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Russian Military Leaving Chernobyl, Says Ukraine Nuclear Operator
Chernobyl's number four reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, causing one of the world's worst nuclear tragedies, which killed hundreds and spread radioactive contamination west across Europe.
Kyiv: The troops of the Russian military, who seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant early in the war on February 24, have begun leaving the station and other exclusion zones on Thursday, Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said. “This morning, the invaders announced their intentions to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” Energoatom said on Telegram.
The Russian soldiers “marched in two columns towards the Ukrainian border with Belarus” and a “small number” of troops remain in the station, Energoatom said.
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The operator further said that the Russian military was also preparing to leave Slavutych, a nearby city where power plant workers live. However, it wasn’t immediately clear why the Russian troops decided to leave Chernobyl.
Energoatom said the Russians have signed a document confirming the handover of the Chernobyl plant and stating that the plant’s administration doesn’t have any complaints about the Russian troops who were “guarding” the facility.
“It turns out that the occupiers ‘guarded’ the station for more than five weeks, and even so well that there are no complaints,” Energoatom said in a statement on Telegram.
Since the Russian invasion, the fear of radiological risks from nuclear plant has increased. As of Tuesday, eight reactors were operating at the Chernobyl plant and the rest were shut down for regular maintenance.
Chernobyl’s number four reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, causing one of the world’s worst nuclear tragedies, which killed hundreds and spread radioactive contamination west across Europe. The site lies near the Belarus border.
(With agency inputs)