Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted Thursday morning that Russian forces are trying to seize the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine.
“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Report this to @SwedishPM. This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe,” Zelensky tweeted.
The power plant was the location of the catastrophic Chernobyl disaster in 1986, which spewed radioactive material across Europe and as far as Norway.
Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to @SwedishPM. This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2022
Zelensky’s tweet came amid a large-scale Russian military attack on multiple cities in Ukraine.
The power plant is located near the border of Ukraine and Belarus, where Russian forces were pre-staged before the attack.
The attacks began Thursday early morning after U.S. and Western diplomacy failed to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin earlier this week declared two territories in eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics — independent and said Moscow would send in “peacekeepers,” signaling he was soon to send troops in.
The Pentagon said it would continue sending lethal and non-lethal assistance to Ukraine. The Biden Administration has sent thousands of American forces to Europe and moved troops within Europe closer to the east.
So far, the Biden Administration has said no U.S. troops would deploy to Ukraine.
Russian forces have captured the power plant, according to a Reuters journalist, citing the Ukrainian presidential office.
CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT CAPTURED BY RUSSIAN FORCES, ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE SAYS
— tom balmforth (@BalmforthTom) February 24, 2022