Ukraine’s Prime Minister has confirmed that Chernobyl is now under the control of Russian forces. Denys Shmyhal added that “the state of the former nuclear power plant facilities is unknown,” in which heavy fighting was reported around the sarcophagus.
The Chernobyl meltdown is one of only two nuclear energy accidents rated at seven; which is the maximum rating on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. Although both disasters have since been contained, Russian forces run the risk of destabilizing the stability of the reactor.
Another crisis could soon be coming to a head in the most environmentally vulnerable location within Europe itself. Further disruptions of Chernobyl could cause serious environmental concerns, as well as logistical concerns that cannot be easily be dealt with when facing militaristic threats. Time will tell what will come of the stability of the reactor, and how it will affect the civilians trying to contain a decades-old disaster.