Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Russian forces are attempting to take control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and surrounding area. Zelensky said:
“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Our defenders are sacrificing their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated.” He added ominously, “This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”
He added, “A package of additional tough sanctions against Russia from the EU is approaching. Discussed all the details with @EmmanuelMacron. We demand the disconnection of Russia from SWIFT, the introduction of a no-fly zone over Ukraine and other effective steps to stop the aggressor.”
A CBS reporter said on social media: “The Advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has said that the Russian armed forces have entered the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant area and clashes have broken out.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry warned that a Russian attack on Ukraine could “cause another ecological disaster.”
Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to @SwedishPM. This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2022
“In 1986, the world saw the biggest technological disaster in Chernobyl,” the ministry tweeted. “If Russia continues the war, Chernobyl can happen again in 2022.”
A woman taking shelter in a subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, told CNN:
“You wake up at 5 a.m. to a totally new reality, and you find out the world is no longer the safe place you imagined.
“What’s my plan now? I don’t know. For now, we are staying here. To tell you the truth, I hope that Europe and USA, they will support us the most because [Russian President] Putin understands only the language of power, and I hope they can really put him to sense, if it’s still possible.
“Because I don’t believe that he will just stop or that it will be a quick war, and I don’t want any people to die here in my land.
“And it’s hard to believe it’s actually our neighbor doing this, because we never really believed that our neighbor can just come and just grab our land and tell us what to do.
We are an independent country of Ukraine, and .we don’t want to be a part of Russia or any other country.
“I cannot believe it’s happening really.
“I just hope that some people in Russia stand against Putin,” she said.
The battle in Chernobyl risked damaging the cement-encased nuclear reactor that melted down in 1986. "Radioactive dust could cover the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the countries of the European Union," an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister said. https://t.co/MMZZNXyPgn— Mahfuj Jaman Mahin (@Mahfuj_Jaman786) February 24, 2022
Russian troops from #Belarus entered the Chernobyl zone. Heavy fights between them and Ukrainian soldiers guarding the storage of radioactive waste. We don't know about the fallout yet. But this is an absolute madness pic.twitter.com/yHll6ApQgk— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) February 24, 2022