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Ukraine's president says Russia is trying to seize site of Chernobyl disaster

Chernobyl Ukraine forces
Posted at 7:52 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 13:18:28-05

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian forces are attempting to seize Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

"Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to @SwedishPM," Zelenskyy tweeted Thursday. "This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe."

According to The New York Times, the region represents the shortest path between Russian troops stationed in Belarus and the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Chernobyl is located in northern Ukraine near the border with Belarus.

The disaster at the Soviet Union-run Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 has left a 1,000-square mile area around the plant uninhabitable. While a shelter has been constructed around the decommissioned power plant to prevent the leakage of nuclear emissions, an 18-miles radius around the site has been declared an "exclusion zone."

This story is breaking and will be updated.