Russian troops who have occupied the non-functional Chernobyl nuclear power plant have now left and retreated after obtaining signs of illness. They were allegedly exposed to a significant amount of radiation.

The Russians had control over the nuclear power plant on February 24 as they were trying to establish the quickest route they could take from Belarus to Kyiv in order to capture the city. Earlier reports said that there were no changes in radiation levels following the capture. However, the threat remained that if explosives were to compromise the existing nuclear instruments in the powerplant, it would pose a significant risk to Ukraine and Europe.

It can be remembered that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and spewed radioactive waste across Europe in April 1986. Since then, the reactor that had exploded has been covered by a protective shelter to prevent the radiation from leaking.

The Russian soldiers who were stationed in Chernobyl after they captured it allegedly dug trenches in the forest found in the exclusion zone, according to Ukraine’s state power company, Energoatom. After digging and staying in the area for too long, they have allegedly been exposed to “significant doses” of radiation. According to a report by Reuters, a worker at the plant said that the soldiers “had no idea they were in a radiation zone”; however, this was not independently verified.