Russia has ‘rotated and replaced’ Chernobyl hostages: Report

Fox News reports that Russian troops have allowed those that they kept hostage at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine to be swapped out.  

In other words, the Russians have allowed the first group of hostages to go home. Now, the Russian troops are holding a different group of Chernobyl workers hostage.

The latest

This development was first reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The group obtained the intel from Ukrainian officials.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi is reported as stating that Ukrainian officials informed him on Sunday “that around half of the staff at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had finally been able to rotate and return to their homes”

Ukraine is said to have confirmed the hostage swap.

“It is a positive – albeit long overdue – development that some staff at the Chornobyl NPP have now rotated and returned to their families,” Grossi said. “They deserve our full respect and admiration for having worked in these extremely difficult circumstances.”

“They were there for far too long,” he added. “I sincerely hope that remaining staff from this shift can also rotate soon.”

Background

Russian troops took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine at the start of its invasion on Feb. 24. In the process, the Russians took a group of Chernobyl workers hostage.

Over the past four weeks, as Russia’s invasion has continued, this same group of Chernobyl workers operated the site, never being allowed to return home. They stayed on site from the day before the invasion until now, reportedly.

Chernobyl is the site of the infamous nuclear accident that occurred in 1986. It was the worst nuclear disaster that the world has ever seen. The purpose of the staff is to oversee radioactive waste management.

Ukraine has a number of nuclear facilities, and there have been concerns about another nuclear disaster resulting from Russia’s invasion. There was a close call at Zaporizhzhya, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, when a fire broke out as Russian and Ukrainian troops in the vicinity engaged.

Thus far, nuclear disaster has been averted. The IAEA has attempted to take steps to ensure that things remain this way.