More than 10,000 hectares of forest burning in Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine claims

More than 10,000 hectares of forest are burning in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone a Ukrainian official has said.

Lyudmila Denisova, commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights said the fires have led to an increased level of radioactive air pollution with a threat to neighbouring European countries.

The fires are due to Russian combat in the region where 31 fires have been recorded, Ms Denisova added on Sunday, while warning that the fires will increase due to windy and dry weather.

“Control and suppression of fires is impossible due to the capture of the exclusion zone by russian troops. As a result of combustion, radionuclides are released into the atmosphere, which are transported by wind over long distances. This threatens radiation to Ukraine, Belarus and European countries,” Ms Denisova said in a Facebook post.

She urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to send experts and firefighting equipment to Ukraine as soon as possible “to prevent irreparable consequences not only for Ukraine but also for the whole world.”

“Catastrophic consequences can be prevented only by immediate deoccupation of the territory by Russian troops. Therefore, I call on international human rights organizations to take all possible measures to increase pressure on the Russian Federation to end military aggression against Ukraine and deoccupy high-risk areas,” Ms Denisova said.

More to follow…

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