Russia Chernobyl gaffes from camping in nuclear forest to bare hands death move

Chernobyl power plant workers have revealed the potentially catastrophic blunders made by Russian soldiers.

Vladimir Putin's troops have now retreated from the 1986 radioactive disaster site, leaving land mines in their wake after storming the area on February 24.

The Ukrainians whose job it is to keep Chernobyl safe say they did everything in their power to prevent invading troops causing a "tragedy for humanity" during their occupation.

What the likes of radiation safety supervisor, Oleksandr Lobada could not do however was save every soldier from mindless gaffes including handling chemical waste with their bare hands.

A cook at the station, Natasha Siloshenko, 45, who serves nuclear workers described the army's arrival as a "sea of vehicles.

She told BBC News: “They came in waves through the zone, driving fast toward Kyiv.”

When they arrived, Oleksandr was aggressively quizzed on how everything worked.

He said: "I was scared because the questioning was constant, and sometimes forceful."

Power to the station was dangerously cut off for three days leaving Valeriy Simyonov, the chief safety engineer at Chernobyl, stealing fuel from the Russians to keep the generator running.

His colleague Oleksandr explained: "If we had lost power, it could have been catastrophic. Radioactive material could have been released.

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"The scale of it, you can well imagine. I wasn't scared for my life. I was scared about what would happen if I wasn't there monitoring the plant. I was scared it would be a tragedy for humanity."

Valeriy was baffled at the sight of a soldier from a chemical, biological and nuclear protection unit picking up a source of cobalt-60 at one waste storage site with his bare hands.

The Russian was exposed to more radiation than a Geiger counter could even measure but Valeriy was unaware as to what then happened to the man.

Despite Chernobyl still bearing the evidence of being home to the world's biggest nuclear disaster, the Russian army had no problem rolling through the area with bulldozers and tanks.

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Drone footage released by the Ukrainian military shows soldiers would have exposed themselves to potentially harmful doses of radiation by digging trenches and disturbing toxic waste lingering beneath the surface.

Soldiers reportedly spent several weeks camping in the radioactive forest, the damaging consequence of which may not be felt for years to come, according to international nuclear safety experts.

On their way out of Chernobyl, the Russian army blew up a bridge in the exclusion zone and littered the area with deadly landmines, trip wires and booby traps.

As Ukrainians advanced on the plant they were confused to find looted electronic goods including a washing machine, dumped on the roads Russians fled.

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