EDITORIAL: The Horror of Russian Cowardice and Lies

EDITORIAL

The Horror of Russian Cowardice and Lies

The nuclear reactor in Power Unit No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station exploded at 1:23 am on Friday, April 25, 1986 — twenty five years ago this month.

It immediately generated a cloud of radioactive vapor ten times more toxic than the Hiroshima nuclear bombing.

But the 50,000 residents of the neighboring town of Pripyat, USSR, were not told to take protective measures, such as staying indoors with the windows shut, for a full twelve hours following the blast, when it was announced that they faced “an unfavorable radioactive atmosphere.”  Unfavorable indeed! They were not told they would be evacuated until late in the evening the next day, Saturday April 26, and they were not actually evacuated until 2 pm on Sunday, April 27. By that time, many had incurred lethal or life-altering doses of radioactivity.

Residents were not permitted to take their personal property with them. Patriotic Soviet citizens soon swarmed in and looted them to the bare walls.  Today, Pripyat is a ghost town.

It would be slightly comforting, at least, if one could believe that today’s Russia had at least moved on from the darkness and horror of its Soviet past, maybe even made reparations to the people of Pripyat. But, of course, Russia has done no such thing.

Today, Russia is governed by a man who is a proud relic of the Soviet era, Vladimir Putin, former KGB spymaster.  Putin has filled the Kremlin with fellow spooks, and he has engaged in a ruthless crackdown on civil society. He has obliterated local government, he has liquidated independent television, he has wiped out opposition political parties and jailed political rivals.  If another Chernobyl is brewing today, the people of Russia will not know it because no political challenger will mention it and no TV news report will cover it.  Russia is the USSR, different in name only.

In fact, it can be argued that today’s Russia is worse than the USSR.  The KGB never wielded such direct and sweeping power in Soviet times as they do today, and the USSR never attempted to pretend it was a democracy. Today’s Russia lacks all the same freedoms as people lacked in Soviet times, but it also lacks the benefits of dictatorship, such as safe streets and timely trains.  Russia has the worst of all possible worlds.

And worst of all is Russia’s absolute refusal, under Putin, to tell the truth about its own sordid history.  Russian students simply won’t learn about what happened in Pripyat, not unless they learn English and read it in the Moscow Times, as we did.  But most of them won’t do that, instead they’ll speak Russian and listen to their Russian teachers tell them that the evil foreigners and Russian Uncle Toms who  write for the Moscow Times are just telling them lies to destroy Russia out of jealousy.

What that means is simple:  There is another Pripyat waiting to happen, probably many of them. It’s just a matter of vremya.

80 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Horror of Russian Cowardice and Lies

    • Wake up, there is no Soviet Union, you live in 20th century. I can already see that satanists like you only find it useful to entertain themselves while tragedies happen.

      I can see that you are very well employed in your “great” democratic supercountry. Hell, you are so employed that you find enough time to post on almost every single article while feeding on social welfare

      Long live Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Serbia

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      You mean we dreamed Russia being governed by a proud KGB spy and restoring the national anthem of the USSR and glorifying Stalin?

      Wow, AWESOME!! What a relief!!

      • STALKER wrote;

        ‘Long live Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Serbia’
        comment;
        what does it mean, dear stalker, is Monsieur Putain planning another insane, multinational monstrosity a la USSR including Serbia, this time. Are we going to see the old fashion gulag system – this time using slavic brotherhood motive, as opposed to the communist ideology, with russia, of course, controlling, imposing russian language, and destroying the rest of the slavic brothers. I personally think that serbo-croatian language is much more advanced and developed than russian language…

      • @STALKER

        :)

        I know what you did here:

  1. The savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin intentionally caused Chornobyl and should be held responsible for, and clean up the mess that the savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin created.

    • Sorry. Typo:

      The ignorantly delusional, savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the kremlin intentionally caused Chornobyl

  2. The kremlin kleptocratcs and murderes sent one million young soviet soldiers to clean the mess at Chernobyl – those poor souls did the cleaning bare handed hence all of the million died horrific deaths – I hope they were ALL ethnic russians….

    • Haha, silly Pshek — if you had the slightest grasp of that mysterious concept called consistency, even a vile, drooling scumbag such as yourself wouldn’t try to have it both ways. So which one is it, babe? Was Kremlin in the wrong in assigning Soviet soldiers to clean up in Chernobyl, or did that serve the soldiers just right in which case Kremlin must be said to have done exactly the right thing from a russophobic point of view?

      mccusa = the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie personified, ha!

