Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strilets, together with Oleh Bondarenko, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and Yevhen Kramarenko, Chairman of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, paid tribute to the victims by laying flowers at the Wall of Remembrance at the Chornobyl NPP, where 31 names are inscribed, and at the monument "To Those Who Saved the World" in the city of Chornobyl.
Exactly 37 years ago, the world was shaken by the largest man-made disaster of the twentieth century - the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
In 2022, russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine once again threatened the world's nuclear safety. Ukraine accepted this difficult challenge and courageously resisted the russian aggressor during 35 days of occupation of the Exclusion Zone.
The russian invaders not only looted the Chornobyl NPP, abused people, destroyed precious property, but also held the entire continent hostage, because one wrong move and the fateful year of 1986 would have repeated in the new millennium with only more severe consequences.
"Today, thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Chornobyl NPP, free from occupation, continues to operate not in spite of, but for the sake of. Measures are being taken to operate ChNPP units, build a radioactive waste complex, conduct research and implement international cooperation projects. Chornobyl is also a place with a rich and important nature reserve fund and a place of enhanced fire safety. And it is the firefighting area at the Chornobyl NPP that suffered the most from the occupation, but the equipment was updated with international support," said Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, during his visit to the Chornobyl zone.
According to the Minister, Ukraine has a separate Exclusion Zone Restoration Plan, which includes 10 areas and 40 projects. Funding for these projects in 2023 is about EUR 15 million.
The Minister expressed his respect and gratitude to all those who saved human lives from the peaceful atom in 1986 at the cost of their own lives and health, as well as to those who heroically defended the Exclusion Zone from the racist invasion in 2022.