The Area Is Considered So Highly Contaminated And Toxic That Even The Nuclear Plant Workers Are Not Allowed To Go There

The Area Is Considered So Highly Contaminated And Toxic That Even The Nuclear Plant Workers Are Not Allowed To Go There

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3 hr 20 min agoVideo shows Russian forces dug trenches in highly radioactive off-limits area near ChernobylFrom CNN’s Jonny Hallam in Atlanta

A still from the video shows abandoned Russian military positions in a highly radioactive area near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. (Ukraine Army/Energoatom)Abandoned Russian military positions in a highly radioactive area of the exclusion zone near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant can be seen in drone video released Wednesday by Ukrainian authorities.

The video — filmed by the Ukrainian military and released on Telegram by Energoatom, the state-owned operator of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants — shows vacant pits and trenches of abandoned military fortifications in an area known as the Red Forest.  

According to Reuters, the Red Forest got its name when dozens of square kilometers of pine trees turned red after absorbing radiation from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl — the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Tank tracks and heavily disturbed ground can also be seen in the forest — considered the most polluted area in the entire Chernobyl exclusion zone — and off limits to anyone who does not work there or have special permission.

Radiation dangers: Last Friday, Energoatom said it was unclear what Russian troops were doing in the Red Forest and it is possible they could have received significant radiation exposure when digging or entrenching there. 

Thick radioactive dust kicked up by heavy Russian vehicles could have been inhaled by the troops, who were not wearing anti-radiation protective equipment, plant workers said.

Chernobyl fell into the hands of Russian troops in the first week of the war in Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian troops announced their intention to leave and handed over control to Ukrainian personnel. The plant is now back under the control of Ukrainian authorities.

5 hr 29 min agoMariupol mayor says 40% of city’s destroyed infrastructure is no longer recoverableFrom CNN’s Mariya Knight and Hira Humayun

An aerial view shows destroyed residential buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 3. (Pavel Klimov/Reuters)In a roundtable on Wednesday, Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko called for stronger sanctions against Russia and said Russia’s war crimes be recorded by international institutions.

He said more than 90% of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed by Russia and that at least 40% of that is “no longer recoverable.”

The Mariupol city council shared a transcript of Boychenko’s remarks at the roundtable, in which the mayor said the city council has set up a commission to “record the instances of destruction of communal and private property” and that the council has so far recorded 300 such instances.

Boychenko said, “According to preliminary estimates alone, 5,000 people died in Mariupol during the month of the blockade, of which about 210 were children.”He added, “Russian terrorist forces dropped several heavy bombs on a children’s hospital and destroyed one of the buildings of the city hospital No.1. Almost 50 people were burned alive.”

“The Drama Theater was bombed, where more than 900 people were hiding from the shelling at the time. These are just a few examples of the deliberate destruction of the civilian population of Mariupol, ” Boychenko added

6 hr 32 min agoUSAID helps deliver 5,000 of SpaceX’s satellite internet service terminals to UkraineFrom CNN’s Kristin Fisher

A SpaceX Starlink internet terminal is seen in Odesa on March 15. (Nina Lyashonok/Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Getty Images)The US government is helping Elon Musk’s SpaceX fund and ship thousands of satellite internet terminals to the Ukrainian government, a potential safeguard in the event Russia disrupts the country’s communication infrastructure.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Tuesday it has delivered 5,000 Starlink terminals to the government of Ukraine.

Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite internet service which allows users in remote or war-torn regions of the world to access the internet at broadband speeds with terminals or antennas that look similar to a small TV dish. 

“The Starlink satellite terminals will enable unlimited, unthrottled data connectivity from anywhere in Ukraine,” according to a statement from the USAID. “The terminals will allow public officials and critical citizen service providers to continue to communicate within Ukraine and with the outside world, even if Putin’s brutal aggression severs Ukraine’s fiber optic or cellular communication infrastructure connections.”When Russia invaded in February, Elon Musk activated Starlink service for the first time over Ukraine and announced on Twitter that “more terminals en route.” 

At the time, Musk was responding to a plea from Ukraine’s vice prime minister amid fears the country internet access would go dark as Russia continued its invasion. It’s unclear how many Starlink terminals SpaceX delivered to Ukraine before the USAID got involved. 

SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites since May 2019, with plans to launch around 42,000 more over the next several years.

7 hr 48 min agoWhite House press secretary says “we should be under no illusion” that Russia’s objective has changedFrom CNN’s Sam Fossum

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki predicted Wednesday that there will be more scenes of carnage like Bucha and noted that no one should be under the illusion that the Kremlin’s goals have changed, despite the retreat of Russian forces from Northern Ukraine.  

“Their goal remains weakening Ukraine as much as possible. And we should be under no illusion that that objective hasn’t changed even as their tactics have changed,” Psaki told CNN’s MJ Lee at the White House on Wednesday. 

Psaki also said that the US sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two recognized adult children, Maria Putina and Katerina Tikhonova, because the government has seen attempts to stash money with them. 

“We’ve seen attempts and efforts to stash assets in the accounts and resources of his children,” Psaki said. 

Psaki also addressed the impacts of US sanctions.

“What we do know is that because of the impact of the economic sanctions, including the ones we have taken today, and steps we’ve taken over the course of time, we have seen an unquestionable, significant impact. on Russia’s economy,” Psaki said. 

She added: “Russia is set to lose its status as a major economy. And our objective is to implement those consequences to make it much more difficult for President Putin to fund the war. And we’re seeing the direct impacts of that already.”

7 hr 58 min agoIt’s just past 11 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to know.From CNN’s Chris Liakos, Matt Egan, Kaitlan Collins, Kath

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