March 24, 2023

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Zelensky says that everyone who participated in the Kramatorsk attack will be held accountable

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a video broadcast on Friday.
Russian soldiers looted the room the staff was sleeping in, and ransacked some of their possessions, according to the Chernobyl site’s shift manager. (Vasco Cutovio/CNN)

The room fills with the sudden beep of the radiometer when a Ukrainian soldier enters. This is where the Russian soldiers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant used to live, and radiation levels are now higher than normal.

There is no visible presence of the source of the radioactive material in the room, but Ukrainian officials say it was coming from small particles and dust brought into the building by soldiers.

“They went to the Red Forest and brought radioactive materials to their shoes,” explains soldier Ihor Olkov. “Other places are fine, but the radiation increased here, because they used to live here.”

CNN has been granted exclusive access to the power plant for the first time since its return to Ukrainian control.

Factory officials explain that levels inside the room used by Russian soldiers are slightly higher than what the World Nuclear Association describes as natural radiation. One-time contact will not be dangerous but continued exposure may pose a health hazard.

They went everywhere and took some radioactive dust on them [when they left]Ogolkov adds.

It is an example of what Ukrainian officials say is the lax and negligent behavior of Russian soldiers while in control of The site of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The area around Chernobyl, and specifically the Red Forest, is still the most nuclear contaminated area on the planet, with the most radioactive particles found on the soil.

Ukrainian officials have released drone footage of what they say are trenches dug by Russian soldiers in that area, which are particularly radioactive materials. In a safe place, on the fringes of that area, CNN watched a Russian military ration box that showed radiation levels 50 times higher than normal values.

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Russian soldiers Held in Chernobyl for a month It is believed that they were operating in polluted areas most of the time.

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Ukrainians were shocked by the sight