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WATCH smoke from Chernobyl & dust turning Kiev sky gray

Apocalyptic-looking scenes were aplenty on Friday in the Ukrainian capital, when smoke from wildfires and dust borne by strong winds briefly lent Kiev the label of the world’s most polluted city.

Kiev’s skies remained grey in the morning, and residents had to shut their windows to keep out the nauseous stench of burning, according to complaints on social media platforms.

Air pollution spiked in the city starting late Thursday. Some of it came in the form of dust carried by heavy winds. Ukraine had an unusually dry winter and spring, which led to the large amount of dust, local weather officials explained.

The other source of particles in the air is the wildfires that have been ravaging several parts of Ukraine. These have been fanned by the same winds and helped by the lack of rain. Some of the smoke came from the exclusion zone around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, about 100km north of Kiev, further fueling health concerns. The Kiev authorities are assuring residents that whatever smoke manages to reach the capital poses no radiation threat.

On Friday morning, Ukrainian media reported that Kiev had become the world’s most polluted city, citing the global air-quality tracker IQAir. However, for the moment, Ukraine’s capital has slipped down the ranks and is now third on the list.

Also on rt.com Wildfire rips through Chernobyl’s exclusion zone, raging just TWO MILES from crippled nuclear plant (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Kiev residents are advised to stay at home while the air quality remains poor – or, rather, it’s another reason for them to remain there, because, like many other cities across the world, their city is currently under quarantine. The lack of fresh air will surely only add to the discomfort of social distancing.

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