Ukraine’s government has confirmed that the Chernobyl power plant site has been seized by Russian forces.
“The Prime Minister made the announcement in a televised briefing, saying Russian troops had taken control of the zone and the nuclear power plant,” Bloomberg confirms.
“The facility is located about 80 miles (129km) north of Kyiv, several miles south of the Belarus border. Holding Chernobyl would provide Russian troops a staging point that couldn’t be shelled,” the report adds, in reference to the potential for dangerous radioactive fallout given the permanent presence of nuclear waste there.
Speculation remains that should the site come under direct shelling, there could be nuclear contamination released into the air, potentially impacting other areas in Europe.
Russian state media is in the evening Thursday (local time) citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to say that Moscow is offering Kiev “terms of surrender”.
Peskov said: “The president formulated his vision of what we would expect from Ukraine in order for the so-called ‘red-line’ problems to be resolved. This is neutral status, and this is a refusal to deploy weapons.”
“The operation has its goals – they must be achieved. The president said that all decisions have been made, and the goals will be achieved,” Peskov continued, suggesting that, if Kiev were to agree to meet the demands, the current military attack on Ukraine could be called off.”