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Security Service of Ukraine releases video of Russian seizing of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Tuesday, 19 July 2022, 16:01
Security Service of Ukraine releases video of Russian seizing of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant


The Security Service of Ukraine has collected evidence proving that Russian military units forcibly seized Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant facilities and controlled them between 24 February and 31 March 2022, committing an act of nuclear terrorism.

Source: Artem Dekhtiarenko, spokesperson of the Security Service of Ukraine


Details: The Security Service of Ukraine released footage from video surveillance cameras that were previously shown.

It is noted that despite the fact that the reactors are not working, the Chornobyl NPP remains an enormous complex with three spent nuclear fuel storage facilities and a number of sites with radioactive waste.


By turning this facility into a temporary military base, the Russian Federation blatantly violated the Geneva Convention, which explicitly prohibits attacks on nuclear facilities in conditions of armed conflict.

Investigators found that on 24 February, the military of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation entered the territory of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and nuclear waste storage facilities (a state enterprise), threatening personnel with the use of heavy weapons.

During the temporary occupation the Russian troops also violated many nuclear safety standards:

  • Russian troops damaged the premises, mined the territory, and provoked a number of fires, thereby starting uncontrolled processes;
  • regular external radiation monitoring and the continuous supply of spare parts, fuel and consumables were made impossible;
  • staff were kept in stressful conditions, increasing the likelihood of professional mistakes

Dekhtiarenko noted that the Security Service of Ukraine has evidence documenting that:

  • during the occupation, a large amount of heavy military equipment, weapons and more than 1,000 military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were constantly stationed on the territory of the exclusion zone;
  • directly on the territory of radiation-hazardous facilities and the ISF-2 storage facility (the Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Facility), there were 300 and 30 military personnel, respectively;
  • on the territory of the storage facility, where work is being carried out with the spent materials of plutonium-239 reactors, Russian forces have equipped 5 firing points;
  • the territory of the exclusion zone has been mined: more than 100 mines and 3 explosions have been detected;
  • in early March, Russian forces damaged communication towers, which led to the failure of the radiation monitoring system

The Security Service of Ukraine spokesperson recalled that on 9 March, the company was almost completely de-energized, which practically paralyzed the operation of all control and security systems. In particular, the cooling system for spent nuclear fuel was turned off. As a result of military operations and deliberate arson – according to the systems of NASA and the European Space Agency – significant fires were recorded on the territory of the exclusion zone during the stay of the occupation forces, who inhabited an area of almost 14 thousand hectares. The situation was complicated by the inability of firefighters to access and extinguish the fires.

Russian forces looted enterprises in the exclusion zone, in particular, a fleet of specialised equipment and fuel. This jeopardised fire and radiation safety in the exclusion zone.

The unique EcoCenter laboratory was looted and destroyed – including 6 million euros of equipment which had been financed by the European Commission. Equipment purchased by Fukushima University as part of the implementation of the Japanese-Ukrainian project under the SATREPS program was also stolen. During the occupation, the physical protection system of the State Specialized Enterprise CHNPP was disabled and a mobile radiation Intelligence Laboratory worth UAH 2.5 million was stolen.

21 sources of ionising radiation with a total activity of almost 7 million Bq were stolen. This is enough radiation to make a plot of nearly 2,000 square metres dangerous for habitation.

The Russian forces also carried out earthworks on the territory of the temporary localization point of radioactive waste, the Red Forest.

Quote: "The territory of the exclusion zone has not been cleared of mines. This violates the integrity of the facility's radiation safety system, which Ukraine has been building together with international partners for decades. There is still too high a probability of uncontrolled explosions and the fires caused by them.

The Security Service of Ukraine, systematically recording and investigating the crimes of the invaders, has already reported this suspicion to the invader who gave the order to storm the state enterprise of the "Chornobyl nuclear power plant" – this invader being the former deputy commander of the Siberian district of the Rosgvardiya, Major General O. Yakushev.

Suspicion was also reported to the deputy commander of the combined special-purpose detachment of the Rosgvardiya in Russia’s Bryansk Oblast, Colonel A. Frolenkov, who directly oversaw the actions of subordinates during the attack on the Chornobyl NPP.

An investigation is underway to identify and bring to justice all persons involved in nuclear terrorism."