Russia Invades Chernobyl
In an unprovoked attack on Ukraine, all of Europe may be on the edge of a nuclear catastrophe as Putin moves Russian troops in closer to capture the nation. On Thursday, February 24th Russian troops had moved in to capture the abandon reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear powerplant, giving Russia the advantage of a “nuclear threat.” The result of combat between the two countries has already stirred up residual radiation, causing an extreme spike in radiation levels, which could lead to decade old residual nuclear fallout being distributed across Europe.
The nuclear reactor meltdown of 1986 caused an international incident, causing the evacuation of the city of Chernobyl. If Putin can seize the Chernobyl power plant, they will be able to use the threat of nuclear war to allow the surrender of independent territories, possibly even all of Ukraine. The Ukrainian President spoke on Twitter, announcing this was now a War on all of Europe.
Not only have Russian forces moved in to take Chernobyl, but Ukraine’s capitol Kiev, and surrounding cities are also under attack seemingly from all directions. Reports from Russia show Putin has fired missiles on Kiev1, Odessa2, and Chuhuiv, destroying buildings and apartment complexes. Initial reports state eighteen were killed in Odessa, while photos emerged online of injured and bloodied Ukrainians in Chuhuiv, including those mourning their lost family and friends who perished during the attack3.
Early reports indicated that Belarusian troops had invaded alongside Russian troops, though President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus denied these allegations.
“Our troops are not taking any part in this operation,” the Belarusian president assured4.
Russia’s Plan of Attack
Putin announced his plan of attack, which was ignored by much of the world. Following China’s 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Putin sent in troops to attack, targeting Chernobyl, Kyiv, Pripyat, Odessa, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine’s Separatist regions.
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is stated to be one of the most radioactive places which exist on Earth. According to a report5 environmental impacts still occur to this day, including fish, milk, meat, and even wood from trees.
“The Chernobyl accident was the largest nuclear accident in history. The higher radionuclide depositions occurred in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, but high deposition also occurred in a number of other European countries6.”
“Of the 600 workers present on the site, 134 suffered from radiation sickness. Of those, 28 died in the first three months. Another 19 died in the 1987-2004 period of various causes, not necessarily associated with radiation exposure.”
Under the guise of the abandoned Ukrainian cities, Putin was able to advance on Ukrainian troops undetected.
Radiation Levels have skyrocketed according to real-time radiation monitoring of Chernobyl7. On February 23rd, 2022 steady levels had been reported for years around 3,000 nSv/h, yet on February 24th, 2022 during the Russian invasion, it rose to over 65,000 nSv/h. That is an over two thousand percent [2083%] increase in radiation levels.
This data means that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has become full-scale biological warfare. Now, Ukrainian [and Russian] troops are being exposed to decade old residual radiation from the largest nuclear reactor meltdown in the history of humanity. Should other countries become involved, they will also risk exposure to gamma ray ionizing radiation.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines gamma rays as “a radiation hazard for the entire body8.” Gamma rays have enough penetrating power to destroy tissue, and damage DNA.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Gamma rays are the most penetrating type of radiation, capable of traveling miles through air and penetrating deeply into tissue. Gamma rays are known to cause extensive damage to tissues extending deep into vital organs9.
As the Russian troops kick up gamma rays and other radioactive dust, this active biowarfare extend its impacts beyond Ukraine’s borders. Fighting on terrain alongside active nuclear reactors opens potential for an inconceivable international disaster, while functioning as a strategic advantage for Putin. The frightening possibility is the sheer extent that Putin’s platoon will go to conquer Ukraine, claiming their victory.
To outside countries across the world, individual leaders and their officials have spoken on behalf of Ukraine, condemning their actions, many countries citing this offensive and dangerous invasion as an act of war on all of Europe. Beyond the horrifying potential of another nuclear reactor meltdown, Putin’s actions show his distaste for the rest of the world, as his troops lead their attack on a European ally. Beyond government officials, the aggressive breach of the Ukrainian borders was felt by billions of people around the world.
The President of Ukraine [Президент України] Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russian occupation forces were attempting to seize the Chernobyl power plant. Ukraine’s President also alerted other nation’s leaders stating this was a declaration of war against all of Europe.
“Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated.”
“This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe10.”
