Russia does not realize what Chernobyl is - Zelensky
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky notes that this year Russia has created new threats at Ukraine's nuclear facilities that could surpass even the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, News.az reports citing UNIAN.
Zelensky noted that every year on April 26, the world remembers the Chornobyl disaster - the worst nuclear disaster in the history of mankind.
“But this year it’s not enough just to remember Chornobyl. And it’s not enough to say the traditional words of gratitude to the heroes-liquidators. It’s not enough to recall why and how that catastrophe became possible. It’s not enough to repeat the conclusions that every smart person and every adequate society should make. Because in this Russia has created new threats that could surpass even the most terrible accident," the President of Ukraine stressed.
He recalled the night of March 4 this year, when a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a result of shelling of the plant by Russian tanks.
“They knew exactly what object they were firing at. But they had an order to seize the object at any cost. And they didn’t care about anything,” Zelensky said, recalling that he spoke with a number of world leaders that night, with everyone who could influence the situation and stop Russia.
"If the world had not woken up that night, we would not have remembered Chornobyl today. All thoughts would be about what Russia did at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. It is even surprising how quickly Russia can forget about the most terrible disaster that its own people too. Liquidation of the consequences of the Chornobyl accident in 1986 was carried out not only by Ukrainians but also by Belarusians, Russians, and others," Zelensky stressed.
At the same time, the President of Ukraine noted, today the Russians launched three missiles against Ukraine so that they flew directly over the blocks of our nuclear power plants. Moreover, three nuclear power plants at once - over the Zaporizhzhia, Khmelnytsky, and South Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
"It turns out that they do not realize what Chornobyl is. From the word" in general. "The Russian troops who tried to advance on Kyiv through the Chornobyl zone used this closed territory as a military base, equipped positions on the ground, on which it is forbidden even to simply stand. They drove armored vehicles across the territory where materials contaminated with radiation are buried and where the number of radioactive particles simply rolls over. They destroyed dosimetric control points, broke, stole the system for monitoring the radiation situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, plundered a nuclear analytical laboratory ... ", the president emphasized.
He noted that only thanks to the professionalism and conscientiousness of our specialists who work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and other facilities of the Chernobyl zone, it was possible to save Ukraine and Europe from a new catastrophe. And now, thanks to the team of the Zaporizhzhya NPP and the Ukrainian nuclear industry as a whole, it is possible to ensure trouble-free operation of the plants in war conditions.
According to Zelensky, IAEA director Rafael Grossi visited Kyiv today, with whom they discussed all the dangers created by Russia and ways of possible influence on the situation in order to protect Europe and the world from absolutely irresponsible actions of the Russian Federation.
"After everything that the Russian military has done in the Chornobyl zone and at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, no one in the world can feel safe knowing how many nuclear facilities, nuclear weapons, and related technologies the Russian state has. If Russia has forgotten what Chornobyl is, then this means that we need global control over Russian nuclear facilities and nuclear technologies," Zelensky said.
He also said that he awarded the shift workers at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, who did not leave the facility and supported the operation of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant despite the threat to their lives and the occupants' misunderstanding of even the elementary foundations of radiation safety.