A few days after the start of the invasion, Russian troops occupied the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, considered the largest in Europe. The bombing of facilities in southern Ukraine has drawn heavy criticism from the West and experts. On the first day of the invasion, the Russians also took control of the site of the former Chernobyl power station.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said this week that Russian troops were behaving irresponsibly near the occupied former power plant and that it burns in several places in the enclosed area around it. Today, according to Vereshchuk, the Ukrainian Armed Forces warned of the danger of exploding munitions at this power plant.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said today that the invading army reinforces its presence near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko in a meeting with Rafael Grossi stressed that Ukraine asks the IAEA to suspend Russian officials and restrict Russian access to Ukrainian documents.
In addition, Ukraine asked the agency to help invading troops leave Ukrainian nuclear facilities. Kyiv is also demanding that the UN Security Council take immediate steps to demilitarize the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and send a special UN mission to the scene, Unian said.
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Grossi thanked staff at the Southern Ukraine Power Plant, located in the Mykolaiv region north of Voznesensk, for “perseverance and resilience” at a time when Russian troops are attacking Ukraine, and promised the agency’s aid to Ukraine. “We are ready to support you as best we can”, he told school officials and Ukrainian authorities.
Ukraine has one of the largest nuclear energy programs in Europe. There are 15 nuclear reactors in four nuclear power plants in the country, and special operations apply to the decommissioned Chernobyl power plant.
“Employees of all Ukrainian nuclear power plants deserve respect and admiration for keeping them safe even in the midst of conflict,” the IAEA chief said. Grossi believes that the presence of his agency’s experts directly in Ukraine will help reduce the risk of a nuclear accident.
Irradiated Russian soldiers taken to Belarus?
The Ukrinform server also said today that “irradiated Russian soldiers were transported to Gomel, Belarus”.
This was also announced on Facebook by Yaroslav Yemelyanenko, a member of the public council of the Ukrainian State Agency for the Administration of Closed Areas. “Another batch of irradiated Russian terrorists who took over the Chernobyl zone she was brought today to the Belarusian Center for Radiation Medicine in Gomel,” he wrote.
Russian troops have already begun to withdraw from the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Referring to a senior US Department of Defense official, AFP reported today.
“Chernobyl is another area where (troops) have started to regroup; leave Chernobyl and head for Belarus,According to AFP, said a Pentagon official.