    • Not true, there were special fire brigades, diggers, helicopters and all sorts of equipment pulled, you cant dig under a nuclear reactor with bare hands. Even robots from Japan were used. If the soviets were digging with their bare hands, then the japanese must have no problems at all right now.

  3. I expect the Russia of Putin and Medvedev to ignore its ethical responsibility for Chernobyl, but I am discouraged by the utter lack of pressure on Russia to acknowledge its duties as the successor state to the USSR. I’ve written about the issue here:
    http://brianspadora.com/2011/04/26/russias-lack-of-a-response-to-chernobyl-adds-injustice-to-injury/

    • Another stunning non-achievement by the craven Obama administration.

    • Ukrainians exploded the nuclear plant. Thousands of Russians were sent there by ruthless regime to clean the mess. It would be honest for Ukraine to thank them with money or something. But as i see some think these Russians should pay instead.
      That’s what is called chutzpah.

  4. BTW Chernobyl is in Ukraine.
    How is it related to Russia and Putin i can’t really understand.
    Only thing Russian students should know about Pripyat’ is that Ukrainians shouldn’t be trusted with the nuclear energy. And it’s not a secret at all.

    • Fully agree, Russia has nothing to do with Chernobyl at all. Let ukros deal with their own problem without involving Russia.

      • This may be the single stupidest comment ever left on this blog.

        Are you REALLY suggesting Ukraine was an independent country running its own show? Are you THAT hysterically demented?

        Ever heard of Holodomor, ape?

        • The most stupidest comments of this blog come from you and nobody can even come close to you in that. Of course, Chernobyl was in its major part ukrainian show (and they run the station), and now it is on the territory of “nezalezhna”, so Russia has currently nothing to do with it.

          Holodomor is a fairy-tale invented for bandera-nazi and western homemaker apes like you. There was a starvation both in Russia and Ukraine, and sometimes more in Russia than in Ukraine.

          • Wrong Bootstrap, as usual.

            All nuclear facilities were run directly from Moscow during the Soviet period.

            All responsibility for Chernobyl rests with Moscow.

            • You get wrong information. Why exactly run Chernobyl? The answer is: the local staff. And they are fully responsible for all their mistakes.

              • bootstrap

                Hey peanut brain, just try to get one important thing in your life right for a change!

                If the authorities in Moscow decided to instal that faulty reactor in Ukraine – and the Americans pointed out on a number of times how bad it was safety wise – then it is they, your beloved murderers in Moscow, that bear the brunt for that monumental catastrophe.

                Face the facts comrade, you are a wasted space. And nothing you do will change that. By “putting pen to paper” you are just proving your stupidity. Liar!!

                • Bohdan Bandera,

                  any link that supports your stupid claims?

                  • Who do I reply to ‘bootstrap’ or to your other alias of ‘Ching Chong Chung Wong’ ??? dear Bootlicker, which one?

                    • silly ukro Bohdan Bandera, having diarrhea again?
                      Or, you’re Bohdan Staschynskij?

                    • Bootstrap Yezhov,

                      Make up your somogonka effected pea brain. Either I am – in your fantasy world – “Bohdan Bandera” or “Bohdan Staschynskij” but I can’t be both.

                      And let’s get one thing straight. On the rare occasions that I suffer from diarrhea (usually after I read your name – which gives me the proverbial sh*ts), it effects my stomach and backside, as it should. But you diarrhea is self caused and is a verbal one AND it is continuous.

  5. ”Ukrainians exploded the nuclear plant.”

    ”Only thing Russian students should know about Pripyat’ is that Ukrainians shouldn’t be trusted with the nuclear energy.”

    Demented.

  6. The way Chernobyl is related to Russia is that it was a Soviet facility, and the Russian Federation is the successor state to the USSR. Russia received the USSR’s permanent seat on the UN security council, and all Soviet embassies became Russian embassies. When it is advantageous, Putin, Medvedev, and other Russian leadership proffer Russia as the logical inheritor of the Soviet empire. But when it comes to addressing Soviet ills and righting them, they take the same nonsensical attitude that you do–“what does Russia have to do with Chernobyl or any other Soviet atrocities?”
    That, actually, is what’s called chutzpah. It can also be called much worse.

