Radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv hit by airstrike, Ukraine officials say

Russian bombs struck a radioactive waste burial facility near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, overnight, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said on Sunday morning.

In a post published to its official Facebook page, the organization wrote: “At [1.20 a.m.] Kyiv time as a result of the mass bombing of Kyiv with all types of anti-aircraft and missile weapons available to the Russian Federation, the missiles hit the radioactive waste disposal site of the Kyiv branch of the State Specialized Enterprise ‘Radon.’”

The organization stressed that there was no threat of radiation to people outside of the protection zone that surrounds the burial site.

All employees have remained in a shelter due “to the ongoing mass [shelling].” The agency added that the automated radiation monitoring system failed, but the missiles had been caught by surveillance cameras.

The extent of the radiation will be assessed by portable devices as soon as the bombing has finished, the agency said. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A plume of smoke and flames is seen in the distance.
A burning oil depot that was reportedly hit by shelling near the military airbase Vasylkiv in Ukraine. (Maksim Levin/Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it had been a "difficult night" following a Russian strike against civilian infrastructures.

Major attacks overnight included an assault on Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. Ukraine accused Russian troops of blowing up a natural gas pipeline there.

An oil depot in Vasylkiv, a city near the capital, was also set ablaze after an apparent missile strike. Authorities in Kyiv warned civilians to stay indoors and keep windows shut after the explosion caused toxic fumes. The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine said that the transmission of natural gas was continuing “normally” despite the Kharkiv pipeline explosion. Ukraine is one of the major transmission routes that brings gas from Russia to Europe.

Continuing into its fourth day, the Russian invasion has taken more than 200 Ukrainian civilians' lives, a defense official said. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country’s nuclear arsenal had been put on alert in response to sanctions against the country. "Western countries are not only taking unfriendly economic actions against our country. Leaders of NATO countries are making aggressive statements against us," Putin said on Sunday. He went on to say that he had ordered the Kremlin’s nuclear deterrence “on a special regime of duty.”