Chernobyl: Russian troops have withdrawn from plant, says Ukrainian nuclear operator

“It was confirmed that the occupiers, who seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and other facilities in the Exclusion Zone, marched in two columns towards the Ukrainian border with the Republic of Belarus,” mentioned Energoatom in a press release printed on Telegram.

On April 26, 1986, an explosion ripped by means of the No.4 reactor at Chernobyl, killing 30 folks instantly. Countless others died from radiation signs within the years that adopted.

In late February, throughout the first week of the conflict, the plant and its surrounding territory fell into the fingers of Russian troops.

On Thursday Russian troops introduced their intention to depart and hand over management to Ukrainian personnel, mentioned Energoatom.

It additionally posted the copy of a proper letter purportedly signed by a consultant of Russia’s National Guard, a consultant of Russia’s state nuclear vitality firm Rosatom and a Chernobyl plant shift supervisor, with the heading, “The act of acceptance and transfer of protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.”

The letter states that “the administration of the protected facility makes no claims in relation to the troops of the National Guard of the Russian Federation.”

The Telegram assertion from Energoatom mentioned {that a} small variety of “rashists” — a Ukrainian slur for Russians that mixes the phrases “fascist” and “racist” — remained on the station.

“It should be noted that the information about fortifications and trenches that the rashists built right in the Red Forest, the most polluted in the entire Exclusion Zone, was also confirmed,” Energoatom mentioned.

Russian forces seize control of Chernobyl nuclear plant and hold staff hostage: Ukrainian officials

“So it is not surprising that the occupiers received significant doses of radiation and panicked at the first sign of illness. And it manifested itself very quickly. As a result, almost a riot broke out among the military, and they began to gather from there,” continued the assertion.

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CNN was not instantly in a position to confirm these claims.

Separately, Energoatom mentioned there have been stories {that a} column of Russian troopers who had encircled the city of Slavutych, which was constructed to accommodate employees at Chernobyl, was additionally forming as much as withdraw towards Belarus.

The US can also be seeing Russian forces “drawing down” from Chernobyl and from the north and northwest of Kyiv, a senior US protection official advised reporters Thursday.

Russia destroys Chernobyl radiation monitoring lab, says Ukraine

The US believes Russian forces have doubtless “abandoned Hostomel airport,” often known as Antonov International Airport, northwest of Kyiv, the official mentioned.

The Russian occupation of Chernobyl triggered fears that security requirements contained in the exclusion zone may very well be compromised.

One week in the past, Ukraine’s authorities mentioned that Russian forces had looted and destroyed a lab near the deserted nuclear plant, which was used to observe radioactive waste.

Russia has been concentrating on civilian infrastructure equivalent to energy stations throughout its invasion of Ukraine, in accordance with Mason Clark, lead Russia analyst on the Institute for the Study of War.

“This is coming through most clearly in Mariupol, where they’re very intentionally targeting water stations and power supplies and internet towers and cell phone towers and that sort of thing, and a very deliberate attempt to make it more difficult for the defenders to hold out and try and force them to capitulate,” Clark advised CNN in mid-March.

CNN’s Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.

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