters reported that Russian forces ventured into the highly toxic “Red Forest” zone without suitable protective equipment, kicking up clouds of radioactive dust with their heavy armoured vehicles.







Damage caused by Russian soldiers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
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Image:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Nuclear experts believe troops could have caused themselves serious internal damage when inhaling the radioactive dust. In terms of wider concerns for the safety of Ukrainians following the Russian occupation at Chernobyl, much remains to be seen.

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“I cannot say that they have caused damage to mankind, but certainly great economic damage to Ukraine,” said Mykola Bespaly, 58, director of the site’s Central Analytical Laboratory. While it doesn’t produce power any longer, prior to the invasion the power plant employed some 6,000 workers to monitor the lasting effects of the nuclear disaster that took place there more than 35 years ago.







Russian troops withdrew from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on April 1
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Image:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Chernobyl was one of the first key strategic targets Russian troops targeted after their invasion began on February 24.

“I believe that at the time when they came,” Kramarenko said, “they planned to be there permanently, they planned to take control for a long time.”

In the end, Russian troops only occupied the site for five weeks, leaving on April 1.

The cost of the damage to the site is estimated at about £107 million.

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