Ukraine’s nuclear agency reported Friday a rise in radiation levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone that was seized Thursday by Russian forces.
According to a statement from the agency, posted on Facebook, automated radiation monitoring systems in the exclusion zone available online indicate that radiation has increased at several observation points.
However, “due to the occupation and hostilities” in the area, it is currently “impossible” to establish the reasons for the radiation increase.
The Russian Army yesterday occupied the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the scene of the largest nuclear catastrophe in history, after heavy fighting with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Ukrainian President, Volodymir Zelensky, considered this capture “a declaration of war against the whole of Europe”.
Kyiv warned that, if the radioactive debris is damaged, “nuclear dust can spread throughout the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the countries of the European Union (EU)”.
Zelensky praised the dedication of his soldiers “so that the tragedy of 1986 would not be repeated”, but admitted that the Russian soldiers eventually broke the Ukrainian resistance, which lost control over Chernobyl.
This Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry refuted the statements about the rise of the radiation level in the area.
According to the spokesman of the Russian portfolio, Igor Konashenkov, the Russian military is engaged in the protection of the Chernobyl facilities together with a Ukrainian battalion that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the former nuclear power plant.
“An agreement has been reached with the Ukrainian special battalion for the protection of the Chernobyl power plant to jointly ensure the safety of the nuclear reactors and the plant’s sarcophagus,” he said.