Russian forces have captured the Chernobyl power plant, the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986, after fierce fighting in Ukraine on Thursday.
According to Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian advisor to the President, speaking to Reuters, the Russian forces gained control of the power plant, which is located in the abandoned city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine.
“It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,” he said…”This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today.”
Apparently, this is the video from Chernobyl pic.twitter.com/08GsJpek0o
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) February 24, 2022
Fears over bombs hitting Chernobyl were widespread. If that were to happen, Ukrainian advisor Anton Herashchenko said to the New York Times, “radioactive dust could cover the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the countries of the European Union.”
Notably, the zone surrounding Chernobyl includes the quickest route from Belarus, where Russian troops are suspected to be stationed, to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Russian and Ukrainian forces fought fiercely in the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl, which has been restricted due to extremely high levels of dangerous radiation in the wake of the disaster.
Since 1986, when the melt down at the plant occurred, the nuclear reactor has been covered in concrete in an attempt to contain leakage.
The area surrounding the Chernobyl power plant is full of swamps and marshes, and hosted what Ukrainian officials called a “fierce resistance” of the Russians from their troops.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the Russian attempt to take control of Chernobyl a “declaration of war against the whole of Europe” on Twitter.
Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to @SwedishPM. This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2022
Chernobyl captured by Russian forces
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early on Thursday, starting a war with the European nation. Vladimir Putin announced the military operation into Ukraine at 5:55 am Moscow time – and minutes later the first shells and missiles were launched into Ukraine.
In the capital of Kyiv, a war siren has gone off, and pictures show streams of cars clogging up an expressway as people flee the city.
Social media testimonies speak to a growing sense of panic, with some saying they are being rushed into bomb shelters and into basements. Television footage has showed people praying in the streets, huddled in groups.
A 19-year-old Greek woman living in Kyiv, Ukraine has described scenes of chaos. The woman who only gave her first name Nikki, has appealed for help through Greek Reporter saying that “is really scared.”
“I want to live, I want peace,” she says. “They tell us not to panic and be calm but it’s very difficult. We do not know what will happen from one minute to the next,” Nikki says.
The city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine, the epicenter of the Greek presence in the country, is also under heavy bombardment from the Russian forces on Thursday.
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!