“We are creating an anti-Putin coalition. I spoke with @vonderleyen, @EmmanuelMacron, @karlnehammer and @RTErdogan about concrete sanctions and concrete assistance for our military. We are waiting for decisive action11.”
“A package of additional tough sanctions against Russia from the EU is approaching. Discussed all the details with @EmmanuelMacron. We demand the disconnection of Russia from SWIFT, the introduction of a no-fly zone over Ukraine and other effective steps to stop the aggressor12.”
“Phone conversation with @JustinTrudeau 🇨🇦 Today there is a full-scale war throughout 🇺🇦! We demand the immediate imposition of additional tough sanctions against Russia. Now, more than ever, we need concrete support! I count on leadership of 🇨🇦 in this process13!”
European countries united together, enlisting each other’s support to fight the imperialist Russian takeover, as the battle for Ukraine wages on. Across the world, nations condemned the actions of Putin, and the advancement of his troops on a non-hostile military force. Despite the blood on the front lines, a sense of unity has been provoked throughout the world, where many countries publicly oppose authoritarian imperialism, despite having ties to the regimes themselves.
These restrictions that are made to harm the tyrannical Putin, will ultimately be more devastating to the people under Putin’s rule. Russian citizens will suffer as a result of the Russian invasion through the increased cost of international products, through sanctions covering every possible sector.
Emmanuel Macron called Putin’s offensive maneuver a “refusal” of diplomacy, calling for European unity against the “ghosts of the past.”
“By denying his word, by refusing the diplomatic route, by choosing war, President Putin has not only attacked Ukraine. It has decided to strike the most serious attack on peace and stability in our Europe14.”
“In these troubled hours when the ghosts of the past are reborn, when manipulations will be numerous, let us not give up anything of our unity15.”
Germany spoke on behalf of the international community calling this as a “day of shame.” Vowing to respond alongside other European nations in solidarity to Ukraine.
Außenministerin Annalena Baerbock
“By attacking the #Ukraine, #Russland is breaking with the most elementary rules of the international order. The international community will not forget Russia this day of shame. We will respond together with our partners. All our solidarity goes to Ukraine16.”
Germany’s Foreign Office
“In the #Ukraine, combat operations & missile attacks take place. German citizens are urged to leave the country. If you cannot leave the country in a safe way, stay in a protected place for the time being17.”
“Today we are waking up in a different #Europe, in a different world. With the military attack on #Ukraine, the Russian government is breaking the most fundamental rules of the international order, right in front of the eyes of the world. - Foreign Minister @ABaerbock”
“We strongly condemn Russia's military attack on Ukraine. It is a serious breach of international law. The #G7 are determined to maintain peace and stability18. Declaration: https://www.g7germany.de/g7-en”
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs cited numerous arrests of peaceful protesters, and media restrictions on Russian journalists, demanding the right to free speech and the right to assemble. Speaking for Switzerland, the Department condemned the attacks, stating concerns for Ukrainian civilians.
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
“Switzerland condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. We urge Russia to immediately cease military aggression and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. This is a gross violation of international law. International humanitarian law must be respected. We are very concerned about the danger to innocent civilians.19”
“Switzerland is concerned about reports of numerous arrests of peaceful protestors in relation with Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and calls on the Russian Federation to ensure the right to freedom of assembly. We further share the concerns of the OSCE Media Freedom Representative regarding serious restrictions on Russian media reporting on the armed conflict. The freedom of media needs to be equally respected20.”
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson21 announced the country stood in solidarity with Ukraine. PM Andersson showed her support voicing strong condemnation of Russia’s invasion. The Swedish Prime Minister also cited the need for what she referred to as “massive EU sanctions” on Russia.
“Spoke to Ukrainian President @ZelenskyyUa to express full solidarity with Ukraine and strong condemnation of Russia’s invasion and flagrant violation of international law. We agreed on need for massive EU sanctions on Russia and increased support for Ukraine in this dark hour22.”
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö also responded with his committed Nordic Unity, condemning Russia’s invasion. Niinistö vowed to increase support to Ukraine, at all costs. President Niinistö also allocated fifty-million dollars contribution to Ukraine in an effort to fight back against Russia. The Ukrainian President publicly acknowledged his generous contribution via Twitter, thanking him for his support.
