Ukraine war: University of Portsmouth professor says scientific friends in Kyiv are preparing to leave city

A university professor who has travelled to Ukraine many times says his scientific friends are preparing to leave the country.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 5:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2022, 5:48 pm

Professor Jim Smith researches radioactivity and has investigated nuclear fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster both in this country and in Ukraine, and first met Ukrainian scientists when he, like them, was researching nuclear fallout levels in the Lake District.

Professor Smith said: ‘I’ve been going there since 1994, and I’ve worked in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

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Ukrainian men make their way back to their homes at the Dorohusk border crossing between Poland and Ukraine Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

‘I’m a Slavophile, and I’m very interested in the history and culture. That region has been fought over for centuries, and there is a strong sense of national pride.

‘I’ve been in touch with my friends and a few weeks ago they were fairly relaxed. But one of them is moving his family out of Kyiv. They are preparing to leave.’

Professor Jim Smith from the University of Portsmouth and the Atomik vodka brewed from Chernobyl grain