Russia Seizes Chernobyl, Putin Offers Surrender Terms

by | Feb 24, 2022

After launching a military incursion into Ukraine early Thursday morning, Russian forces have reportedly bombed targets across the country and are even believed to have captured the infamous Chernobyl nuclear site.

Though conflicting reports continue to abound amid a chaotic situation on the ground, the Pentagon claims Ukraine was hit with a barrage of more than 160 missiles and that Russian infantry have pushed further west toward the capital city of Kiev. 

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 people had been killed and 316 wounded so far in the attack – including both civilians and combatants – though those figures have yet to be independently verified. A number of media outlets continue to simply report casualties in the “dozens.” 

The Ukrainian military claims to have had some successes, saying it destroyed four Russian tanks, killed 50 troops and downed six warplanes. Moscow rejects those claims, though has acknowledged one Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet crashed due to “pilot error,” as well as another “hardware malfunction” that downed a military cargo plane, killing its entire crew.

While Kiev has described Russia’s intervention as a “full-scale invasion,” it remains unclear how far the military has pushed into Ukraine. A CNN reporter said he was standing near Russian soldiers just 15 miles from Kiev, while in northern Ukraine, Russian forces are believed to have captured the Chernobyl nuclear site, as well as parts of the Kherson region far in the south. 

On Thursday (Friday Russia time), Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov offered terms of surrender to Ukraine’s leaders, saying they must accept “neutral status” in regards to NATO membership and refuse to “deploy weapons.” 

In a national address later in the day, President Zelenskyy said he is “not afraid to talk with Russia… about everything,” including “security guarantees,” but added: “We are not in NATO now – what security guarantees will we have? Which countries will give them?”

Though the president castigated Ukraine’s western allies for refusing to come to its defense, accusing them of being “afraid,” he ultimately called for negotiations and a “ceasefire” that might bring an “end of this invasion.”

Meanwhile, not all Russians are happy with their government’s decision to invade their neighbor to the west, and protests have broken out in cities across Russia, including the capital of Moscow. Authorities have responded with crackdowns, arresting at least 600 protesters – in some cases invoking powers derived from local Covid restrictions. Thousands reportedly took part in the anti-war demonstrations.

About Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of and news editor of the Libertarian Institute. Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer and editor at RT. Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter host Conflicts of Interest along with Connor Freeman.

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