Russian forces have taken control of the Chernobyl power plant, where radioactivity is still present from the world’s worst nuclear disaster 36 years ago. The Russians pushed past Ukrainian troops who were trying to guard the plant so the 1986 incident could not be repeated.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it a “declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”

The attack could spread radioactive dust over “the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and countries of the EU,” said Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashenko.

It is unknown what Russia’s goal in the attack was.

The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 killed more than 30 people in the explosion, and for years, deaths were traced back to radiation symptoms.

A few experts have voiced confusion over what Russia has to gain by damaging any of the Chernobyl facilities.

“Russia would not need to obtain nuclear material from Chernobyl if it wanted to use it for any purpose, because it has enough such material of its own,” Germany’s vice-chancellor and economy minister, Robert Habeck told reporters.

Russian troops continue to attack Ukraine from three sides.

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