RADIATION in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone has exceeded control levels after Russian troops stormed the area, Ukraine has warned.
Putin's men seized control of the historical site on Thursday, with the conditions of the nuclear storage facilities "unknown" at the time.
But data from the automated radiation monitoring system of the exclusion zone now suggests the control levels of gamma radiation dose rate have surpassed safe levels.
Ukraine's State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate blamed the spike on a "disturbance" caused by Russian forces rolling through.
They said the "large amount of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone" had unsettled the topsoil at the sensitive site.
Officials warned it had resulted in "the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air", but said the rise was so far "insignificant".
It comes as:
- Thirteen Ukrainian soldiers bravely told a Russian warship to "go f*** yourselves" before they were brutally massacred
- A hero dad was pictured sobbing as he sends his young daughter to a safe zone and prepares to defend his country
- Ukrainian troops have recaptured Kyiv airport in a blow to Russia
- At least 1,500 brave Russians have been arrested amid anti-war protests in St Petersburg, Moscow and 42 other cities
- Putin's hit squads are hunting Ukraine's president
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry blast the fanatic president
The country's interior ministry said it is currently "not critical" for Kyiv, which is situated around 20 miles away from the disaster area.
It comes amid earlier fears a direct hit on waste stores could spread a radioactive dust cloud over the whole of Europe.
But they warned they were keeping a close eye on the increase as the conflict continues.
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The statement added that it is "currently impossible to establish the reasons for the change in the radiation background in the exclusion zone because of the occupation and military fight in this territory."
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov insisted levels remained normal.
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He said airborne troops were protecting the plant to prevent any possible "provocations."
It comes just after Ukraine claimed Russian forces had taken workers at the former nuclear power plant hostage after a "fierce" battle.
The President's Office fear their foes may be preparing to provoke the nuclear power plant or "use the damage received during the attack to blame Ukraine."
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry chillingly said the Russian attack "may cause another ecological disaster".
Chernobyl "can happen again in 2022" if the war continues, it said.
The April 1986 reactor explosion and fire killed at least 31 and spewed a huge cloud of radioactive particles into the air.
It blew across Europe and rained down over thousands of square miles.
The Chernobyl site is still protected by a large exclusion zone where people can only visit for short periods to avoid high doses of radiation.
Last month Ukraine sent reinforcements to the area over fears the defunct nuclear plant could be targeted by Putin.
Jack Keane, a former chief of the US Army staff, said Chernobyl "doesn't have any military significance", but is based on the shortest route from Belarus to Kyiv.
It is feared the siege was orchestrated as part of Putin's plans to seize the capital as part of his "decapitation" strategy to take over.
US intelligence now fears Putin could topple Kyiv in just 96 hours.
Eerie footage from Thursday showed triumphant Russian soldiers standing guard in front of the reactor in tanks and armored vehicles.
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced they were following the unfolding events with "grave concern".
They urged the warring nations to avoid any actions that could put any of Ukraine's nuclear facilities at risk.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Myhailo Podolyak said: "After the absolutely senseless attack of the Russians in this direction, it is impossible to say that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe."
An estimate of 190,000 Russian troops have been deployed in and around Ukraine as the invasion began in the early hours of Thursday.
But Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Kremlin "hasn't taken any of its major objectives" after facing much fiercer resistance than expected.
Ukraine claims it has killed or captured 800 troops, destroyed 30 tanks, and shot down seven warplanes as its forces launched a bloody resistance against the Russians.
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