A 600-hour shift at Chornobyl


Chornobyl nuclear power plant engineer, Liudmyla Kozak, has described to Reuters how what was supposed to have been a 12-hour work shift turned into 600 hours after Russian invading forces took over the site on February 24.

While no Chornobyl plant workers were beaten up or harmed, Kozak said, they remained obedient to commands, fearing that angering the Russians might provoke greater conflict. 

Kozak described the Russian soldiers as using the Chornobyl plant as a staging site for forays into Kyiv, where “they did some shooting,” then returned to Chornobyl to eat and bathe.

“They captured us, then let us return to our work stations after long negotiations,” Kozak told Reuters. “They said we could work, that no one would bother us.”

Kozak, whose account could not be independently verified by Reuters, eventually got a shift change after 600 hours on the job and returned to the worker town of Slavutych where she lives, before Russian troops finally departed Chornobyl at the end of March. Read more.

Headline photo of Slavutych tribute to Chornobyl workers/United Nations Development Programme/Creative Commons

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