Saturday, May 7, 2022

Month-Long Russian Occupation of Chernobyl Created Serious Risks for Russian Soldiers and for Others as Well, Ozharovsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 26 – Because their commanders failed to take radiation dangers into account, Russian soldiers who occupied the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant between February 24 and March 31 are now and in the future at risk of cancer and other diseases radiation may produce, Andrey Ozharovsky says.

            But the physicist warns the Russian occupation of that district threatens many others, people to whom the occupiers may visit or give as gifts things they stole and to Ukrainians who are at risk both from radioactivity stirred up by Russian military actions and from the looting of nuclear labs there (

            The Russian forces moved in without taking any of the precautions those who know about radiation dangers would and then destroyed the radiation monitoring devices on the first day so that after a spike in the first 24 hours because of digging and disturbing the ground, there are no data on just how bad things were for them or are now, Ozharovsky says.

            There is no indication that the Russians harmed the reactors themselves, but there is a great deal of data showing that they disturbed the ground into which the radiation has sunk, storage sites where still-radioactive wastes are stored, and especially laboratories from which they stole computers and other equipment, some of which is known to be radioactive.

            All this means that the consequences from the month-long Russian occupation just like those from the 1986 accident will be long term, affecting people who don’t recognize they are at risk and think that radiation is not that big a threat. But a single glass of tea with polonium killed someone in London, and far more radioactive materials have been stirred up by the Russians.

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