As Russia continues their naked assault on just about the entirety of Ukraine, a not-so-subtle reminder of the nation’s inept and insidious nature has emerged in the fracas.
In Pripyat, Ukraine – once part of the Soviet Union – sits the hulking, dangerous ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This symbol of the sinister nature of the Soviet Union’s incompetence has loomed large over the region for decades now, and it appears as though Russia wants it back.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday claimed that Russian forces stationed in Belarus were trying to seize Chernobyl, the former nuclear power plant, as incursions continued across the country.
A Ukraine advisor to Interior Ministry Anton Gerashchenko said in a Facebook post that the Russian forces entered the exclusion zone from Belarus and that Ukrainian national guardsmen were “fighting hard” to defend the area.
“If the invaders artillery hits and ruins / damages the collectors of nuclear waste , radioactive nuclear dust can can be spread over the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the country of the EU!” the advisor claimed.
There have already been reports of the Russian destruction of a nuclear waste facility in the area, leading many to wonder just how far the fallout could spread as the situation in Ukraine devolves.
Chernobyl’s 1986 nuclear disaster was the worst such incident in human history, and the concrete sarcophagus surrounding the melted-down core of the plant is all that separates Europe from a wide scale nuclear winter.