Russian Forces Seize Chernobyl Nuclear Plant; Kremlin Willing To Talk Kiev's "Terms Of Surrender"


Update(1:49pmET)
: Ukraine's government has confirmed that the Chernobyl power plant site has been seized by Russian forces. "The Prime Minister made the announcement in a televised briefing, saying Russian troops had taken control of the zone and the nuclear power plant," Bloomberg confirms.

"The facility is located about 80 miles (129km) north of Kyiv, several miles south of the Belarus border. Holding Chernobyl would provide Russian troops a staging point that couldn’t be shelled," the report adds, in reference to the potential for dangerous radioactive fallout given the permanent presence of nuclear waste there. Speculation remains that should the site come under direct shelling, there could be nuclear contamination released into the air, potentially impacting other areas in Europe.

Russian state media is in the evening Thursday (local time) citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to say that Moscow is offering Kiev "terms of surrender". Meanwhile...

WESTERN ALLIES SEE KYIV FALLING TO RUSSIAN FORCES WITHIN HOURS

Peskov said: The president formulated his vision of what we would expect from Ukraine in order for the so-called ‘red-line’ problems to be resolved. This is neutral status, and this is a refusal to deploy weapons.

And further:

The operation has its goals – they must be achieved. The president said that all decisions have been made, and the goals will be achieved,” Peskov continued, suggesting that, if Kiev were to agree to meet the demands, the current military attack on Ukraine could be called off.

* * *

Update(10:11amET): The potential is rising for greater fallout from the war across Europe, as intense fighting is being reported centered in the Chernobyl area. Ukrainian authorities are sounding the alarm over potentially disastrous scenarios which could ensue in areas of the Chernobyl containment zone, which includes an expansive region surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant where radioactive contamination is highest, since the April 1986 disaster. Russian troops are reportedly entering the area from Belarus, according to Interfax:

Advisor to Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko said that Russian troops from the territory of Belarus entered the zone of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP).

Gerashchenko stressed that "if a nuclear waste storage facility is destroyed as a result of enemy artillery strikes, then radioactive dust can cover the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and the EU countries!"

Ukraine's President Zelensky has also reportedly sounded the alarm over combat in the containment area:

UKRAINE PRESIDENT SAYS RUSSIAN OCCUPATION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CAPTURE THE CHERNOBYL PLANT

It goes without saying that given the ferocity of Russia's ongoing air and ground campaign, any major incident there could spark broader panic for Europe, and a possible long term negative health impact in parts of Europe.

Meanwhile Russia's air war continues to intensify...

* * *

Now many hours into Russia's attack that started around 5am Kiev time, it's become clear that a full-scale 'shock and awe' type invasion is clearly on - which is not just limited to Donbas in the east. Stunning videos from on the ground show what can be described as an ongoing air war on Kiev and several other cities across the country. Tanks have also been seen speeding across Ukraine's border from Belarus, with widespread reports that Belarusian soldiers are mounting the attack alongside Russian troops.

Russia's military had announced within just a couple hours into the offensive that all of Ukraine's air defense systems have been taken out. A massive Russian aerial presence, including fighter jets and helicopters, has been confirmed over much of the country.

Soon after the initial attack which also included cruise missile launches, which likely came from Russia's Black Sea fleet, Kiev authorities cited "hundreds" of Ukrainians killed, including civilians.

It's believed that much of Ukraine's command and control military infrastructure was targeted and hit in the first wave, also as Ukraine border guards were attack, with some reports of soldiers fleeing the Russian advance. Moscow has declared safe passage for any Ukrainian soldier laying down their arms.

Ukraine's state emergency service has also said a Ukrainian military plane was downed, which killed five people. This as surreal battlefield footage continues to evidence the ferocity of an air war in progress.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday issued comment on the scope and goal of the military objections, citing Putin's aim of the "demilitarization and denazification" of Ukraine.

"Ideally, Ukraine should be liberated, cleansed of Nazis, of pro-Nazi people and ideology," Peskov said, saying that operations would end only once these objectives have been reached. It remains unclear whether this will mean regime change in Kiev, though at this point that scenario is looking more than likely. There were early reports that President Zelensky has been offered safe passage if he leaves Ukraine.

Ukraine national police and emergency services have said there's been fighting throughout the entire country, with Russia conducting over 200 attacks, with severe clashes ongoing in various parts of Ukraine.

President Biden has vowed severe and far-reaching new sanctions, which he said will be announced in an address on Thursday. German chancellor Olaf Scholz and other Western leaders condemned what Scholz called a "reckless act by President Putin," and "terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe."

"There is no justification for any of this -- this is Putin's war," Scholz said at a news conference in Berlin.

The large in scope Russian campaign is now being widely described as Putin's "shock and awe" war - to borrow from America's Iraq War - in the heart of eastern Europe. Bloomberg and others are calling it Europe's worst security crisis since World War II.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

Planet Today

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