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Town Near Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Handing Out Anti-Radiation Sickness Pills To Citizens

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Town Near Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Handing Out Anti-Radiation Sickness Pills To Citizens

The mayor of a town in Ukraine that is close to the nuclear power station that became the site of a battle has been forced to distribute anti-radiation sickness pills to the local population, and fears that a disaster could occur if the plant is damaged in the fighting.

The town of Marhanets, which sits at the side of the Dnieper River, is just by the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which became the site of a battle between invading Russian forces and Ukrainians earlier this week.

The mayor, Gennady Borovik, has remained bullish about the fight on his hands, but also knows that the potential for a disaster like the 1986 tragedy in Chernobyl is possible.

Speaking to the press with two grenades, Borovik said: "We are ready to defend our town and our country. And we will.”


There’s a plan in place – as with all of Ukraine’s nuclear sites – in case of meltdown at the plant, but that was devised in peace-time, and is no longer practicable given the circumstances.

A shell explodes at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Credit: Alamy
A shell explodes at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Credit: Alamy

The mayor continued: "There is an evacuation plan. But it calls for the evacuation of 50,000 people in the space of a few hours. Given there is a war on, that is simply not going to happen. It is unrealistic.

"Our emergency services are constantly monitoring the situation, and radiation levels today are not above normal.


"But we do not know what will happen tomorrow, so as a precaution we are distributing iodine pills."

Locals have been turning up at the town hall in order to get their two packs for every 12 people.

One woman, Valentina Arantseva, said to The Telegraph: "There have been two packets for 12 people. You're meant to take half a tablet within two hours of something happening, then the other half later on.

“So that's going to last us two days.


"Radiation is scary. But it is not as scary as being bombed. My daughter, her two children and her husband live in Enerhodar.

"They slept on mattresses on the floor last night. The Russians control the town over there.

“They're very, very afraid. They are staying inside and not going out.

"I told them to try and get to where the ferries used to go from to get over to this side, but they are too scared to move."


The battle at the plant started on Thursday afternoon, when Russians attempted to take over the area, and continued through the night.

World leaders were briefed on the situation. Credit: Alamy
World leaders were briefed on the situation. Credit: Alamy

At 2:00am, with world leaders briefed on the situation, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: "Europe must now wake up. Russian tanks equipped with thermal imagers are firing [at] nuclear units. That is, they know where they are shooting."

"No state, except Russia, has ever fired on nuclear power units,


"This is the first time in our history... the state has resorted to nuclear terror."

For now, the situation remains normal at the plant, but concerns still remain.

In the morning after the fight, the Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of nearby Enerhodar, said that everything was OK, although there have been questions about whether he spoke under duress.

Mr Borovik warned: "This is not Chernobyl. But each one of its reactors is many, many times more powerful than Chernobyl.

"So if something happens, it would be really bad."

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, World News

Tom Wood
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