Ukrainian flag raised over Chernobyl nuclear plant after Russian troops withdraw
- Russian forces began withdrawing from Chernobyl on Thursday, Ukraine's state nuclear agency said.
- On Saturday, the agency said Ukraine's flag was raised over the plant.
The Ukrainian flag has been raised over the Chernobyl nuclear plant after Russian forces completely withdrew, Ukraine's state nuclear agency said on Saturday.
"Today, April 2, at 11:00, Ukrainian flag was raised over the Chernobyl NPP and the anthem was sung," Energoatom said in a Telegram statement.
This comes after the agency announced on Thursday that Russian forces were beginning to withdraw from the plant after suffering "a significant doses of radiation."
—Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 1, 2022
Energoatom's announcement came shortly after the US defense official also said Russian troops were withdrawing the facility.
The announcement came as Russia said its planning to scale back military operations in the northern parts of Ukraine.
Russian forces invaded Chernobyl in late February at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops had forced workers to stay on-site for close to a month before allowing another group of co-workers to switch with them.
Two Ukrainian staff told Reuters on Thursday that Russian soldiers drove armored vehicles through the 'Red Forest," Chernobyl's most contaminated area without any protective gear when they invaded the site.
On Friday, the United Nations atomic watchdog said it's opening an investigation into Russian soldiers' exposure to radiation.
Ukrainian scientists from the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants have also said that Russia's invasion of the exclusion zone allowed looters to take radioactive isotopes used to calibrate instruments, and nuclear waste left over from the 1986 nuclear accident from a radiation monitoring lab near the nuclear site at Chernobyl.
Ukraine's defense ministry also said that withdrawing Russian troops "took kettles, lab equipment, and radiation," before leaving.
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