    • Come on, Russians cannot even compare in chutzpah with Yanks. Note that Russia is a successor of USSR also in paying back its huge international debts, when all “independent” republics left the USSR as cockroaches “forgetting” to pay their bills. The same way, I can say that Ukraine and Baltic states are using facilities built in the USSR times and, if Russia is a true successor of the USSR, they should return to Russia back these facilities (or at least, profits they’re getting from them). Or, you want that Russia only shares their losses? Funny you.

      I love that Russia more and more tends to take into account only its own national interests and nothing else.

      • When you put the word “independent” in quote marks, are you trying to mock and humiliate your neighbors? Why? Are they less deserving to have their own countries and cultures that your Russians?

        Or are implying they are not independent? Does it mean they have to fear Russian attack and annexation? To have colonies would be in Russia’s national interests that you mentioned, would it not?

        I realize that every criminal takes into account only his own interests, but is it really that delightful when citizens such as you want your government to start acting like a mob outfit?

        • when I put the word “independent” in quote marks I only mean that they were ready to share the advantages of independence, but not related to it responsibilities. Not ready to pay their parts of joint international debts, demanded (and not kindly asked for) reduced prices for oil and gas (which they actually got for almost two decades long, thanks to ever drunk Eltsin), and at the same time, demanded from Russia life-long compensation for Soviet “occupation” (please note that I put the word “occupation” in quote marks as well, as occupants don’t build factories, infrastructure, etc.). What independence are you speaking about if Belorussia still demands from Russia major money support, sometimes in an extremely aggressive form? It looks like your 7 years old kid claims “independence” of his parents, doesn’t it?

          • Oh yes, the occupying forces definitely build factories, infrastructure etc. The British did it in India, and the French in Indochina, and the Dutch in Indonesia and so on. Russia certainly did the same, but, of course, that Russia’s build “infrastructure” was total trash in comparison to the Western projects in their colonies. I mean, what’s the value of the Soviet apartment building or highway, if half of the cement was stolen and replaced by sand by drunken construction manager?

            Russia was definitely occupying force in the Baltics, for example, and killed and/or imprisoned hundreds of thousands of locals. You cannot come even close to compensating for this horror and these atrocities with the Soviet-built worthless junk.

            • So, you don’t argue on “independence” anymore. Regarding the Baltic States, not Russia has “occupied” them. In the same way, you may claim that USSR occupied Russia. In Russia, not less but much more people were deported and killed in Stalin times than in Baltic republics, also with help of Red Latvian riflemen. So, under your logic, Russia can demand compensation and excuse from Latvia. Regarding the “total trash” built in Soviet republics, they sometimes consider part of this “trash” (still working well until now) as strategic national resource (such as system of gas pipelines in Ukraine).

              • Russia was not forcefully taken by the U.S.S.R., it was its founder and the most important part, unquestionably. Latvia, Estonia, etc. were independent countries and they were occupied and annexed. If you are saying that Russia has nothing to do with that, it sounds just silly.

                Surely, more Russians than the Balts were killed by Stalin, in terms of the absolute numbers (I am not sure if it’s also percentage-wise as to the total population), but how does that justify anything? Why was the German aggression against Denmark and Norway a war crime, and Russian aggression against Estonia and Finland was not?

                • @If you are saying that Russia has nothing to do with that, it sounds just silly.

                  It may sound silly for you, but the USSR (led by Georgian-Jewish clique; not Russia) has to do with that.

                  @ Why was the German aggression against Denmark and Norway a war crime, and Russian aggression against Estonia and Finland was not?

                  Why was the German aggression against Denmark and Norway a war crime, and US aggression against Mexico (with annexing huge territories), Haiti, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Grenada, Yugoslavia, Afganistan, Iraq, and finally Libya (to mention just a few) was not?

                  LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

                  Guess you have not heard about it, but Russians recently ELECTED A PROUD KGB SPY who loves the USSR as their president. He has restored the national anthem of the USSR, glorified Stalin, and wiped out many of the freedoms Russians gained after the USSR fell.

                  Now that you know about it, maybe you can understand the point of this post better, you witless chimp?

                  • Well, whatever the U.S. does or does not do is not a topic of this blog and has nothing to do with the Russian crimes. So, it’s the U.S.S.R. led by the Jews and Georgians who attacked the Baltic States, Russia is blameless.

