Ukraine-Russia invasion: Video appears to show military vehicles at Chernobyl
Russian troops gave up control of the Chernobyl nuclear power due to radiation poisoning, and everyone on social media has reacted in pretty much the same way.
The territory surrounding the power plant has now been handed back to Ukrainian forces, with the Ukrainian state nuclear company confirming that Russian forces had withdrawn.
“According to the staff of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, there are now no outsiders on site,” the state-owned firm Energoatom posted online, confirming most troops had gone from the area.
While it has yet to be confirmed by another source, the statement from Energoatom said that Russian soldiers had received "significant doses" of radiation from digging trenches in the exclusion zone around the plant.
Most people reacting online thought that it seemed pretty obvious that this could happen – and that occupying a contaminated site could have been a tactical oversight on behalf of Russia.
Social media users were quick to share their thoughts, with one saying: “Who would have thought invading and occupying a contaminated site might be risky?”
Another added: “So the Russians really thought, ‘Gee, this unpopulated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is lightly defended; let's take that, dig-in, and make it our base of operations’?”
Russians: We want Chernobyl.\nUkrainians: Are you sure? You know what happened here in 1986, right?\nRussians: The boss says he wants it.\nUkrainians: Okay, here you go.\nRussians: Never mind, we just realized what's in the dirt.https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-kyiv-europe-united-states-nato-5863ad1d740cdd04ba42a25de0d31449?user_email=377c1bb896308573f78fc6ef9ed57235282bd7b7619b40caba91864144736da3&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=March%2031%20Russia-Ukraine%20war%20newsletter&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers\u00a0\u2026
Who would have thought invading and occupying a contaminated site might be risky?https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/01/first-thing-russians-flee-chernobyl-with-radiation-sickness-says-ukraine\u00a0\u2026
Many Russians evacuated out of Chernobyl trenches with possible radiation sickness\u2026so you have a nuclear reactor that poisons the nearby land and yet you hunker down in it? Now I see why Russians are getting their butts kicked \n\n#BlueVoices\n#wtpBLUEhttps://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-troops-suffer-acute-radiation-083839177.html\u00a0\u2026
So the Russians really thought, "Gee, this unpopulated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is lightly defended; let's take that, dig-in, and make it our base of operations"?https://twitter.com/visegrad24/status/1509287796065845250\u00a0\u2026
Energoatom also said that as a result of their concerns about radiation, "almost a riot began to brew among the soldiers," and suggested that their unexpected departure could have been due to this.
Ukraine has repeatedly expressed safety concerns about Chernobyl and demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops.
The reactor at Chernobyl infamously melted down in April 1986 during a test, covering much of Europe in a radioactive cloud. Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union at the time and a highly protected 20-mile exclusion zone had existed around the site to this day.
The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.
To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.