Power

Chernobyl nuclear plant, a strategic location in the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Chernobyl

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was taken by Russian military forces this Thursday, the news agency Reuters confirmed. An adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak said that the nuclear power plant wasn’t safe anymore after the “pointless attack by the Russians.” “This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today,” Podolyak said.

Firstly, as we know, Chernobyl, part of Ukraine’s territory is famous for being the home of one of the biggest energy disasters in human history. In 1986 the nuclear reactor exploded releasing more than 200 tons of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

Today, the region is home to a thriving tourism sector. However, the location is so much more: is a strategic location in the conflict, for both Russia and Ukraine. On the one hand, Russia wants to control the region to signal NATO not to interfere militarily.

On the other hand, Chernobyl is just 17 kilometers away from the border with Belarus, a Russian ally. Through Belarus, Russia would be only 70 kilometers away from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Consequently, the region in every scenario is a crucial strategic target.

In addition, the former nuclear energy plant still holds a substantial amount of radioactive material. A special chamber holds in tons and tons of material that, after the battle, could leak and contaminate again. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted shortly before the power plant was captured. “Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated.”

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Chernobyl is now in the hands of the Russians

He also added that the seizing of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was a “declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”

Earlier, Antón Gueraschenko, advisor and a former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, warned that the radioactive deposits could be damaged after the battle. Consequently, the nuclear powder and other radioactive material could propagate through all of Ukraine’s, Belarus’, and the European Union’s territory.

Furthermore, according to sources, the battle between the Ukrainian army and the Russian army for Chernobyl was ferocious.

Finally, Ukraine lost control of the Chernobyl site. Right now the state of the former nuclear power plant is unknown, Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine confirmed.

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