                    I have my answer from you, and that ends my discussion with you. I am not going to spend my time arguing with this nonsense which among other things reveals your anti-Semitism. Bye-bye

                    • So, stating the fact that USSR was led by Georgians and Jews is anti-semitism in your view? Bye-bye, little boy from the country of multiple war crimes.

                    • Bootstrap, the USSR was primarily led by Russians, for Russians, and of Russians.

                      Those from ethnic minorities who reached the top did so by being “more Russian than the Russians” a good example being Stalin and Mikoyan.

                  • @ Guess you have not heard about it, but Russians recently ELECTED A PROUD KGB SPY who loves the USSR as their president. He has restored the national anthem of the USSR, glorified Stalin, and wiped out many of the freedoms Russians gained after the USSR fell.

                    And USians before that elected Bush Sr., a PROUD CIA SPY. His chimp retarded son wiped out many of the freedoms Americans enjoyed before.

                  • Here he is again, Kleine Schwaine, a.k.a. bootstrap, etc, the russian f#$%^ing baboon who think he is Swedish…justifying the soviet barbarity again, and blaming ‘Georgian Jewish – what is the conclusion, dear russian ‘barakhlo’ – it is really simple; russians should always be ‘surpervised’ otherwise they destroy themselves….You must look at the four hundread years of mongol domination with nostalgia – those were the good old days where nobody sent you to gulags are slaughtered you – hopefully your new master, the Chinese, will be as benevolent as the Mongols were……

                    • The sweet, touching part of our little Pshek’s silly tantrums is how they reveal his grave problems concerning his adversaries’ nationalities in light of their individual political/ideological stances.

                      So, in the particular case of myself, mccusa really finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Put bluntly, he has the two following, mutually exclusive options available to him:

                      a) Either accept my (correct) claim to be a Swede, meaning that his illusions about an ideologically homogenous West kowtowing to Yankistan and hating Russia get smashed to pieces

                      b) Insist that I’m Russian (fine with me), and then run the risk of being confronted with overwhelming evidence of superior knowledge not just in foreign languages but in mathematics and natural sciences as well — smashing his axioms on Russian intelligence to pieces even more violently than his silly beliefs according to option (a).

                      In addition, he cannot grasp (or stomach) the plain, simple truth that I’m not writing under any other nick but “Manfred Steifschwanz”. Poor sod, this Pshek.

    • Most importantly, in addition Russia got all the nuclear weapons that the U.S.S.R. had. That’s what truly makes Russia a menace. Ukrainians had some of that, I think, but voluntarily gave it up.

      • Well, why giving away something what was developed in Russia and by Russian scientists? The USA also doesn’t give up their nuclear weapons, which makes your country much more menace than Russia. Recall that in contrast to the USA, Russia never used atom bombing to destroy peaceful cities and to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians at once.

      • >.. nuclear weapons
        > Ukrainians had some of that, I think, but voluntarily gave it up.

        They had no technical possibility to support it anyway.
        Nuclear weapon is a heavy burden you know. Russia does 4 to 6 nuclear tests annually just in order to support the warheads.

    • brianspadora:
      > When it is advantageous, Putin, Medvedev,
      > and other Russian leadership proffer Russia as the logical inheritor of the
      > Soviet empire.

      What exactly do you mean we inherited?
      Foreign property of the USSR? That’s just ridiculous.
      Anything else?

  7. > Russian Federation is the successor state to the USSR

    Not quite so.
    RF took responsibility about international treaties of USSR. That’s why all the nuclear weapons and the place in th Security Council.
    RF took all the international debts of the USSR. That’s why it also got all the foreign property of USSR.

    And that’s it.
    No responsibility for any crimes of the bloody commie’s regime, no Holodomor or Chernobyl penalties. If Ukraine thinks the victims should be paid, Ukraine has to pay them.

  8. brianspadora:
    > ”what does Russia have to do with Chernobyl or any other Soviet atrocities?”
    > That, actually, is what’s called chutzpah. It can also be called much worse.

    I’m not responsible for any ‘Soviet antocity’. Hope you just agree with this.
    Why in the world should i pay then?
    Do you belive i somehow benefited from that?

  9. RV:
    > Russia was definitely occupying force in the Baltics, for example

    You’re mistaken. Russia never occupied Baltics.
    Some say Soviet Union did. But that’s different story.

