Russian troops are hauling radiation from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to Russian and Belarusian military bases. This is the conclusion based from the actions the remnants of the Russian army during the last 24 hours.
Since March, the Belarusian media repeatedly reported the fact that the Russian soldiers deployed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are regularly arriving to the Belarusian Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Radiation Medicine and Human Ecology based in the city of Gomel.
Another “fresh” batch of overexposed servicemen (7 “PAZ” passenger buses) arrived at the Gomel radiation center on March 30.
The Russian army invaded the Exclusion Zone and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the first day of war, February 24. On the very next day, the Ukrainian side recorded a local increase in radiation exposure. This probably happened due to the movement of heavy machinery, causing clouds of radioactive dust to float up into the air. By the evening of February 25, the access to the radiation sensors was lost.
Afterwards, footage appears online showing Russian troops digging around the “redwood forest,” a burial site for trees that had absorbed maximum doses of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl accident. This site is considered one of the most contaminated in the Exclusion Zone. By performing “ground activities” there, the occupation troops not only receive strong gamma radiation, but also contamination by alpha- and beta-particles.
Such particles are most harmful to health when absorbed through the respiratory tract or esophagus. Immediate radiation exposures exceeding exposure thresholds can disrupt tissue and/or organ function and may provoke acute reactions such as skin redness, gastric distress, vomiting, hair loss, or radiation burns. All of these could indicate a radiation sickness developing symptoms among the victims. Such symptoms probably occurred among the soldiers who were hospitalized at the Gomel center on March 30.
Exposure to a lower dose of radiation does not have an immediate effect, but leads to long-term health effects such as a cancer that could occur years or even decades later.
Importantly, the radioactive nuclides that enter the body remain permanently in the body and lead to a accumulation within the bones and muscles. As long as the Russian army remains entrenched in the Exclusion Zone, the more drastic the consequences its soldiers will face.
Moreover, during the first month of the war, Russian army units permanently stayed in the Exclusion Zone, using it as a provisional military base. The entire military equipment, which reached several hundreds units during the month, stayed for a long time on the territory with the highest contamination level and passed dozens of kilometers off-road in places where no vehicles were permitted to move for the last 30 years.
The withdrawal of Russian Federation troops has thus turned to hauling radiation from Chernobyl to Russian and Belarusian military bases. Most likely the relocation site for the contaminated equipment transferred from Ukraine was the “Veselaya Lopan” military base near the city of Belgorod. And radiation is currently being taken to Belgorod.
This particular case seems to be the biggest precedent since 1986 for the radiation spreading outside the Exclusion Zone. Later, soldiers of the Russian Federation and Belarus will be exposed to radiation while staying inside or near contaminated military equipment. For the Russian army, this machinery will forever remain “cursed” because washing it off or in any other means neutralizing the radiation exposure is not possible.