RADIATION in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone horribly exceeded control levels after Russian troops stormed the area, Ukraine has warned.
Putin’s men seized the historic site on Thursday, the state of the nuclear storage facilities at the time being “unknown”.
But data from the Exclusion Zone Automated Radiation Monitoring System now suggests that gamma radiation dose rate control levels have exceeded safe levels.
Ukraine’s state nuclear regulatory inspectorate blamed the surge on “unrest” caused by the passage of Russian troops.
They said “large amounts of heavy military equipment across the exclusion zone” had disturbed the topsoil in the sensitive area.
They warned that this resulted in “the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air” – amid earlier fears that toxic soot could spread a deadly dust cloud across Europe.
It happens like:
The country’s interior ministry said it was currently “not critical” for Kiev, which is about 20 miles from the disaster zone.
But they warned they were keeping a close eye on the rise as the conflict continued.
The statement added that “at present it is impossible to establish the reasons for the change in the radiation background in the exclusion zone due to the occupation and hostilities in this territory.”
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov insisted levels remain normal.
🔵 Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the latest updates
He said airborne troops were guarding the plant to prevent any possible “provocations”.
This came just after Ukraine said Russian forces had taken workers hostage at a former nuclear power plant after a “fierce” battle.
The Office of the President fears that their opponents may be preparing to provoke a nuclear power plant or “use the damage received during the attack to shift the blame to Ukraine.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry coldly stated that the Russian attack “might cause another environmental catastrophe.”
Chernobyl “might repeat itself in 2022” if the war continues, the report said.
A reactor explosion and fire in April 1986 killed at least 31 people and released a huge cloud of radioactive particles into the air.
It swept across Europe and rained over thousands of square miles.
The Chernobyl site is still protected by a large exclusion zone where people can only visit for short periods of time to avoid high doses of radiation.
Last month, Ukraine sent reinforcements to the area over fears that the defunct nuclear plant could be targeted by Putin.
Jack Keane, a former US Army chief of staff, said that Chernobyl “has no military significance” but is based on the shortest route from Belarus to Kiev.
There are fears that the siege was orchestrated as part of Putin’s plans to seize the capital as part of his “beheading” strategy to seize power.
US intelligence now fears that Putin could overthrow Kiev in as little as 96 hours.
Gruesome footage filmed Thursday shows triumphant Russian soldiers standing guard in front of the reactor in tanks and armored personnel carriers.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was following the unfolding events with “grave concern.”
They called on the belligerents to avoid any action that could endanger any of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.
Advisor to the President of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak said: “After the absolutely senseless attack of the Russians in this direction, one cannot say that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe.”
An estimated 190,000 Russian troops were deployed in and around Ukraine when the invasion began early Thursday morning.
But Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the Kremlin “hadn’t achieved any of its major goals” after facing much more fierce resistance than expected.
Ukraine claims it killed or captured 800 troops, destroyed 30 tanks and shot down seven warplanes as its forces put up bloody resistance against the Russians.