Russia Just Seized The Chernobyl Nuclear Plant & Ukraine Is Warning Of Possible 'Disaster'
"It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe," a Ukrainian official said.
Russia fought Ukraine for control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant on Thursday, in a high-risk move on Day 1 of its invasion.
Russian forces moved on the power plant from Belarus, marching through the radioactive exclusion zone around the disaster site before battling Ukrainian forces around the reactors, according to the New York Times .
Ukrainian officials sounded the alarm shortly after the attack started, saying that a stray artillery shell could easily lead to another disaster.
"This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted . "Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated."
Russia seized control of the site after a few hours of fighting, Reuters reports.
"It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians," Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Zelensky, told Reuters.
"This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today."
It's unclear what damage might have been caused at the site, if any, but Ukrainian officials are worried about what might have happened during the fight.
Ukraine's interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, warned that damage to the site could release "radioactive nuclear dust" that could spread widely around the region.
Ukraine's foreign ministry also warned about the severity of the situation, tweeting that it could "cause another ecological disaster."
In 1986, the world saw the biggest technological disaster in Chornobyl. 's attack on Ukraine may cause another ecological disaster moving its military forces to Chornobyl. If continues the war, Chornobyl can happen again in 2022. #StopRussianAggression \n#RussiaInvadedUkrainepic.twitter.com/WOdmOfPmhx— MFA of Ukraine \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@MFA of Ukraine \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1645714842
"In 1986, the world saw the biggest technological disaster in Chernobyl," read the tweet by the ministry. "If Russia continues the war, Chernobyl can happen again in 2022."
The nuclear reactor that melted down in 1986 is currently under a giant concrete sarcophagus.
The area around the site is not immediately deadly to visitors, but there's a 30 kilometre "exclusion zone" around the area that remains uninhabited, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency .
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