Ukrainians living near the nuclear power plant, which exploded 37 years ago and polluted the environment with radioactive pollution, warned the Russians not to camp in the forest when they arrived.
But as one local resident told The Times, the invaders who “understand the risks” but are “very obtuse” settled in the woods, reportedly digging trenches, fishing in the reactor’s catfish-filled cooling chute, and shooting animals, leaving them dead on the roads.
On February 24, 2022, Russian forces passed from Belarus to Chernobyl and remained there for 5 weeks.
It has been reported that Vladimir Putin’s men set up camp in about 10 kilometers around reactor number 4 and dug defensive positions in the toxic soil below the surface.
On April 1, as the Ukrainian troops counterattacked from Kiev, the last invaders retreated, leaving behind heaps of garbage.
Diplomats confirmed that Russian soldiers serving in the forest later contracted radiation sickness. Symptoms can begin within an hour of radiation exposure and last for several months, and often result in death.
“Don’t look for logic, it’s stupid,” Oksana Pishna, 30, a tour guide who started working at the state ministry responsible for the forbidden zone, told the newspaper.
The Chernobyl disaster is known as the world’s worst civilian nuclear accident
Reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded on April 26, 1986. This event is often referred to as the world’s worst civilian nuclear accident. Many people died as a result of the incident and the USSR collapsed less than 6 years later.
The cleanup was scheduled to end in 2065, while the city of Pripyat and its surrounding 30-kilometer exclusion zone were cleared of citizens.
In the years after the accident, teams were sent to the Red Forest to dig up and bury the contaminated topsoil. The name of the forest comes from the disastrous color of the trees.