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Russian soldiers in Chernobyl spent a month sleeping in a radioactive forest, exposed themselves to potentially dangerous levels of radiation and ignored their own nuclear experts: report


Close-up Maxar satellite imagery of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.Maxar Technologies via G

  • Russian troops took control of Chernobyl on February 24, the first day of the invasion of Ukraine.

  • The soldiers may have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, according to reports.

  • Ukraine regained control of the plant last week after Russian troops withdrew from areas around kyiv.

Russian soldiers seem to have had a laissez-faire attitude while stationed in Ukraine at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, one of the most toxic places on earth.

Since one of the worst nuclear disasters of all time occurred at the plant in 1986, it has been dangerously contaminated with radioactivity. Chernobyl was taken by Russian forces on February 24, the first day of the invasion, sparking international concern. Ukraine regained control last week after Russia withdrew from areas surrounding kyiv.

Valeriy Simyonov, the chief security engineer at Chernobyl, told The New York Times that Russian troops who took control of the plant “came and did what they wanted” in the area. excluded from Chernobyl. He said the Russian military brought its own nuclear experts to the plant, but their advice was not always followed.

For example, Russian troops dug in toxic soil and camped for weeks in the radioactive forest, The Times reported, adding that there were no confirmed cases of radiation sickness, but some effects on Health from nuclear exposures can take years to appear.

In another case, a Russian soldier picked up cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope, with his bare hands, the Times reported.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian officials shared a video they said showed Russia digging trenches in Chernobyl’s radioactive “red forest”, calling it a “total disregard for human life, even of its own subordinates”.

Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned electricity company, also said Russian troops dug trenches and felt signs of radiation sickness, prompting an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a group of United Nations monitoring.

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