Russia and Ukraine are fighting to control the exclusion zone

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On April 26, 1986, the world held its breath. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant suffered an accident, ultimately tragic. Thirty-six years later the name, the name of the small town lying at the foot of the energy complex is back in the news for a different reason: Russia and Ukraine are fighting one of the first battles of the war declared today in their surroundings.

What’s happening. It was announced by the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in your twitter account: “The Russian occupation forces are trying to take over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Our soldiers are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 does not repeat itself. I have informed the Swedish Prime Minister about it. It is a declaration of war against all of Europe” . The news has been confirmed”officially” by AFP and other agencies, although the original source always left of the Ukrainian government.

The reason. Chernobyl is located a few kilometers from Belarus, a close ally of Russia actively involved in the invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the plant was built next to the extensive riverbed of the Dnieper, 80 kilometers north of Kiev, a key strategic point for all the warring parties. the russian army it’s been months uniting forces on the southern border from Belarus. was to foresee that, should the invasion take shape, the first battles would reach Chernobyl.

Risks? Both the words of Zelensky and his aides must be quarantined. Ukraine is facing a war and any propaganda effort is small. You have an incentive to exaggerate risks. Still, there are reasons for concern. according to an advisor from the Ministry of the Interior: “The National Guard, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of radioactive dumps, is fighting with all its forces (…) nuclear dust can spread throughout the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and Europe “.

Is it so? Any mention of “Chernobyl” in a war context attracts media attention. But war does not have to be a recipe for catastrophe. Both the European Union and Ukraine have spent years and billions working on the new sarcophagus for reactor 4, the protagonist of the accident. It is the most delicate point of the complex, but also the best protected. And how points Axiosboth sides are aware of the dangers of bombing it or fighting in its surroundings.

Life in the vicinity of Chernobyl, in fact, is relatively possible. Radiation levels are high but there are tourist accommodationa (peculiar) growing fauna and 7,000 inhabitants within the Exclusion Zone and its surroundings. The idea of ​​”nuclear dust” contaminating Europe is… At the very least exaggerated.

It was seen coming. The possibility of “defending” Chernobyl had already been discussed by Ukraine days ago. in this report The New York Times collects voices from the Ukrainian armed forces. They were all aware of the risks on the ground for those who fight within the Exclusion Zone, although some directly advocated abandoning the field to their fate. “It’s a landfill (…) No crop will grow there,” says a worker close to the plant.

essays. In practice, Ukraine discounted fighting around Chernobyl. Earlier this month he made military maneuvers inside the Exclusion Zone, inviting the press to observe them from the field. The army performed tests with ammunition and explosives precisely because it is an uninhabited area, evidence that contrast with the apparent alarm broadcast by the Ukrainian government today.

Be that as it may, something is real. From trial to practice. Chernobyl is also at war.

Image: Sergei Grits/AP

On April 26, 1986, the world held its breath. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant suffered an accident, ultimately tragic. Thirty-six…

On April 26, 1986, the world held its breath. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant suffered an accident, ultimately tragic. Thirty-six…

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