Russian Forces Take Control Of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
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Russian forces have reportedly taken control of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Military sources have told the media that troops have managed to seize the plant amidst its invasion of Ukraine.
According to reports, it's not known whether the plant has sustained any damage.
Mykhailo Podoliak, the adviser to the head of the president’s office, said: "The condition of the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, confinement, and nuclear waste storage facilities is unknown."
In 1986, the plant, in the north of Ukraine, was the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has ever witnessed.
One of the plant's reactors malfunctioned, resulting in an explosion and fire which released huge amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Thirty-one people died as an immediate result of the disaster.
News of the Russian advance comes after the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy revealed that troops were attempting to take over the site.
He said: "Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant].
"Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to [Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson].
"This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe."
This comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the military invasion of Ukraine, with forces streaming over the border and air strikes witnessed across the country.
In a statement earlier today, he warned foreign countries to not get involved.
He said: "To anyone who would consider interfering from outside: If you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history. All the relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me.
"Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist with a constant threat emanating from the territory of modern Ukraine.
"All responsibility for bloodshed will be on the conscience of the ruling regime in Ukraine."
Much of the site at Chernobyl and neighbouring town Pripyat has been closed to the public since the disaster due to the dangerous levels of radiation coming from the exploded fourth reactor of the power plant.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Russia’s incursion into Ukraine sovereign territory during an address to the public this afternoon.
He said that the UK ‘cannot and will not’ look away as Ukraine is invaded.
Johnson continued: "Today in concert with our allies we will agree a massive package of economic sanctions designed in time to hobble the Russian economy."
To the Ukrainian people, he said: "We’re with you, we’re praying for you and your families.
"I don’t believe the Russian dictator will subdue the national feeling of Ukrainians."