Kyiv: The Russians have captured Chernobyl nuclear power plant, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Thursday.
“It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Russian troops from the direction of Belarus entered an area near the former nuclear power plant Chernobyl earlier on Thursday.
Air raid sirens wailed across Ukraine’s capital Kyiv Thursday as explosions boomed and flashed in cities across the country after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized military action against its western neighbour. Around 40 people are reported to have been killed so far.
President Putin announced the military action early on Thursday morning, after weeks of tense buildup, and attracted widespread condemnation from leaders across the world.
Long lines snaked outside of ATMs, supermarkets and gas stations in cities such as Kyiv and Mariupol as people scrambled to prepare for what was coming.
Residents and communities across the country were gripped with “severe panic” as Russia on Thursday launched what Ukraine said was a “full-scale attack” against its neighbour, with cities bombarded from the air and forces fighting on the ground.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said its first day of the Ukraine invasion was “successful” hours after announcing it had destroyed 74 above-ground military infrastructure facilities, including 11 aerodromes. Ukrainian police said Russia had carried out 203 attacks since the beginning of the day.
World Bank ready to support Ukraine
Meanwhile, the World Bank is horrified by “the shocking violence and loss of life” in Ukraine. On Thursday, in its statement, the World Bank said it is ready to provide immediate financial support to Ukraine amid the present political and military crisis.
“We stand ready to provide immediate support to Ukraine and are preparing options for such support, including fast-disbursing financing. Alongside development partners, the World Bank Group will use all our financing and technical support tools for rapid response,” it said.
David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, in a statement said, “The World Bank Group is horrified by the shocking violence and loss of life as a result of the events unfolding in Ukraine. We are a long-standing partner of Ukraine and stand with its people at this critical moment.”