On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Lead," correspondent Matthew Chance explained the likely reason why Russian forces are moving on the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant — the location of the worst civilian nuclear disaster in history.
"Do we have any idea why Russia might want control of Chernobyl?" asked anchor Jake Tapper. "Is it just another piece of territory, or is there something more to it than that?"
"I've been thinking about that a little bit and it's difficult to say. But the obvious answer is the geographical location of it," said Chance. "It's not far from Kyiv, but it's also on the border of Belarus, so it's a bit of open territory which even though it's contaminated terribly of course still with radioactive material, it is territory that gives access to Ukraine from the north, from Belarus. There was also a lot of speculation in the Russian media particularly before this invasion happened that Chernobyl could be a potentially dangerous place where an ecological disaster could be sparked."
"Ukrainians have been expressing their concern about that as well," continued Chance. "That's why I said it was so terrifying that it's a potentially dangerous military confrontation around that nuclear reactor, which is currently housed in a sarcophagus made out of concrete to try to limit any further damage that could be caused by it. Of course, if it does become the focus of a strong military confrontation between these two armies, that could kick up all sorts of horrific radioactive material and, you know, cause that massive catastrophe to repeat itself all over again. I think probably it's fair to say neither side wants that."
Matthew Chance explains why Russia is seizing the Chernobyl site www.youtube.com