“I strongly condemn the military measures Russia has started in Ukraine. Russia's acts target Ukraine, but at the same time they are an attack on the entire European security order. We feel deep compassion towards Ukraine and are seeking ways to increase our support to Ukraine25.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave thanks to Sauli Niinistö for his contribution of fifty-million dollars to their war efforts.
“Discussed with @niinisto countering the aggressor. Informed about our defense, insidious shelling of Kyiv. Grateful to 🇫🇮 for allocating $50 million aid. It’s an effective contribution to the anti-war coalition. We keep working. We need to increase sanctions & 🇺🇦 defense support26”
Norway’s Prime Minister stated the attack weas a serious violation of international law, and put the lives of innocent people at risk. Norway, he stated stood with Europe during what Jonas Gahr Støre referred to as “the most serious time in Europe’s history.”
Jonas Gahr Støre - Prime minister
@jonasgahrstore “Today I have met with good allies in Northern Europe – the Baltics, the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. Now ready for a NATO summit. It is important to show unity and strength in the security policy crisis we are in27.”
“Norway condemns Russia's military attacks on Ukraine. The attack is a serious violation of international law and puts the lives of innocent people at risk. Norway stands with allies and Europeans at this most serious moment in Europe's history28.”
Lithuania’s Interior Minister announced the country’s support, standing with Ukraine. They stated that together with Moldova, they were preparing to provide support to Ukraine.
Agnė Bilotaitė - Lithuania’s Interior Minister
“Today I spoke with Ana Revenco, Minister of Internal Affairs of #Moldova. I assured her that #Lithuania stands together with Moldova and is ready to provide support and experience in #migration management. #StandWithUkraine29”
“In this dark hour, we stand with #Ukraine. In the meeting with ambassador @Petro_Beshta I assured him that we are ready to provide all the support needed and we will welcome the Ukrainian refugees as brothers and sisters. #StandForUkraine30”
Maia Sandu - Minister of Internal Affairs
“Spoke with @EU_Commission President @vonderleyen ahead of the #EUCO about the impact of the military aggression against #Ukraine, the long-term impact on the region, and 🇪🇺's assistance to 🇲🇩 in handling it. Grateful for #EU’s support31.”
Official Twitter of Israel
“In light of the security situation, we call on all Israeli citizens to depart Ukraine immediately for countries to the west. Our diplomats and personnel are working 24/7 to help Israelis and their families in Ukraine32.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus
“Anatoly #Glaz: We reaffirm our commitment to make every effort to bring back peace to Ukraine, to stop the bloodshed between the fraternal Slavic peoples. Belarus has always pushed for using diplomatic means and negotiations to address any issues33”
“‘The Belarusian army is not taking part in the Russian special operation in the Donbass’- Aleksandr Lukashenko34”
PM Frederiksen - Prime Minister’s Office
“A military attack on a free and sovereign nation has no place in Europe in our time. Russia's actions are completely unacceptable. We will stand united, there will be consequences. My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.35”
“PM Frederiksen: “Just spoke with @ZelenskyyUa and reaffirmed Denmark’s full support. He and the Ukrainian people are fighting for their country, their lives, and their freedom. We stand with him and all of Ukraine36”
Balázs Orbán - Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office
“PM Orbán on @EUCouncil joined other EU MSs condemning the Russian military actions and adopting EU sanctions. EU leaders underlined dialogue and agreed to provide financial assistance to assure UA’s stability. They as well emphasised the protection of the Eastern borders.37”
“PM Orbán after the NatSec Operational Corps: HU together with EU and NATO allies condemns the Russian military actions. HU’s safety is #1 priority, so we won’t send soldiers or weapons to UA but are ready to give humanitarian help especially in case of UA people seeking refuge38.”
NATO Secretary General
“Spoke with President Sauli @niinisto on #Russia's attack on #Ukraine. At our #NATO Summit tomorrow our close partners #Finland, #Sweden & the #EU will join us to address the greatest crisis for European security in a generation39.”
“Spoke with PM @MarkRutte of the #Netherlands on #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine. Despite our tireless efforts to pursue diplomacy, Moscow has chosen the path of war. I have convened a Summit with Allied leaders tomorrow to discuss our next steps40.”
