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Chernobyl Staff Say Russian Troops Spread Radiation

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Chernobyl Staff Say Russian Troops Spread Radiation

Russian troops spread radioactive material around Chernobyl after seizing control, the plant's staff have said.

Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation' is now approaching its seventh week, and early on in the invasion, Russian troops seized control of the infamous power plant, ground zero of the worst accident in the history of nuclear power. 

After weeks of concerns over radiation leaks, the welfare of Chernobyl's staff and troops kicking up radioactive dust, Russian forces have since withdrawn from the plant and other areas within the Exclusion Zone.

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Chernobyl was taken by Russian troops following the invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Alamy
Chernobyl was taken by Russian troops following the invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Alamy

However, concerns have been raised from employees at the plant over Russian forces being exposed to potentially harmful doses of radiation, increasing the likelihood of cancer and other health issues for decades to come.

One Russian soldier who was part of the team that initially captured Chernobyl has died, The Telegraph reports, while another is said to have picked up a source of radiation with his bare hands.

Ihor Ugolkov, a Ukrainian soldier, told CNN: "They went to the Red Forest and brought radioactive material back with them on their shoes. Other places are fine, but radiation increased here, because they were living here.

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"They went everywhere, and they also took some radioactive dust on them [when they left]."

Russian troops have spread radioactive material in the plant. Credit: Alamy
Russian troops have spread radioactive material in the plant. Credit: Alamy

This echoes earlier reports that Russian troops retreated from Chernobyl after several 'significant doses' of radiation from digging trenches and travelling through the Red Forest – the most radioactively contaminated part of the Exclusion Zone – without any protection.

As a result, the power plant has been contaminated with the forest's radioactive material. Fortunately, radiation levels are only slightly above the World Nuclear Association's threshold for naturally occurring radiation.

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Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko also said: "It's crazy, really. I really have no idea why they did it. But we can see they went in there, the soldiers who went there, came back here and the level of radiation increased."

Volodymyr Falshovnyk, a shift manager at Chernobyl, also said Russian troops of looting the plant while haphazardly ignoring the threat of radiation.

Burnt trees near to Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine. Credit: Alamy
Burnt trees near to Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine. Credit: Alamy

He said: "They gave us personnel from Rosatom [Russian Nuclear Agency] to escort us, and in their escort we toured the uncovered warehouses. They robbed these warehouses all the time."

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Yaroslav Yemelianenko, an employee with the Public Council at the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, earlier cited 'radiation irradiation' upon the withdrawal of the Russian terrorists.

He said: "Digging the trenches in the Rudu forest, b*****s? Now live the rest of your short life with this. There are rules of handling this territory."

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Chernobyl, Ukraine, Russia, World News

Cameron Frew
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