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Ukraine state energy company Energoatom said Friday that Russian forces have handed back control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Energoatom claimed the pullout happened after soldiers received “significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches in the forest in the exclusion zone around the closed plant.
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Yevhen Kramarenko, the leader of the agency in charge of the area, confirmed the departure of Russian troops from the Chernobyl plant, but added that “Russians were seen in the exclusion zone this morning,” according to Reuters.
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Energoatom said Thursday that the Russian soldiers were headed toward Ukraine’s border with Belarus and that its forces were also preparing to leave Slavutych, a nearby city where power plant workers live.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.