    • Riiiiiight . . . poor, innocent little Russia was just as much victim of the USSR and Ukraine or the Baltics.

      Dude, try to take a little break from that crack pipe. It is messing you up.

      • Don’t you worry, Kim.
        I’m taking decent care of my health.

        • Ouch, if you are taking decent care of your health in Russia’s hospitals – tha are on the par only with Uganda – you are doomed…

          • In case YOU were treated in Russian hospitals, vile Pshek, then yes, something is ‘quite wrong’ about them (to take understatement to the point of caricature).

            • Klaine Schwaine, you stupid russian baboon, who in its right mind will come even close to the russian hospitals and russian witch doctors except for russians drunk, dirty, smelly hordes????

              • Maybe you should give it a try — it’s all but impossible imagining you worse off, anyway.

                • Kleine schwaine, ruskiy obosranyi, golodnyi bednashka – the laughing stock of the world….

                  • GIVEN:
                    a) Manfred Steifschwanz = World’s dullest Russian
                    b) mccusa = World’s brightest Pshek

                    Folks, please judge for yourselves the stature of these Psheks when, even under the abovementioned conditions, it’s with negligible effort that I single-handedly can wipe the floor with the absolutely topmost echelons of Polish society, ha!

        • Don’t delude yourself, Ouch.

          If you are the average Muscal, you will die prematurely.

          Don’t believe me? look up the Russian stats. and then compare them to the civilized nations stats.

    • Some say? You mean there are those who deny the Soviet aggression in the Baltics?

  10. RV:
    > The British did it in India, and the French in Indochina,
    > and the Dutch in Indonesia and so on. Russia certainly did the same,
    > but, of course, that Russia’s build “infrastructure” was total
    > trash in comparison to the Western projects in their colonies

    Do you seriously belive that the railroads in Indochina ever was in better shape than in soviet Ukraine? That Indians ever were better off than soviet Pribaltika?

    Note i’m not going to say anybody should be thankful to anyone for anything. Just interested about the pure fact above.

    • I am not sure what “Pribaltika” is. I am not aware of this word.

      I’ve never said that the railroads in Indochina were in a better shape than in the Soviet Ukraine. I don’t know whether they were or not, so I cannot tell. I never said anything about the prosperity of Indians. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

      I just said that occupying powers built infrastructure in their colonies, which is true.

      • “Pribaltika” – it’s the Russian word for the area where these Baltic States are situated.
        > I’ve never said that the railroads in Indochina were in a better shape than …

        You said:
        > Russia’s build “infrastructure” was total
        > trash in comparison to the Western projects in their colonies

        So i just started comparing the ‘infrastructure’ with the ‘Western projects’. If you said the truth, the Indochinian railroads must be enourmously superior to what they have in former ‘Russian colonies’.

        I’ll also appreciate your example of these wonderful ‘Western projects’.

  11. >> Nuclear weapon is a heavy burden you know.
    RV> This is probably true, Ukraine does not want this burden. So?

    So Ukraine had to pass the nuclear weapons to Russia, not ‘voluntarily gave it up’ as you stated.

  12. > Why was the German aggression against Denmark and Norway a war
    > crime,

    I dunno and don’t care. Let Germans explain that.

    > and Russian aggression against Estonia and Finland was not?

    Because Russia never used it’s military against Estonia or Finland.

    > So, it’s the U.S.S.R. … attacked the Baltic States, Russia is blameless.

    Exactly!
    Or it should be blamed along with Ukraine, Latvia, Tajikistan and other 15 parts of the SU.

    • Hmmm, nothing to do with Russia eh? I guess you forgot about the National Anthem of the evil empire?

      An unbreakable union of free republics,
      Great Rus’ (Russia) joined together forever.
      Long live the creation of the will of the peoples,
      The united, the mighty Soviet Union!

      • Whatever this line means, this Anthem is used only since year 1944.
        Prior to that, the Anthem was ‘The Internationale’.

    • And The Russian-dominated leadership in Moscow can find small comfort in the fact that the Estonian itch for independence has not spread considerably farther — yet. Under Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet nationality policy seemed to mean that national groups could organize the likes of folkloric song and dance companies, but that the major decisions affecting the welfare of national groups were made in Moscow. Bureaucratic centralization reached such absurd dimensions that, as a Lithuanian once complained, “Ivan Petrovich must rule on the opening times for toilets in towns with names he cannot even pronounce.”

      Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,956394,00.html#ixzz1L6XyyvP0

      • Andrew:
        > Bootstrap, the USSR was primarily led by Russians, for Russians, and of Russians.

        Absolutely not. I can remember that time pretty well.
        Russians were robbed of everything to provide better live to backward tribes both inside USSR and all over the world.
        Best evidence is that now Russia is better off than any of the former USSR parts. Excluding maybe Estonia, but they’re just 1mln.

        > Those from ethnic minorities who reached
        > the top did so by being “more Russian than
        > the Russians” a good example being Stalin
        > and Mikoyan.

        Nobody called these two Russians, neither did themselves. So no, Russians don’t need to borrow other’s heroes.

      • > … Lithuanian once complained …

        In every country on Earth there are somebody complaining.
        So what?
        It was proven countlessly that the Soviet national policy meant taking wealth from Russians to give it to Lithuanians in particular.

        • So, you are saying that Russia is blameless for attacking the Baltic States, or at the most she is not more to blame than “Ukraine, Latvia, Tajikistan and other 15 parts of the SU.”

          Then, according to you, Latvia (which is one of those Baltic States) had attacked itself. How does that make sense?

          Or, maybe you are saying that Tajikistan and others were truly independent parts of the U.S.S.R. and had the power or capability to conduct foreign or domestic policy independent of Russia. You are not so stupid to believe it yourself, I think, so don’t insult our intelligence.

          Russians often wonder, on this blog as well as elsewhere, why they are so hated by those ex-nations of the U.S.S.R. Now I see why. Because they or their predecessors had committed unspeakable crimes against these small nations (or even large nations such as Ukraine) and refuse even to admit the crimes were committed, mush less to apologize, atone or try to make up for them

  13. Ouch, the ex-soviet republics and the so called satellite countries were the russian colonies; EVERYTHING was stolen from those countries methodically, and perfidiously, e.g., the russian will steal food from Latvia, take it to Belarus, for instance, and mark it ‘food for starving Belarus, and then the russians will steal food from Belarus and ‘send’ to ‘starving Birobidjan’, it was really like a musical chair… . Olympics in Moscow in 1980, for instance, speed up the USSR’s demise considerably. – By the eighties, there was nothing left to steal from ANY country under soviet control. When Poland was forced to ‘provide’ food for the Moscow’s olympics, there were no food left there. Polish people blocked trains full of food going to moscow – the soviets were aware of the situation therefore containers with meat, ham, etc., were marked for instance; ‘paints, shoes etc. The old asiatic primitive tricks used by russians….Russian wealth, please – I knew the african students studying at the infamousLumumba University, THOSE PEOPLE RECEIVED FOOD PARCELS FROM PLACES LIKE ZAIRE, UGANDA, AND ANY OTHER NEW AFRICAN COUNTRY TO SURVIVE IN MOSCOW.

  14. > Polish people blocked trains full of food going to moscow.

    And nowadays Russian people block polish trains full of food going to Moscow.
    Interesting, isn’t it?

  15. To prove how the likes of Manfred Stiff Dick, Ouch, Bootstrap, STALKER and et al of the same vein are just plain liars and apologists for the evils of the USSR and its successor, Putin’s Russia. I have included the following to show them up for the contemptible liars they are;

    Remembering the Soviet response to Chornobyl
    April 26, 2011 1:15 P.M.
    By Robert McConnell

    With the continuing earthquakes in Japan, the eventual cost of the disaster at the Fukushima power plant may not be known for years. The world should have all those affected in their prayers. But one thing we can know right now is that the Fukushima disaster and what happened at Chornobyl 25 years ago today are comparable only according to the narrow parameters of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). By this scale, the Fukushima event was a Level 7, a “major accident” “with widespread health and environmental effects,” the same rating as Chornobyl. But it would be a serious mistake not to appreciate the differences between the two events, or to forget the genuine evil revealed in the Soviet Union’s response to Chornobyl. The distinctions matter.

