Russian forces have begun withdrawing from the disbanded Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a U.S. defense official said Wednesday, a day after Moscow said it would reduce attacks on two major Ukrainian cities.
Troops took control of the Chernobyl site – where radioactive waste is still stored – on February 24, the first day of the invasion.
“Chernobyl is (an) area where they are starting to reposition their troops – depart, get away from the Chernobyl facility and move to Belarus, “said the US official.
“We think they are gone, I can not tell you they are all gone.”
Russian troops also captured Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia on March 4, which sounded the alarm when shelters set fire to a training center.
UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi visited southern Ukraine’s nuclear power plant on Wednesday in his first trip to the country since Russia’s invasion sparked fears of a nuclear accident.
Grossi has repeatedly warned of the dangers of the conflict – the first in a country with a large nuclear park.
Ukraine has 15 reactors at four active nuclear power plants, as well as nuclear waste storage facilities, including at Chernobyl. – the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.
As the shooting continues overnight, Ukraine and Western powers doubt Russia’s promise Tuesday to reduce military activity around Chernigiv and the capital Kiev.