The Ukrainian President has claimed that Russian forces have entered Chernobyl with the intention of seizing the nuclear plant that was the site of one of the worst disasters in world history back in 1986.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted: “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.”
Russian forces entered Ukraine in the early hours of this morning, much to the condemnation of many within the international community.
President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘military operation’ and has launched air strikes on key targets including military bases and airports across 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."
US President Joe Biden has also condemned the actions of Putin’s government.
He said: “I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps.
“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
“The UK and our allies will respond decisively.”
Announcing the action, Putin said that his aim is to ‘protect people who for eight years have been suffering persecution and genocide by the Kyiv regime.’
He continued: "For this we will aim for demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as bringing to justice those who carried out multiple bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation.
"Our plans do not include occupying Ukrainian territory."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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