The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was one of the first key infrastructures seized by the Russian forces during its initial advance to Kyiv on February 24. While they have long evacuated the nuclear plant as they shifted their focus on taking the Donbas region, they left something very disgusting while occupying the facility. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Russian forces left huge piles of excrement in each office of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

That’s a peculiar parting gift, to say the least. The Russian forces were reported to have left huge mounds of defecation in each of the office rooms in the plant for unknown reasons. We’re unsure why they did this, as the power plant had working restrooms. Thus it can only be one thing: The Russian forces were undisciplined slobs who wanted to defecate in each office room of the facility to infuriate the Ukrainians who were going to take back the facility.

“The poop was the icing on the cake,” Deputy Director of the Chernobyl Ecocenter Aleksandr Barsukov said to The Wall Street Journal. Barsukov was one of the employees who worked at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant who returned to the facility to inspect how much damage the Russian forces dealt with the facility. It was later revealed that aside from the excrement, the conference rooms were all vandalized and spraypainted and that their computers were all found to be destroyed and smashed in. Their important files relating to maintaining the power plant had also been tampered with, with the files lying all across the offices.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant satellite image (Maxar via Jack Detsch). Source:
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant satellite image (Maxar via Jack Detsch/Twitter)

Interestingly, the Russian forces took all of the hard drives of all the computers from the facility, which may indicate that they were searching for specific information from the power plant or were just scavenging computer parts to take back home to Russia. These troops had also left some 100 liters of high-quality vodka in the plant, indicating that they had been heavily drinking during their time occupying the plant.

In a separate report by The Washington Post, it was determined that 698 computers were looted from the plant. The list of stolen and damaged belongings from the plant were some 344 vehicles, 1,500 radiation dosimeters, firefighting equipment, and various irreplaceable software. Some of these equipment had trackers in them, with the Ukrainian authorities from the plant determining that their equipment had made it all the way back to Belarus.

“We see that part of it is located on the territory of Belarus, along the border. And part moves around the territory of Belarus — Gomel, Minsk, other places,” Yevhen Kramarenko, director of the exclusion zone, said.

He would add that they lost over $135 million in replacing this damaged equipment, with the custom-made software for the plant being irreplaceable. They also cannot monitor the radiation levels without this equipment.

“Now it is not possible to provide reliable information, whether the equipment is in working condition or not, because there is no software,” he added. “The Russians will not be able to use it because the software is unique, made especially for our devices.”

It is unlikely that the Russians stole this equipment and software for their own usage as they would not know how to operate them. This would point to the conclusion that the Russians just destroyed them for the sake of destroying the plant.

SOFREP reported last February that the Russians took control of Chernobyl as it was the fastest way from Belarus to Kyiv. The non-functional nuclear power plant would then be occupied until early April when the Russian troops were found to have signs of illness as they had been exposed to a large amount of radiation.

How exactly did they wind up getting exposed to radiation? The Russian troops reportedly dug trenches along the forest around the power plant’s exclusion zone, as reported by Ukraine’s state power company, Energoatom. The exclusion zone is a thousand-square-mile area where radiation levels remain high, and public access is almost forbidden. Of all the places they would dig a trench, they selected the exclusion zone.

These troops were probably digging trenches to bolster their defensive positions around the power plant. Their only lapse is that they have been digging trenches in soil that is contaminated with radiation. This reveals that the Russian forces did not do their research on radiation and soil, which should have been a no-brainer since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history.

Russian Troops Leave Chernobyl After Radiation Exposure

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Soon after digging the trenches, the Russian forces would notice that they had the first few signs of illnesses related to radiation exposure. They would then decide to leave the plant to retreat to Belarus. However, it is unlikely the Russians incurred or developed any radiation-related illnesses as the radiation-laden materials would have been buried with new topsoil. The only exception to this is if the Russians dug trenches on “radiation hotspots,” that could have been the source of the symptoms as they could have dug soil from the 1986 nuclear disaster.

“They’re idiots,” Mr. Barsukov said while laughing. “Who digs ditches on the radioactive land? They didn’t know what they were doing!”

Long-time employee Leonid Bohdan was sad as he saw the state of the plant, where he had been working since May 1, 1986. However, he was positive that it could all be repaired.

“We will restore everything. It will all work again,” he said. “But this is as if someone came to your house, saw that everything is well and beautiful, and therefore s—s on your white bed. They are jealous that we can do something.”