US: Russian Forces have begun to pull out of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power site, a US defense official said Wednesday, a day after Moscow said it would scale back attacks on two key Ukrainian cities.
Troops seized control of the Chernobyl site — where radioactive waste is still stored — on February 24, the first day of the invasion.
“Chernobyl is (an) area where they are beginning to reposition some of their troops — leaving, walking away from the Chernobyl facility and moving into Belarus,” the US official said.
“We think that they are leaving, I can’t tell you that they’re all gone.”
Russian troops also captured Europe’s largest nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia on March 4, sparking alarm when shelling caused a fire at a training facility.
UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi visited the separate South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant on Wednesday on his first trip to the country since Russia’s invasion raised fears of a nuclear accident.
Ukraine has 15 reactors at four active nuclear power plants, as well as stores of nuclear waste, including at Chernobyl — the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.
Meanwhile, fuelling tension in the West, a report has claimed that Russian bombers armed with nuclear warheads entered the European Union air space earlier this month, before being chased out by fighter jets. This comes amid Moscow’s war with Ukraine.
Swedish media reports said four of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warplanes “swooped in over the Baltic towards the island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea.”
– INDIA TODAY