Russians disturbed radioactive dust infographic
Graphic shows the site of the “Red Forest” and the exclusion zone around Chernobyl.


Russian troops disturbed radioactive “Red Forest”

By Ninian Carter

March 29, 2022 - Russian troops who seized the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site drove armoured vehicles without radiation protection through the highly toxic “Red Forest” zone, kicking up clouds of radioactive dust.

During the early hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ill-informed Russian troops drove a convoy of tanks and other armoured vehicles, without radiation protection, along a disused road in the “Red Forest” – the most radioactively contaminated zone a few hundred metres west of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.

According to workers at the facility (who supervise the concrete-encased remains of the reactor that blew up in 1986), the soldiers actions kicked up clouds of radioactive dust which was “suicidal” for them as they were not wearing anti-radiation gear and will have inhaled deadly contaminated particles.

One of the workers says the regular soldiers they spoke to had never heard of the Chernobyl explosion and had only been told it was “critically important infrastructure” – thus ignoring safety advice offered to them by Ukrainian technicians.

The Ukrainian agency that monitors the exclusion zone said on February 27 that the last record it had on a sensor near the site’s nuclear waste storage facilities, before it lost control over the monitoring system, showed that the absorbed dose of radiation was seven times higher than normal.

PUBLISHED: 29/03/2022; STORY: Graphic News