    Systemic Soviet corruption started affecting Chornobyl long before that April day in 1986. The RBMK reactor had many known design flaws, including fundamental problems associated with the Soviets’ insistence on having civilian power plants also capable of making weapons-level plutonium. Due to these design flaws, the reactors were susceptible to lurching out of control, a susceptibility that was widely known — and ignored. Two additional points are worth noting here: (a) As part of the Kremlin’s intense Russification program designed to destroy Ukraine’s unique culture and history, the Ukrainian language was marginalized, pushed mostly into the shadows; and (b) because of this marginalization, in February 1986, an article in a Ukrainian-language literary magazine published in Kyiv just a few months before the disaster specifically pointed to all of the problems at Chornobyl, but because this clear warning was in Ukrainian, it was not noted at the time either in Russian-speaking Moscow or by any of the operators of the power plant, who were all ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Even in the repressive Soviet society of the time, there were brave souls who warned that Chornobyl was a disaster waiting to happen — but because the warnings appeared in forbidden Ukrainian, they were denigrated and ignored.

    At 1:23 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, exactly 25 years ago, a bit more than 90 miles from Kyiv (and near the city’s main water reservoir), an explosion blew the roof off Chornobyl’s fourth reactor building and, among other tragic consequences, huge quantities of radioactive particles began spewing into the air. Other than an immediate scramble by Chornobyl workers to try to put the fire out, there was no official reaction to this catastrophe — no announcement, no warnings, nothing indicating concern for the population of Ukraine, people in other areas of the Soviet Union, or anyone in the world beyond the Iron Curtain. The Communist government’s callous disregard for human life and health was not a momentary brain freeze, nor was it an accident; it was deliberate.

    At 9:00 a.m., Monday, April 28 — more than 55 and a half hours after the explosion — an alarm went off at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Station in Sweden; high amounts of radioactivity were being detected. Workers were evacuated. High radiation levels were simultaneously detected in Denmark, Finland, and Norway. Scandinavian experts soon determined that the incoming nuclear cloud had originated in the Soviet Union, specifically Soviet Ukraine. But when Sweden asked Moscow for an explanation, Soviet authorities denied anything had happened, even though by then radiation had been spewing for days from the explosion and resulting fire.

    Not until April 28 at 9 p.m. (65 hours after the explosion), and only after the Scandinavian countries had announced the source of immense radiation, did the Kremlin come forward, and then only slightly. A newscaster on the Moscow evening news program Vremya reported, “An accident occurred at the Chornobyl Atomic Power Plant and one of the reactors was damaged. Measures have been undertaken to eliminate the consequences of the accident.”

    Over the next few days, only snippets of information got out of Ukraine from the few people who were aware of what had happened and some of the consequences. Into the void of real information flowed terrifying misinformation, resulting in reports of staggering death tolls, hospitals overwhelmed by dead and suffering, and mass graves. As a result of Moscow’s irresponsible silence, people in Ukraine who wanted to know anything had to find a way to receive Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and/or Radio Free Europe broadcasts despite the extensive Soviet radio-wave-jamming facilities established in Western Ukraine. At 8 p.m. on April 28, VOA broadcast into Ukraine its first reports on the radiation that had been detected in Sweden and the suspicion that it came from nuclear leakage at a power plant in the Soviet Union.

    Tony Barber’s first-person account published in the Financial Times a few days ago recalls his being a 26-year-old foreign correspondent working for Reuters in Moscow. He had flown to Kyiv on Friday, April 25, to see a friend. He spent the weekend touring Kyiv in the warm spring sunshine, unaware of anything going on that might threaten him. It was only when he returned to Moscow on April 28 that a colleague asked him if he had noticed “anything funny going on,” which he hadn’t. After hearing word of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine, he had an American embassy official in Moscow test him for radioactive poisoning. His body’s background levels were normal but the jeans he had worn in Kyiv sent the Geiger counter beep-beep-beeping.

    By Tuesday, April 29, the Kremlin began to grasp that the world knew something significant had occurred and the Soviet government grudgingly responded in another Vremya broadcast. It acknowledged that an “accident” had killed two people, but said that “the situation had now been stabilized and was under control.” Such a statement was preposterous. By this time, nobody was buying the Soviet disinformation. On April 30, the winds that had blown the radioactive fallout over Scandinavia turned back on Belarus and Ukraine. American satellites relayed pictures of fires still burning out of control from at least one reactor and showed aircraft circling the power plant dumping chemicals to try to stop the blaze. (Within a few years, all of the young pilots who had flown those dumping missions were dead, though none of their deaths were officially attributed to Chornobyl.)

