What the only camera in Chernobyl recorded that the Russians did not notice

The Associated Press agency released an archive of videos taken at the checkpoint at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant at the end of February 2022. As the agency notes, this is one of the rare video recordings of the actions of the Russian army in the first days of the war.

The video was made by a commercial company that organizes tours in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Its owner, Jarosław Jemelianienko, set up a camera in front of his office near the checkpoint a few months before the war, where he sold souvenirs and postcards. The Russian army, after taking the area, turned off all the government surveillance cameras, but the cameras of Yemelianienka were not noticed.

The camera continued to work for a few days after the invasion – until its batteries were exhausted. It recorded the movements of Russian equipment at a checkpoint.

The signal from the camera was sent to Yemeliana’s computer in his office in Kiev, which immediately reported the presence of the recording to the Ukrainian authorities. For several days, Jemelianienko and his staff sat in front of the monitors and counted the number of military vehicles passing under the cameras.

As Jemelianienko himself said, it was a “psychologically difficult” job. – On the one hand, we read assurances in the news that no one will enter Kiev. On the other hand, we were still counting the amount of Russian military equipment – he said.

Russian troops seized Chernobyl and the nuclear power plant until the end of the first day of the war. At the end of March, they began to leave the factory premises – after the decision to “drastically limit” the operations of Russian troops around Kiev.

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