Russian forces have left the Chernobyl factory they had occupied since the invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24 and have taken hostages, officials said Thursday evening. But according to some Ukrainian sources, the real reason for their departure from the site would be the radiological contamination of some soldiers.
“Leaving the” Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant“The Russian occupiers have taken members of the National Guard who have been holding them hostage since February 24,” Ukraine’s state agency Energoatom said on Telegram, citing workers. However, the exact number of hostages held by the Russian forces is not known to the Ukrainian authorities.
According to Energoatom, quoted by: the guardthe Russian army is said to have left after being contaminated by high doses of radiation while digging trenches in the forest in the exclusion zone of Chernobylie within 30 kilometers of the installation.
The troops would then have “paniced after the first signs of illness”, which appeared “very quickly”. The soldiers would then have been sent to Belarus to get care.
l’#Ukraine today informed the IAEA that Russian forces controlling the nuclear power plant, #Chornobyl have handed over control of the factory to Ukrainian personnel and relocated troop convoys in writing since February 24. https://t.co/osQu4azpJK pic.twitter.com/Vn89URrKED
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 31, 2022
Nevertheless, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not yet confirmed this information and has indicated that it is investigating the matter.
The looted site
Ukrainian specialists will now inspect the factory for possible “explosive devices,” the same source said.
Earlier, the Ukrainian state agency for the management of the factory area announced the departure of Russian troops. However, the Russians were engaged in “looting of buildings, theft of equipment and other valuables” when leaving the premises, the agency charged.
In 1986 a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had exploded, polluting much of Europe, but especially theUkraine, Russia and Belarus. The area within the 30-kilometre radius of the factory, also known as the exclusion zone, is still heavily polluted and it is prohibited to live there permanently.
Chernobyl’s last operational reactor was shut down in 2000. While the damaged reactor, covered with a tight steel lid and with highly radioactive magma, is constantly monitored by specialists.