Dozens of Russian troops suffered from radiation sickness after they reportedly went fishing right next to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ukrainians living in the area have shared how they tried to warn Vladimir Putin’s soldiers against camping in a forest near the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
On the first day of the invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces, who crossed to the area through Belarus, stayed in one of the most notoriously contaminated parts of the world for five weeks.
Putin’s soldiers dug trenches in the highly toxic Red Forest zone which is within a six-mile radius of reactor No 4.
And despite the danger, they chose it as the place to live, eat and sleep- and even fished catfish in the reactor’s cooling channel -for an entire fortnight.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Oksana Pyshna, 30, branded the act “stupid.”
She said: “Don’t try to find logic.”
She added that digging trenches in the area was a bad idea as “it’s the most dangerous territory in the special zone because under the ground we have nuclear waste.”
It was speculated at the time whether the Russian troops chose the Red forest-named after the colour of the trees following the 1986 nuclear explosion- because they knew Ukrainians would not attack the area.
The site of the nuclear tragedy in northern Ukraine was captured in the opening days of the war, sparking fears of a major radioactive disaster as a result of heavy fighting around the plant.
Dozens of soldiers were believed to have fallen ill from radiation sickness after Putin’s army occupied the 20-mile exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl.
Despite people being banned from living in the area, more than 35 years after the deadly nuclear tragedy, Russian troops drove their trucks along the dirt roads, kicking up radioactive dust, and dug trenches in the mud.
Seven buses of troops suffering from acute radiation syndrome were taken to a hospital in Belarus from the exclusion zone last March.
Workers at the plant were quoted as saying that some of the Russian soldiers had no idea they were in a radiation zone
A Chernobyl employee branded their actions as “suicidal” because the radioactive dust they inhaled was likely to cause internal radiation in their bodies.
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