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Russia Says Chernobyl Is Fine After Radiation Spiked During A Fierce Battle In Ukraine

Russia's keeping an eye on things now 👀

Senior Global Editor
The Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.

The Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.

Russia's running Chernobyl now and everything is fine.

That was the message the Russian government shared after seizing control of the nuclear disaster site Thursday, amid a massive invasion of Ukraine.

"The radiation level around the nuclear plant is within limits," a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, per the New York Times. "The plant's staff continues to service its facilities and monitor radioactivity."

Ukrainian officials say the power plant's staff are being held as "hostages" under Russian control, but there have been no signs of danger from the reactor.

The Soviet Union was running Chernobyl in 1986 when the worst nuclear disaster in history occurred, blanketing the area in deadly radiation. The ruined nuclear reactor is now encased in a massive concrete shell and the area around the plant is still low-key radioactive, although it won't kill you to visit.

Ukraine warned on Thursday that Russia was attacking the site, and that a stray artillery shell could easily breach the shell and unleash another disaster.

Russia ultimately won the battle and took over without seemingly damaging the shell.

Ukraine says radiation levels did go up around the plant on Thursday, although that's been linked to a "violation of the topsoil due to the movement of a large number of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone and the release of contaminated radioactive dust."

In other words, troops and tanks stirred up a bunch of contaminated dust during the fight.

Chernobyl was just one of many conflict spots on Thursday, after Russia sent 190,000 troops into Ukraine by land, air and sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he's going in to prevent genocide and to fight "neo-Nazis," although the evidence doesn't support his claims.

U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said that Putin is looking to topple the democratically-elected government and install a puppet leader in its place.

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