Inside captured Ukraine power plant as crew fear ‘another Chernobyl’ under Putin

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Staff at the under-siege Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine have warned that “another Chernobyl” could be on the horizon.

They also told that the situation – which sees it now under control of despotic Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's troops – is at a “grave hour”.

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling the plant and putting millions of people at risk.

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The nuclear plant – which is Europe's largest – was seized by Russian troops at the start of the invasion and was even set on fire during shelling, with officials warning of a disaster '10 times larger than Chernobyl'.

Luckily, the fire was put out but the area is still being contested.

But speaking to the Daily Beast, staff from inside the plan have given an ominous warning.

Known only as a “power plant specialist in his forties”, the man said: “I’m staying because I don’t want another Chernobyl.

“The difference is that Chernobyl was six times smaller than the power plant we now have.

“Should something happen to this one, it will be a disaster for the whole world. Work is work and I feel responsible. Ukrainians must do their job.

“The place is becoming unsafe.

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“We are sending our families to safer places, but the men must stay behind.”

In 1986 a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Pripyyat, Ukraine, lost control during a test a low-power.

It caused an explosion and a fire, which saw untold amounts of radiation to flow into the atmosphere.

A red exclusion zone still exists today.

But now constant fighting and shelling of the area where the Zaporizhzhya plant is based has seen Europe threatened with another incident – but on a much larger scale.

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The plant staff member continued: “Some workers have worked in the plant for generations, like their fathers and grandfathers.

“They can’t imagine their lives without it. But I will not return unless the place is free from occupation.”

Residents from the surrounding area had previously assumed it would not be a target, as the chances of Putin ordering attacks on a nuclear plant would be slim.

But they were wrong – although the Kremlin has tried to blame Ukraine.

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One local, a former teacher, said: “I was always confident that the city would be protected because it has the nuclear plant, but then I saw the Russians from my window while they were shelling into the city from residential buildings.

“When artillery shells and bombardment became frequent, we became very scared.”

There have been calls for Russia to allow independent nuclear inspectors to enter the facility and assist with fixing any damage caused by either side – but so far, those calls have fallen on deaf ears.

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It has been said by Ukraine in recent days that they are in daily contact with the staff, but that the staff are not able to “speak freely” as all calls are being listened to by Russia.

The Chernobyl plant was also a target for Putin's men during the prolonged invasion.

It ended up with Russian troops actually digging trenches inside the exclusion zone.

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According to reports at the time, many Russians in the army had no clue about the disaster so had no idea what the red exclusion zone was about.

At the time, local sources claimed Russian soldiers were getting sick from the radiation, although this was never verified by either side.

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