What happened to the Russian soldiers deployed in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant area?

The Russian army took control of Chernobyl on the first day of the war, on February 24, before breaking out of the camp, more than a month later, on March 31. A few days after signing the deed of transfer (in Russian) To the Ukrainian authorities, a video clip taken by a drone appeared on social networks. There are trenches and barracks for the Russian occupiers in the middle of the “Red Forest”. A still no-go zone, 36 years after the disaster, covering ten kilometers around the fourth reactor. This place is still one of the most polluted in the world, which raises many questions about the state of health of the Russian soldiers deployed there.

“It is very likely that they have been exposed to significant radioactive contamination”, estimates the Ukrainian Atomic Energy Agency Energoatom. According to Ukrainian sources, the presence of the troops also led to the transfer of radioactive dust, which led to high levels of local radiation.

DrThus, Russian soldiers drove their armored vehicles unprotected, according to two site employees interviewed by Reuters (in English). Qualified verb as “suicidal” by one of these workers. sThe Ukrainian Ministry of Environment claimed to make matters worse (in Ukrainian)On March 26, Russian soldiers set about 30 fires in the exclusion zone during their occupation.

For the first time, Friday, CNN reporters were able to visit the site. Journalist Friedrich Blitgen explains that a total of 170 employees were held in the building’s air raid shelter during the occupation, before being transferred to Russia on the last day. “We saw an increase in radiation levels in the neighborhoods occupied by the Russians”The reporter adds at the conclusion of his visit. “Ukrainians claim that this is due to the exits made outside the regions and the radioactive dust sticking to the shoes.” His colleague adds that he discovered a Russian food ration on the edge of the “red forest”, where radiation levels are already very high.

The Russian General Staff did not provide any information about the health status of its soldiers working in the area. Seven buses of Russian soldiers have been identified at the Belarusian Radiotherapy Center in Gomel, according to a published letter. (in Russian) On March 30 by the Hagon Watch Group, which reports on military movements in Belarus.

As stated by the Ukrainian Strategic Command (in Ukrainian) Possible irradiation of Russian soldiers, without going into further details. “Russia has shown irresponsibility at every level, from refusing to allow factory employees to fully carry out their duties, to digging trenches in the contaminated area”Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denounced.

Elena Barniuk, nuclear specialist at The National Academy of Sciences, explains to the media La Liga (in Ukrainian) Trees covered with radioactive dust were cut down and buried after the 1986 disaster, before being covered with a layer of sand and new trees replanted.

If the earth is dug up, the world still thinks so “The level of exposure will remain below the level that can lead to acute radiation syndrome.” Staying for a month will still have serious and irreversible consequences for health. TheThe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) considers, for its part, (in English)It is too early to know if Russian forces were exposed to high levels of radiation.

Its experts are ready to go to the site “As soon as possible” to make an assessment. During the Russian occupation, it was difficult to get readings in the exclusion zone, since monitoring is usually carried out using an automated 39-point system.

From March 9 to 13, power was cut off to the site. resulting in a loss “DrThe power source for the sensors used to monitor the installations of this station”, explained Karen Hervio, deputy director general of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), on the FranceInfo website. The situation is now under control, but the following readings should be closely monitored.

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