Following the good news that the besieged region of Ivankiv in Ukraine was liberated by the Ukrainian Army having been occupied since the first days of the war, it has emerged that the citizens in the area are now faced with another threat – a huge rise in radiation levels.
Coming out from bunkers after nearly 5 weeks, scientists have now discovered an alarming rise in radiation following the military activity in Chernobyl. World Renowned Scientist, Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky, noted that the disturbance has led to soaring levels of radioactive long-lived radionuclides (Caesium-137, Strontium-90, Americium-241) on the bodies and clothing of children and adults in highly populated areas in the Chernobyl region. Professor Bandazhevsky has called for “an immediate evacuation of the most vulnerable”.
Huge populations are at an extremely high risk of being contaminated due to inhaling, ingesting, and drinking radioactive water that is present in the region due to the military invasion of the Chernobyl Reactor and Exclusion Zone since it was taken over by Russian Troops on 24 February.
Ivankiv, near Chernobyl and north of Kyiv in Ukraine, under occupation since the start of the war, with over 300,000 citizens trapped without food, water, and medical supplies. CCI had been frantically trying to get much needed humanitarian aid into the region for the past number of weeks, following an urgent plea for help.
Speaking about this plea, CCI founder and volunteer CEO of CCI, Adi Roche, said: “I was very distressed by the message I received from my dear friend and colleague who is based in Ukraine. He managed to contact me directly and in a very distraught voice he said, ‘We don’t want your love, your compassion, your solidarity…we want water, food or else many people will die…they will die not from a bullet or a bomb but from dehydration and starvation.’”
Ms Roche continued, “After this desperate plea, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to get aid into the region. I am delighted to confirm that we succeeded in getting the aid delivered, and with the news that the region has now been liberated, it’s just a shard of light, amid the ongoing invasion”.
However, the good news has now been overshadowed by the discovery of the soaring levels of radiation in the area. This also follows the development of the Russian Troops who left the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, which had been under their control since 24 February, due to radiation sickness. Reports state that troops entered the nearby radioactive forest (known as the ‘Red Forest’) without any respiratory protection to dig trenches, despite warnings from Chernobyl staff, and are now suffering from radiation sickness.
Speaking on this development, Ms Roche said: “While we are pleased that Russian Troops have left the Chernobyl region, we are deeply concerned about the rising levels of radioactivity due to the military invasion, and it is further evidence that all Nuclear facilities and surrounding lands should be deemed a ‘No War Zone’. Any disturbance of radioactive material is lethal, as it re-releases radioactivity into the atmosphere, which has now unfortunately been confirmed by Professor Bandazhevsky.”