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Russian soldiers leave Chernobyl as Putin ‘repositions troops’ in major tactical move | World | News

Pentagon sources said strike forces “walked away from the Chernobyl facility” and headed towards Belarus, having captured the site on February 24 when they first entered Ukraine.

The US believes that Putin did not withdraw his troops but instead redistributed them as his invasion failed to make any significant progress after they faced fierce resistance from Ukraine.

There were initial fears that intense fighting around the plant could trigger another nuclear disaster, reports The Sun, as it still harbors dangerously radioactive materials.

Ukrainian officials lost contact with Chernobyl after Russia took over, but US officials said soldiers were seen “walking away” from the power plant.

They said: “Chernobyl is [an] the area where they [the Russians] began to reposition some of their troops.

“[The Russians are] left, walked away from the Chernobyl facility and moved to Belarus.

“We thought they would leave. I can’t tell you they’re all gone. ”

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Wednesday that many Russian troops around Kyiv were seen heading north toward Belarus.

He said “We don’t know exactly where these troops will go”, but believes that Putin is using the opportunity to resupply and reposition his troops.

READ MORE: Putin humiliated as Russian troops ‘switch sides’ to join

“The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been greatly reduced, which … makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of the Donbas.”

He also claimed that Russia had “practically” destroyed Ukraine’s air force, anti-aircraft defenses and navy.

Russia’s defense ministry says Russia-backed separatists control 93 percent of Luhansk and 54 percent of Donetsk, the territories that make up the Donbas.