Europe at risk as Russia attack on Chernobyl threatens radioactive nuclear dust spillage

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The Ukrainian Government has warned Russian attacks in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant threaten “radioactive nuclear dust spillage” across Europe. The Kremlin’s military massed in the Chernobyl “exclusion zone” before crossing into Ukraine early on Thursday amid a full-scale invasion by Russia.

Mr Marks told LBC: “I see more on this coming from Anton Gerashchenko the interior minister advisor in Ukraine, the adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, who is saying invaders, Russian invaders, clearly from the territory of Belarus have moved into the Chernobyl zone.

“The National Guard’s men who guard the collections of unsafe nuclear radioactive waste are fighting hard.

“If the invaders’ artillery hits and damages that nuclear waste radioactive nuclear dust can be spread over the territory of Ukraine, Belarus, and the countries of the European Union.

“So that is clearly an effort by the Ukrainian authorities to raise consciousness of the risks that would be involved if suddenly Chernobyl found itself being bombarded by Russian artillery.

“That is clearly an extremely concerning development,” he added. 

An adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, announced late on Thursday that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been captured by Russian forces. 

He said: “It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians.

“This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today.

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“Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted shortly before the power plant was captured.

“This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”

The Chernobyl disaster, in what was then Soviet Ukraine, sent clouds of nuclear material across much of Europe in 1986 after the fourth reactor of the atomic plant erupted in a devasting explosion. 

Russian troops took over the power plant after Moscow mounted an assault on Ukraine by land, sea and air.

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The invasion of Ukraine followed months of Russian military buildup along the country’s borders. 

Announcing the invasion in a televised address, Mr Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.

He said Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine, and claimed responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime”.

Western officials have reported forces crossing over from Belarus, where they have been engaged in large-scale exercises, and from Russian-occupied Crimea.

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