ADI Roche, the founder and CEO of Chernobyl Children’s International, has expressed concern about the level of radiation discovered in the Ivankiv region following its liberation by the Ukrainian army.
The region, home to the area affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, was besieged by the Russian army in the first few days of the ongoing war, trapping over 300,000 citizens without food, water, or medical supplies.
Chernobyl Children’s International, which is based in Cork and has been a leader in the international response to the Chernobyl disaster, spent the past number of weeks trying to get supplies into the region before it was liberated last week.
“I was very distressed by the message I received from my dear friend and colleague who is based in Ukraine,” said Ms Roche.
“I felt compelled to do everything in my power to get aid into the region. We succeeded in getting the aid delivered, and with the news that the region has now been liberated, it’s just a shard of light amid the ongoing invasion”.
However, Ms Roche said that a large number of people are now at risk after scientists discovered an alarming rise in radiation in the area following the military activity.
Coming out of a bunker after five weeks, world-renowned scientist, Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky, said that the disturbance has led to soaring levels of long-lived radionuclides on the bodies and clothing of children and adults in the Chernobyl area.
Prof Bandazhevsky has called for “an immediate evacuation of the most vulnerable” following reports that Russian troops had dug trenches in the nearby ‘Red Forest’ despite warnings.
The forest is thought to be the most contaminated area in Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone.
“Any disturbance of radioactive material is lethal, as it re-releases radioactivity into the atmosphere, which has now unfortunately been confirmed by Professor Bandazhevsky.”