Russians have left Chernobyl workers’ town, mayor says
The mayor of the town where Chernobyl workers live said on Monday that Russian forces had left after surveying the defunct nuclear plant, according to a report by Reuters.
Early on in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where the world’s greatest nuclear plant disaster took place in 1986.
On Saturday, it was reported that the nearby town of Slavutych, where many of the plant’s workers live, had also come under Russian control.
Slavutych Mayor Yuri Fomichev said, “They completed the work they had set out to do,” according to Reuters.
“They surveyed the town, today they finished doing it and left the town. There aren’t any in the town right now,” Fomichev said in a video message.
Reuters noted that regional governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk had claimed that Russian forces had kidnapped Fomichev. But the mayor asserted that he was working and not cooperating with the Russians.
Russian forces destroyed one of the more recently built labs in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, according to the Ukrainian state agency dedicated to managing the exclusion zone. The Russian forces allegedly came into possession of “highly active samples” and “samples of radionuclides” after destroying the lab.
Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom has said that the automated radiation monitoring system system in the exclusion zone has stopped working since after Russian forces took control, saying there was no data on “the current state of radiation pollution in the Exclusion Zone.”
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