The Security Service of Ukraine has collected evidences that units of the armed forces of the russian federation committed an act of nuclear terrorism by forcefully seizing the facilities of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant between February 24 and March 31, 2022.
On February 24, the russian military, threatening personnel with the use of heavy weapons, entered the territory of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and nuclear waste storage facilities. During their stay, the occupiers damaged the premises, mined the area and started a number of fires, prevented regular external radiation monitoring and continuous supply of spare parts, fuel and consumables, detained the personnel in stressful conditions, increasing the likelihood of professional errors.
By turning the Chornobyl nuclear power plant into a temporary military base, the russian federation violated the Geneva Convention, which expressly forbids attacks on nuclear facilities in armed conflict conditions.
It has been documented that during the occupation, a large amount of heavy military equipment, weapons, and more than 1,000 soldiers of the russian federation were constantly stationed in the Exclusion Zone territory, and 300 and 30 soldiers, respectively, in the territory of radioactively hazardous facilities and ISF-2. The occupiers equipped 5 firing positions on the territory of the storage facility, where the activities with the spent materials of plutonium-239 were conducted. At the beginning of March, the occupiers damaged the communication towers, which caused the failure of the radiation situation monitoring system, and on March 9, the enterprise was almost completely cut off, which practically paralyzed the operation of all monitoring and safety systems. In particular, the spent nuclear fuel cooling system was turned off.
As a result of hostilities and deliberate arson, according to the NASA and European Space Agency systems, significant fires were registered on the Exclusion Zone territory during the occupation troops’ stay on an area of almost 14,000 hectares. The situation was complicated by the inability of firefighters to extinguish them.
The occupiers looted enterprises located in the Exclusion Zone, in particular, a fleet of specialized equipment and fuel. This jeopardized fire and radiation safety in the Exclusion Zone. The unique “Ecocenter” laboratory, the equipment of which was financed by the European Commission for 6 million euros, was looted and actually destroyed. The equipment purchased with the funds of 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 at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant was disabled and a mobile radiation reconnaissance laboratory worth 2.5 million hryvnias was stolen.
21 radiation sources with a total activity of almost 7 million Bq were stolen. This is sufficient to make an area of almost 2,000 square meters unsafe for people to live in. In addition, the occupiers were carrying out earthworks on the territory of the temporary radioactive waste localization point “Rudy lis”.
Moreover, the Exclusion Zone territory was and is still mined. More than 100 mines and 3 detonations have already been detected. This violates the integrity of the facility’s radiation safety system, which Ukraine has been building jointly with international partners for decades, and threatens the occurrence of uncontrolled explosions and fires caused by them.
Investigating the crimes of the occupiers on the Exclusion Zone territory, the USS reported the suspicions to the former deputy commander of the Siberian District of the russian guard, Major General Fr. Yakushev, who gave the order to attack the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and to the deputy commander of the joint special unit of the russian guard in the Bryansk region, Colonel A. Frolenkov, who directly supervised the actions of subordinates during the attack on this facility.
To date, the investigation continues to identify and bring to justice all persons involved in nuclear terrorism.
According to the Security Service of Ukraine