29 years ago today is the anniversary of the Chornobyl (Ukrainian spelling) disaster. While there’s little new news coming from that event, here are some finer points all should remember:
- The Soviet Union stayed silent after the explosion, exposing Ukrainians to the deadly radiation while Communist apparatchiks were evacuated from neighbouring cities. Just how much was the Ukrainian public kept in the dark about Chornobyl? While the Soviet Apparatchiks were evacuating, the rest of the unsuspecting were celebrating ‘May Day’ with a parade on the streets a few days after the accident, 60miles away:
- The event was finally uncovered by Western media two days later when Swedish scientists detected the pollution, but its effects were still vehemently downplayed by the Soviet Union as mere propaganda.
- Western aid was allowed into the country after an entire year of painful suffering and lack of medical care.
- After the fall of Communism in 1991, Russia became the successor to the Soviet Union, inheriting it’s wealth and nuclear domain. The original Soviet statistics which are still used to this day claim only 30 lives from this catastrophe, but much headway has been made recently from researchers to gain a more accurate understanding of the suffering.
- A rather large collection of photos about the event can be found here.
- You can watch the documentary ‘Chernobyl Uncensored’ here: