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Russian soldiers received ‘shocking amount’ of nuclear exposure at Chernobyl site – some may have less than a year to live.

Ukraine says Russian soldiers stole potentially deadly radioactive substances from Chernobyl,

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Russian forces who occupied the Chernobyl nuclear plant stole potentially deadly radioactive substances from research laboratories, Ukraine’s State Agency for Managing the Exclusion Zone says. 

Key points:

  • Ukraine recently took back control of the Chernobyl site
  • Ukraine’s energy minister says some Russia soldiers have less than a year to live
  • Chernobyl plant staff have just been rotated for the second time since Russian forces seized the facilities

Moscow’s troops seized the defunct power plant on the first day of their invasion of Ukraine on February 24. They occupied the highly radioactive zone for over a month, before retreating on March 31.

The agency said on Facebook that Russian soldiers pillaged two laboratories in the area.

It said the Russians entered a storage area of the Ecocentre research base and stole 133 highly radioactive substances.

Even a small part of this activity is deadly if handled unprofessionally,” the agency said.

‘Shocking’ amount of nuclear exposure

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s energy minister German Gulashchenko said Russian soldiers exposed themselves to a “shocking” amount of nuclear radiation, saying some of them may have less than a year to live.

“They dug bare soil contaminated with radiation, collected radioactive sand in bags for fortification, breathed this dust,” Mr Gulashchenko said on Facebook on Friday after visiting the exclusion zone.

“After a month of such exposure, they have a maximum of one year of life. More precisely, not life but a slow death from diseases. “Every Russian soldier will bring a piece of Chernobyl home. Dead or alive.”

He said Russian military equipment was also contaminated.

“The ignorance of Russian soldiers is shocking.”

The Chernobyl power station was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

Situation ‘far from normal’

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Ukraine had been able to rotate staff at the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant for only the second time since Russian forces seized the facility early in the war.

They had to be transported to and from the site by water, with the Pripyat River being the only way for people living in the city of Slavutych to currently reach the plant.

The nuclear agency said the situation around Chernobyl, site of a 1986 nuclear disaster, “remained far from normal” after Russians departed at the end of March.

Ukrainian officials told the agency on Sunday that laboratories for radiation monitoring at the site were destroyed and instruments damaged or stolen.

The automated transmission of radiation monitoring data has been disabled.


April 12, 2022 - Posted by | health, Ukraine

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