“Joined G7 Leaders' meeting on #Russia's brutal attack on #Ukraine. #NATO is part of a united international response. We say with one voice that democracy will prevail over autocracy. Freedom will prevail over oppression41.”
The United Kingdom
“I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps. President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The UK and our allies will respond decisively42.”
“To our Ukrainian friends in this moment of agony, we are with you and we are on your side. Your right to choose your own destiny is a right that the United Kingdom and our allies will always defend. Slava Ukraini43”
“Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom and democracy and the right to choose its own destiny. We – and the world – cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out. We cannot and will not just look away44.”
“Russia’s actions are an affront to the democratic principles that generations of Canadians have fought to protect. We must make sure the Ukrainian people – like all people – are free to determine their own future, and we must stand firmly against authoritarianism.45”
“We’re imposing new and severe sanctions on those responsible for Russia’s brutal, unjustified attack on Ukraine. These sanctions will target banks, financial elites, and members of the Russian Security Council — including the Defence, Finance, and Justice Ministers46.”
Mélanie Joly - Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Russia is solely responsible for this crisis and their actions will not go unpunished. Canada has one of the strongest sanctions package being imposed today, and together with our Allies, we are imposing severe costs to the Russian regime and the Russian economy47.”
The United States of America
President Biden made stern remarks regarding Putin’s advancement on Ukraine. These words comes after Biden handed over the Pipeline Nord Stream 2 in May 2021, waiving sanctions to Putin. Conversely, the President announcing a Green initiative, executed the shutdown of Keystone XL Pipeline in June contributing to the extreme inflation experienced throughout America.
U.S. President Biden
“Today, I am authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This will impose severe costs on the Russian economy — both immediately and over time48.”
“With today’s actions, we have now sanctioned Russian banks that hold around $1 trillion in assets. We cut off Russia’s largest bank — and we are also fully blocking four more major banks. That means every asset they have in America will be frozen49.”
“As promised, we’re also adding names to the list of Russian elites and their family members that we are sanctioning. These are people who personally gain from the Kremlin’s policies — and they should share in the pain50.”
“On Tuesday, we stopped the Russian government from raising money from U.S. or European investors. Now, we will apply the same restriction to Russia's largest state-owned enterprises — companies with estimated assets of $1.4 trillion51.”
“Some of the most powerful impacts of our actions will come over time as we squeeze Russia’s access to finance and technology for strategic sectors of its economy. Along with our Allies and partners, we estimate we will cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports52.”
“It will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It will degrade their aerospace industry. It will hurt their ability to build ships. It will be a major hit to Putin’s long-term strategic ambitions. And we are prepared to do more53.”
“President Zelenskyy reached out to me tonight and we just finished speaking. I condemned this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. I briefed him on the steps we are taking to rally international condemnation, including tonight at the UN Security Council.54”
The Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s official Twitter shared an image of Hitler approving of Putin’s invasion, showing Putin as proud the have Hitler’s support and blessing55. This controversial image comparing Putin to Hitler followed with an official statement stating, “This is not a ‘meme’, but our and your reality right now.56”
The Influence of China
“Two evil ghosts are aiming at the target57” one Twitter user wrote. Describing both Russia and China’s perspective on their claimed territories.
As Russia continues to attack Ukraine, many European nations have banded together to come forward in Ukraine’s defense. Putin seeks to conquer the entire nation, sparing no expense, bringing apparent evidence that this has been in strategic coordination for quite some time. Will sanctions be enough to combat the radioactive fallout, and the dangers of waging war on a battlefield shared with live nuclear reactors?
Will the invasion of Ukraine, and the threat of nuclear war trigger other countries to respond in defense of Ukraine? Could an international response to this battle between Russia and Ukraine be the start of a third World War?
As Xi Jinping watches the global response to the invasion of Ukraine, he is able to gain a better understanding into the modern global response to an invasion of claimed territories. Xi Jinping may have known in advance about these attacks, and Putin’s plans for a full-scale invasion. Putin even coordinated his troops for the attack to proceed the conclusion of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. How will this invasion play a role in the influence of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) invasion of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet, in an attempt to gain the semiconductor manufacturing, and natural resources? What has Putin’s actions revealed to nefarious dictators in the face of global criticism?