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On the 24th (local time), fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces also took place near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The battle here reported the most dangerous moment on the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where an explosion occurred in 1986, has been designated as an 'introduction zone', where the public access is still restricted to this day, and it is being specially managed.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which has been completely shut down since 2000, is located 16 km south of the border with Belarus and about 130 km north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Ukraine's presidential office said it had lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after fighting with Russian forces.

"It is difficult to say that nuclear power plants are safe after a complete indiscriminate attack by Russian forces," the presidential office said in a statement.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the presidential office, told the Associated Press it was unable to confirm the safety status of the nuclear reactors, firewalls and waste storage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: "Our soldiers fought to ensure that the tragedy of the 1986 nuclear disaster does not repeat itself."

A source familiar with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant told the Associated Press that "the radioactive waste repository has been hit by Russian shelling, and radiation levels are rising."

However, an increase in radiation levels was not immediately observed, the AP added.

In Reactor Unit 4, which exploded 36 years ago, immediately after the accident, the concrete protection wall that was hastily placed over the reactor with remaining nuclear fuel and nuclear material was cracked and the risk of collapse increased. From now on, additional firewalls have been put into operation.

A senior US intelligence official explained that the Russian takeover of Chernobyl was intended to advance the capital Kiev.

"An attack on Chernobyl could spread radioactive dust not only to Ukraine and Belarus, but also to EU countries," said Anton Gerashenko, adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister.

The Russian side did not comment on the battle near Chernobyl that day.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement on the same day, expressing serious concerns about the fighting near the nuclear power plant and appealing for maximum restraint in military action.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said, "There have been no reported casualties or damage to the facility so far," he said.

The Chernobyl accident, which occurred on April 26, 1986, was the worst disaster in the world, in which a large amount of radioactive material released took many lives and completely destroyed the ecosystem near the nuclear power plant.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 9,000 people died in the accident.

Belarusians have estimated the death toll from the disaster to be around 115,000, including those who died of cancer due to exposure to radioactive substances.