Ukrainian Workers At Chernobyl Claim That Russian Soldiers Fled Due to Radiation Sickness

Marissa Newby

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating Ukrainian claims that Russian troops occupying the area around Pripyat and the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station were exposed to high doses of radiation after digging trenches and driving heavy equipment through the exclusion zone.

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Long abandoned since the 1986 disaster, Pripyat remains a radiation exclusion zonePhoto by Wendelin Jacober:

Russian occupation of the Chernobyl plant began as the invasion began. By the early morning of February 24, 2022 the plant had fallen under Russian control and workers remained in the area to maintain the safety of the radioactive materials there. After several power interruptions and an agreement that the plant would remain in Ukrainian control.

Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk stated that Russian troops who dug trenches in the forest were exposed to radiation. The Ukrainian state power company Energoatom also claimed that Russian troops sustained exposure during their occupation. The IAEA was engaged to make an assessment of the situation.

According to their latest press release, The IAEA is discussing Nuclear safety and the integrity of the programs in the area with the Kremlin and Ukrainian authorities. The IAEA is also negotiating sending the agency's "first assistance and support mission" to Chernobyl in "the next few days". On the subject of Russian radiation exposure, the IAEA "has not been able to confirm reports of Russian forces receiving high doses of radiation while being in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The IAEA is seeking further information in order to provide an independent assessment of the situation."

As the Russian occupation drags on, Ukrainian Nuclear technology remains a contentious point of international concern. The IAEA has also been in talks about securing power plants in Southern Ukraine in order to provide technical assistance as the geopolitical tension remains high.

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Marissa, a graduate safety practitioner and paramedic, has been writing and editing fiction and non-fiction work for 15 years. She delivers researched and sourced news concerning world events, public health, public safety and emergency management.

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