Chilling Chernobyl pics show destruction left behind by Russian forces after capturing nuke plant in Ukraine invasion

SHOCKING pictures reveal the chaos left behind by Russian troops at the Chernobyl nuclear site as they trashed the area before retreating.

In a total disregard for safety regulations at the highly radioactive site, soldiers left live electrical wiring uncovered, broke windows and left stacks of litter strewn over floors and worktops.

Putin's troops also graffitied walls with taunting messages toward Ukrainian defenders.

Chernobyl is considered one of the most radioactive places on earth after the deadly nuclear disaster in 1986.

Russian troops took control of the site after they seized it in the early days of the invasion, sparking fears of a major radioactive disaster as a result of heavy fighting around the plant.

The careless soldiers dug trenches in the highly toxic Red Forest zone, just a few miles west of the plant, butretreated as part of a pull-out from around the capital Kyiv at the start of April.

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Images showed trenches dug by Russian soldiers at Chernobyl, with dozens said to have been struck down with acute radiation sickness and taken via busses across the border to nearby Belarus for treatment.

Since Russian troops pulled out of the site, this is thought to be the first time photographers have had full access to its lads and offices following the capture.

Despite no longer being a working power station, nuke experts still work there to safeguard radioactive waste stored there.

Russian soldiers stormed the plant as the war broke out – keeping the 170 Ukrainian defenders holed up there in the basement while making tech staff work as they tried to implement a new regime.

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Putin filed in teams from a Russian nuke energy agency, but little regard was shown for safety rules.

It emerged one soldier allegedly grabbed radioactive material with his bare hands.

Valeriy Simyonov, the site's chief safety engineer, says the Russian henchman wasn't wearing gloves when he handled the radioactive isotope cobalt-60.

In just a few seconds he exposed himself to so much radiation that it went off the scales of the Geiger counter, the Telegraph reported.

It is not known what happened to the solider after touching the material which brings risk of deadly health issues including cancer, years later.

Electrical supervisor Oleksiy Shelestiy told how he feared Russia soldiers would drive Ukrainian defenders to cause an accident as they were barred from going home and became exhausted.

Speaking to the AFP news agency this week, he said: "It was mentally and emotionally difficult.

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"[But] emotional and psychological pressure did not allow me to focus on this.

"We just tried to do our job and tried to control all the parameters so that nothing could happen."

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