Why would Russia want Chernobyl to be taken by Russia?

Although the Kremlin might not consider the nuclear power station itself to be a military asset, the location of the 1986 disaster lies strategically between Kyiv and Belarus.

Why would Russia want Chernobyl to be taken by Russia?

Chernobyl is the location of the devastating 1986 nuclear accident. Alarm bells were ringing in the West after Russian forces seize the decommissioned nuclear power plant.

Why would Russia choose to make a radioactive desert one of its first targets in Ukraine

Although the answer to this question is not yet known by Moscow's top officials, it happens to be on the most direct route to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

In an interview with NBC News, retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said that the location was important because it is where it sits. Chernobyl would be right there if Russian forces attacked Kyiv from north. It is almost in the way.

Chernobyl is located less than 10 miles from Ukraine’s border with Belarus. This border is a Russian ally, where Moscow has been massing troops to prepare for an attack on Ukraine. It's only about 80 miles from there to Kyiv.

Russian military planners might find the route from Belarus through Chernobyl to Kyiv appealing because they could cross the Dnieper River, Belarus, and avoid crossing the major river that divides Ukraine behind enemy lines.

Evelyn Farkas served as the deputy assistant secretary for defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia under the Obama administration. They want to surround the capital."

The Chernobyl reactor is surrounded by a large "exclusion zone". It also surrounds Pripyat, a nearby abandoned city. Workers have spent many years meticulously dismantling and cleaning up radioactive waste.

A radioactive cloud drifted across Europe after the 1986 explosion. In the decades that followed the 1986 explosion, radioactivity has declined in the vicinity of the plant. Studies have also shown that wild animal populations are flourishing in the exclusion zone despite soil contamination, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Recent fighting in the region this week could cause contamination of soil and other debris. This raises concerns about possible environmental effects that could extend far beyond the site.

Farkas stated that even though Russian President Vladimir Putin does not have an interest in the plant, Moscow would still want it. This is especially because of the possibility of a prolonged fight with Ukrainian insurgents should Russia occupy the country.

She stated that they don't want any loose nuclear material floating about, and that they are aware of the danger.

Chernobyl was constructed by the Soviet Union during its control of Ukraine. Many consider the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl to be a contributing factor in the fall of this former superpower.

In the years since, the disaster has been the subject of historical revism as Putin and his allies attempt to portray the Soviet Union in an even more positive light. A 2019 HBO miniseries on Chernobyl was a hit. It featured the Soviet mismanagement of the disaster. A Kremlin-backed TV channel produced its own series blaming CIA.

The plant's unaffected reactors continued to produce power until 2000 when it was closed down.

A congressional aide told U.S. officials that "it's a useless bit of real estate." Chernobyl is the best way to get Kyiv quickly.

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