Ukraine announced Thursday that Russian forces took the chernobyl nuclear power plant after fierce fighting on the first day of the Russian offensive against this country that was part of the former Soviet Union.
“After a fierce battle we lost control of the Chernobyl site,” said Mikhailo Podoliak, chief adviser in the president’s office. Volodomir Zelenskyafter the government reported fighting near the nuclear waste dump of the damaged plant in 1986.
After the loss of control of this area, which is highly contaminated, the state of the plant’s facilities, the cover that isolates the damaged reactor and a deposit for nuclear fuel is unknown, said the senior official.
“After this absolutely senseless attack by the Russians, it is not possible to say that the nuclear plant is safe,” Podoliak added.
“This is one of the biggest threats to Europe today,” he said, estimating that the Russians could organize “provocative” activities on the spot to blame Ukraine.
The International Atomic Energy Agency The IAEA said in a statement that it was following “the situation with great concern” and called for “maximum restraint to avoid any action that endangers the country’s nuclear sites.”
In the case of Chernobyl, the UN body was not informed by its Ukrainian counterpart of “destruction”.
“It is of vital importance that operations in this area are not affected or interrupted in any way,” insisted its general director, Rafael Grossi.
The plant suffered the worst nuclear accident in history on April 26, 1986 when one of the reactors exploded at a time when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Unionwhose capital was Moscow.
The disaster that contaminated three-quarters of Europe hit Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, another former Soviet republic, especially hard.
After the accident at this plant located a hundred kilometers from Kiev, 350,000 people had to be evacuated within a perimeter of 30 kilometers and to this day there are controversies about the balance of victims.