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Russian soldiers vacate Chernobyl, Ukraine says

Ukraine's state nuclear company says Russian troops received substantial radiation doses in exclusion zone

Russian troops that had been occupying the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have left, the plant’s staff said.

According to Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom, the plant’s staff confirmed that there were no “outsiders” at the site. Earlier, it reported that a small group of soldiers had been left behind while the majority had moved on towards the Belarusian border. The announcement seemingly confirms reports by senior US defense officials on Wednesday that Russian forces were heading towards withdrawal.

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Russian troops took control of the Chernobyl power plant at the beginning of the invasion into Ukraine.

Energoatom said in a statement on Thursday that “the invaders announced their intentions to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant”.

The company later blamed the Russian military of kidnapping Ukrainian National Guard personnel and holding them captive since the start of the war. It also confirmed that Russian troops had dug up trenches in the most irradiated regions of the Chernobyl exclusion zone receiving “substantial doses” of radiation. Reuters news agency quoted plant workers as saying that the Russian soldiers were unaware that they were in a radiation zone.

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The Russian military said that radiation levels at the plant were in the normal range after its troops captured the plant. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that it was not able to confirm the reports.



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