Thursday, March 31, 2022

Never heard of Chernobyl? Apparently soldiers from Russia irradiated and brought to Belarus

euronews Never heard of Chernobyl? Apparently soldiers from Russia irradiated and brought to Belarus 8 hrs ago Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl area. The International Atomic Energy Agency then determined increased radioactivity in the area. But experts quickly gave the all-clear and declared that the Russian tanks and other vehicles had only stirred up radioactive dust. Now journalists from the UNIAN agency in Ukraine are reporting that Russian soldiers were brought across the nearby border to Belarus in seven buses because they are suffering from radiation sickness. According to Belarusian TV, they are to be treated in the Center for Radiological Medicine in Homel. Moderately severe radioactive contamination can cause skin problems, nausea and changes in the blood count, among other things. Apparently the soldiers had camped in the "Red Forest", the forested area near the ghost town of Pripyat. The area received so much radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion in 1986 that the trees turned reddish brown. The "Red Forest" is considered to be one of the most radioactive places on earth. The city of Pripyat in Kyiv Oblast - which was home to almost 50,000 people in 1986 - remains cordoned off to this day. Russian troops in Chernobyl: radioactivity increased 20-fold Marina Weisband also writes on Twitter that the 19-year-old Russians apparently didn't know what Chernobyl was when they were camping in the forest near the nuclear facility that crashed in 1986. Ukrainian workers at the decommissioned nuclear facility reported that some of the Russian soldiers had never heard of Chernobyl. Chernobyl staff had not been replaced for days after Russia's troops took control. This had caused concern at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Organization) in Vienna. In early February, Ukrainian forces held military exercises in Pripyat, near Chernobyl. Withdrawal of Russian troops from the Chernobyl area The Pentagon reported on March 30 that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Chernobyl area. According to AFP, this can also be seen on US satellite images. The Pentagon and White House expect attacks in Ukraine to continue despite Russian troop movements. Russia intends to "re-equip these troops, resupply them and probably deploy them elsewhere in Ukraine," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, according to the Washington Examiner. "They should send them home," Kirby said of Russian forces. "But they don't, at least not yet." "No one should be fooled by Russia's announcements," White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said on Tuesday. "We believe that any movement of troops from the Kyiv area is a shift and not a retreat (...) Everyone should be prepared that we will continue to see attacks throughout Ukraine." War in Ukraine: Zaporizhia NPP under control of Russian troops Since invading Ukraine on February 24, Russian troops have taken control of two nuclear facilities in Ukraine - Chernobyl, which was destroyed in 1986, and Zaporizhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Russian forces have stored "tens of thousands of tons" of ammunition near Chernobyl, according to Ukrainian sources, posing a "major" threat to the safety of the facility.