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Zelensky commemorates Chernobyl and warns against nuclear risk

Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Services via Agence France-Presse The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, will carry flowers to the memorial to the “Heroes of Chernobyl” in kyiv on Friday.

France Media Agency to kyiv

Published yesterday at 7:42 a.m.

  • Europe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Friday of the risk of a nuclear incident due to the Russian occupation of the Zaporizhia power plant, a warning on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the disaster of Chernobyl.

For more than two years, the Russian army has occupied the huge power station in southern Ukraine, which previously produced 20% of the country's electricity.

“It has now been 785 days since Russian terrorists have taken the Zaporizhia power plant hostage,” Volodymyr Zelensky lamented on Friday on X (formerly Twitter).

“It is up to the whole world to put pressure on Russia so that the Zaporizhzhia power plant is liberated and returned to the control of Ukraine,” he said, believing that “this is the only way to avoid new disasters” like that of Chernobyl.

On April 26, 1986, when Ukraine was still part of the USSR, a reactor at the Chernobyl power plant, located about a hundred kilometers north of kyiv, exploded.

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The nuclear accident, considered the worst in history, contaminated large areas, especially in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Much of the rest of Europe also suffered radioactive fallout.

On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, February 24, 2022, troops from Moscow entered the highly radioactive exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl through Belarus and occupied the plant site , which has not been in operation since 2000.

They stayed there for a month before retreating, according to kyiv, ransacking scientific equipment.

The Zaporizhia power station continued to operate during the first months of the Russian invasion, despite its capture by Russian forces and periods of bombing, before being shut down at fall 2022.

kyiv and Moscow have repeatedly accused each other of having bombed the site, these strikes raising the specter of a “new Chernobyl”.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116