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War in Ukraine: after being irradiated, Russian soldiers would have left Chernobyl with hostages

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Russian troops have left the Chernobyl power plant they had occupied since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, taking 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 took with them members of the National Guard whom they had been holding hostage since February 24,” Ukrainian state agency Energoatom said on Telegram, citing employees. . However, the exact number of hostages held by the Russian forces is not known to the Ukrainian authorities.

According to Energoatom, quoted by the Guardian, the Russian army would have left after being contaminated by high doses of radiation while digging trenches in the forest located in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, i.e. in the 30 kilometers around the power plant.

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The troops would then have “panicked after the first signs of illness” which appeared “very quickly”. The soldiers would then have been sent to Belarus for treatment.

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not yet confirmed this information and has indicated that it is investigating the subject.

The plundered site

Ukrainian specialists will now inspect the plant in search of potential “explosive devices”, according to the same source.

Earlier, the Ukrainian state agency for the management of the plant area announced the departure of Russian troops. However, the Russians engaged in “looting of premises, theft of equipment and other valuables” when leaving the premises, the agency accused.

In 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, contaminating much of Europe, but especially Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Dubbed the exclusion zone, the territory within the radius of 30 kilometers around the plant is still heavily contaminated and it is forbidden to live there permanently.

The last operational Chernobyl reactor was shut down in 2000. While the damaged reactor, covered with a tight steel cover and containing highly radioactive magma, is constantly monitored by specialists.

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