Wednesday, April 26, marked the 37th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine while denouncing “blackmail” by Russia, which briefly invaded the site last year and continues to occupy another nuclear power plant, Zaporiyia, the largest in Europe. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said that 37 years ago, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster left a huge scar around the world. Last year, the Russian occupier not only invaded this nuclear power plant but again exposed the world to the danger of a new incident. The president added that everything possible must be done to ensure that the terrorist state does not have any opportunity to use nuclear facilities to blackmail Ukraine and the world.
The Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred in 1986 when a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, located about 100 kilometers north of Kyiv, when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. The accident, considered the worst in history, contaminated vast areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, as well as much of Western Europe.
Since Russia briefly invaded the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, which it still occupies, Ukraine has reinforced its defensive positions along the northern border, including in the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl within a 30-kilometer radius. According to Kyiv, scientific and security enterprises in the Chernobyl area have returned to normal operation, but they do not exclude a new Russian attack from Belarus. Ukraine has denounced Russia’s “blackmail” and urged the international community to take measures to prevent the use of nuclear facilities as tools of threat and coercion.
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