Zelenski accuses Russia of putting the world on the brink of disaster by occupying Chernobyl
Russia put the world on the brink of disaster when it occupied the Chernobyl nuclear power plant at the start of the attack on Ukraine, the worst nuclear disaster in history, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed today.
“The world was once again on the brink of disaster because for the Russian army, the Chernobyl region and the former nuclear power plant were like normal areas for conducting military operations,” the Ukrainian head of state stressed at the conference. With Rafael Ross, Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian military “was not concerned about nuclear safety” and kept “a number of armored vehicles in the plant’s territory, which destroyed the country and raised an extremely high amount of dust, especially radioactive particles.”
“No country in the world since 1986 has created such major threats to nuclear safety in Europe and the world as Russia has created since February 24,” the Ukrainian president said.
The Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, polluting much of Europe, but especially Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, which were part of the Soviet Union. The area known as the no-fly zone within a radius of 30 kilometers around the plant is still heavily polluted and permanent residence is prohibited.
The IAEA chief also said on the ground today that the occupation of the Russian army at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine between February 24 and the end of March was “very, very dangerous.”
“The situation was absolutely abnormal and very, very dangerous,” Rafael Grossi told reporters during a visit to Chernobyl on the 36th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986.
The IAEA Director-General was followed by a visit by a team of experts to supply vital equipment, including dosimeters and protective suits, and to conduct “radiological and other inspections,” the UN said last Friday.
Rafael Grossi had already visited Ukraine at the end of March to lay the groundwork for a technical assistance agreement. He visited the South Yuzhno-Ukrainsk power plant before meeting senior Russian officials in Kaliningrad, on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors at four operating power plants, as well as landfills such as the Chernobyl plant, which was decommissioned after the 1986 disaster.
Russian troops withdrew from the Chernobyl power plant at the end of March, but continue to occupy the Zaporizhzhya plant in southern Ukraine.
That is why Zelenski again appealed to foreign leaders today for an “effective response” to ensure control of Ukraine at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, including the deployment of peacekeepers.
“They [forças russas] “Three more missiles were launched today against Ukraine, which flew directly over the reactors of our nuclear power plants,” he warned.