from Dianuke.org (click to read full article)
In the night of 25-26 April 1986, there was a catastrophic explosion in the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. In 1990, Ukranian journalist Alla Yaroshinskaya came across secret documents about the Chernobyl catastrophe that revealed a massive cover-up operation and a calculated policy of disinformation. She writes (in 2006),
“It is well known that after the Chernobyl accident, the Soviet government immediately did everything possible to conceal the fact of the accident and its consequences for the population and the environment: it issued “top secret” instructions to classify all data on the accident, especially as regards the health of the affected population. Then came instructions from the ministry of health and the ministry of defence to classify the radiation doses received by the general population, the “liquidators” (scientists and others involved in firefighting and containment work at the stricken power-station and in clean-up operations of the contaminated area immediately after the event) and military personnel. These regulations demanded that medical staff must not enter a diagnosis of “acute radiation syndrome” in the files of liquidators from the armed forces but must substitute some other term. These classified documents were not accessible for many years. Only in 1991, when the Soviet Union was collapsing, was I able to get hold of secret protocols and other documents of the operative group of the Politburo. These minutes revealed the numbers of persons irradiated and hospitalized during the first days after the accident.”
The state and party leadership had knowingly played down the extent of the contamination and offered a sanitized version to the outside world. In 1990, five years after the accident, a series of laws were adopted to ‘protect’ the victims of radiation; now, scientists have begun to find serious flaws in these too. As recent studies show, the human and environmental damage shows no signs of abating. Yaroshinskaya closes her report with this quote,
“Chernobyl is a word we would all like to erase from our memory,” said UN secretary general Kofi Annan… “But,” he added, “more than 7 million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened.” The exact number of Chernobyl victims may never be known, he said, but 3 million children require treatment and “many will die prematurely”.