Chernobyl (Чернобыль) is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine. It was evacuated in 1986, after a meltdown at the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, located nine miles to the northwest of the city. Due to high levels of radioactive contamination, the city has been within an Exclusion Zone ever since, and the personnel charged with maintaining that zone are stationed in Chernobyl on a long-term though temporary basis. The city remains a permanent home to several hundred squatters and residents who either refused to evacuate in 1986 or illegally returned later.
In 1942, the German army unit Heavy Artillery Battalion Dora managed to destroy several of the Race's star ships, near Chernobyl, including the 56th Emperor Jossano, which contained the majority of the Race's nuclear stockpile.
Due to the nature of the artillery shells that were launched, the fusion and fission reactors of the ship did not trigger a nuclear explosion. Instead, pieces of plutonium were strewn over a large portion of the nearby landscape in the many explosions that were set off in the destruction of the ship.
A joint German-Russian group, which included Otto Skorzeny, Heinrich Jäger, and Max, led an assault to obtain pieces of this plutonium, in order to learn how to create nuclear weapons. They were successful in this mission, and it led to a chain of events whereby three major human powers (Russia, Germany, and the United States) received portions of the collected plutonium.