The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine had remained unoccupied since 1986 when there was an accident. It happened at the Vladimir Lenin Nuclear Power Plant, and the radioactive fallout covered large parts of Europe. There were deaths, and the exposure to dangerous radiation levels affected hundreds of thousands. The probable attack by Russia on Ukraine has forced the Ukrainians to convert Chernobyl into a place where they can conduct mock drills in case of aggression by Russia.

The revival of the ghost town Chernobyl is now playing host to security forces training for war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny that he has designs on Ukraine. However, there are Russian troops at the border with Belarus. These are in preparation for joint exercises, but satellite imagery shows the Russians nearer to the border with Ukraine. That is hundreds of miles away from the venue of the joint exercises. The United States advised its citizens to travel out of Ukraine because of a possible Russian invasion.

Chernobyl could be a possible entry point for Russia into Ukraine

Officials of the United States and NATO say Russia is gradually increasing its military presence in Belarus. The increase is significant and is a matter of concern. If Russia decides to invade Ukraine, they feel the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone could be an entry point to Kyiv.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the deployment of Russian troops into Belarus is Russia's biggest since the Cold War. He also cautioned that those forces were not too far from Kyiv. National Guard troops are conducting mock drills. These are rehearsals with live ammunition and dummy enemy soldiers represented by plywood cutouts.

Veterans and civilians have joined in large numbers because it would be a fight for survival in case there really is a confrontation. Ukraine has invited the media to record the preparedness of the people. NATO has already sounded the alert about possible cyberattack and sabotage during the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Ukraine admits military buildup of Russia in Belarus is worrying

Denys Monastyrsky is Ukraine's internal affairs minister. While interacting with the media, he said the Chernobyl exercises undertaken by security forces had a purpose. It demonstrates the progress they have made in tactics related to urban combat. It is also an attempt to match the propaganda effort of Moscow. CNN says that officials in Ukraine are trying to play down the version of the United States of an imminent Russian invasion. The fact remains that Ukraine is worried about the military buildup of Russia in Belarus. Ukrainians living near the border where Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia meet feel war is a bogey.

One of them said: "They've been saying 'a war is coming for five years now.'"

Citizens of Ukraine are not taking chances

According to the BBC, there are different views vis-à-vis Russia attacking Ukraine. Western intelligence agencies have talked about the plans of Russian president Vladimir Putin to besiege Kyiv. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and his officials do not want to spread any panic. However, city schools are practicing bomb scares or air raid drills. Social media is advising on procedures to follow in case of an emergency. People are also plotting their escape route. It mostly involves driving west as fast as they can. Some of the veterans have made plans to send their families to safety.