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Chernobyl Staffers Being Held ‘Hostage,’ Psaki Tells Reporters

Earlier Thursday, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine had lost control of the Chernobyl site
Chernobyl nuclear power station's reactor 4, which exploded. (iStock)
Chernobyl nuclear power station’s reactor 4, which exploded. (iStock)

Staffers at the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear site in northern Ukraine were being held “hostage” by invading Russian soldiers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.

“We are outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facilities hostage,” Psaki said, according to Britain’s BBC.

“This unlawful and dangerous hostage-taking, which could upend the routine civil service efforts required to maintain and protect the nuclear waste facilities, is obviously incredibly alarming and gravely concerning,” Psaki continued.

“We condemn it and we request their release.”

It was not immediately clear how many people were being held captive.

Psaki’s comments came after Alyona Shevtsova, an adviser to Ukraine’s Ground Forces, wrote on Facebook that Chernobyl staffers were being held captive, The Times of Israel reported.

Earlier Thursday, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine had lost control of the Chernobyl site, which was the location of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

“After the absolutely senseless attack of the Russians in this direction, it is impossible to say that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe,” he said.

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