    There were offers of assistance and aid from, among others, the United States and American volunteer organizations. The offers were rebuffed by Moscow, with one exception. Through his longtime cozy relationship with the Kremlin, Armand Hammer was able to get American bone-marrow specialist Dr. Robert Gale invited to help the injured — in Moscow, 470 miles from Kyiv. Gale was not allowed into Ukraine.

    The full article can be read on;
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/265612/remembering-soviet-response-chornobyl-robert-mcconnell

  16. AND, furthermore some more damning information on the USSR’s criminal negligence on Chernobyl;

    Yulia Tymoshenko: The Meaning of Chernobyl
    25 April 2011
    Yulia Tymoshenko

    Chernobyl’s real lesson is not about nuclear-plant safety. It is about official arrogance and indifference to suffering — and a cult of secrecy that allows information to be shared only among a narrow elite obsessed with stability.

    It began as a gray and muddy spring day, like so many others in my homeland. It ended in dread and mourning.

    Of course, none of us knew the precise moment when catastrophe struck at Chernobyl 25 years ago. Back then, we lived under a system that denied ordinary people any right whatsoever to know about even essential facts and events. So we were kept in the dark about the radiation leaking from the shattered reactor at Chernobyl — and blowing in the winds over northern Europe.

    But the more bizarre fact about the Chernobyl disaster, we now know, is that Mikhail Gorbachev, then-general secretary of the Communist Party, was also kept in the dark about the magnitude of the disaster. Indeed, it may be this very fact that finally condemned the old system to the dustbin of history a mere five years later. No regime built on limitless self-delusion is capable of retaining a shred of legitimacy once the scale of its self-deception is exposed.

    Because only fragments of reliable information reached ordinary Ukrainians at the time, my memories of Chernobyl are sketchy. I recall now only the first hushed, frightened whispers of disaster from a family friend. I remember the abject fear I felt for my young daughter. A virtual torrent of near hysterical hearsay and trickle-down stories about the disaster soon followed.

    All these memories, of course, remain indelible. But even 25 years later, I find it difficult to connect what I really know of the disaster with when I came to know it.

    Today, the Chernobyl meltdown is judged severely in both moral and metaphysical terms. It cast a dark shadow over humanity, one unseen since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

    But, unlike Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis, Chernobyl’s real lesson is not about nuclear-plant safety. It is about official arrogance and indifference to suffering — and a cult of secrecy that allows information to be shared only among a narrow elite obsessed with stability. Ukrainians are being reminded of the consequences of this mind-set right now by a government that has slashed health benefits for the men who heroically fought to contain the Chernobyl disaster.

    So, what was the source of the carelessness with which the Chernobyl crisis was handled? What caused such arrogant unconcern for the health of those who lived near the plant, for those heroic men and women who tried to limit the damage and for the millions who lived beneath the radioactive cloud as it spread?

    Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I know that the country’s leaders practically made contempt for suffering and moral concerns a foundation of their philosophy of rule.

    Government indifference is a strange and unnatural state of mind in which the lines between crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion and good and evil are blurred. Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I know that the country’s leaders practically made contempt for suffering and moral concerns a foundation of their philosophy of rule. Unaccountable governments are almost inevitably unconcerned about their citizens’ fate.

    Can indifference ever be a virtue? Of course, in times of horror such as the Holocaust and Ukraine’s Holodomor, isolated and powerless individuals may swaddle themselves in indifference simply to retain some shred of sanity. But, even then, it can never be justified fully, and the nameless, nagging guilt of which Primo Levi wrote so movingly invariably follows.

    It is official indifference, however, that is truly unpardonable, perhaps because indifferent officials never feel the guilt of which Levi wrote. Indeed, for some political leaders, indifference is seductive. It is so much easier to avert your eyes from citizens than to grapple with their plight. It is so much easier — and often less costly — to avoid individuals’ tragic circumstances than it is to adjust your policies to their needs.

    For the state official who turns his back on suffering, his country’s citizens lack consequence. Their lives are meaningless. Their hidden or even visible anguish is worthless, a cipher’s despair.

    Such indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can actually be artistically and politically creative. Pushkin wrote some of his greatest poems as a result of anger. Beethoven’s great symphonies were written in the grip of overpowering emotions. Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel and Aung San Suu Kyi all endured imprisonment because they were angry at the injustice they had witnessed.

    Indifference, by contrast, is never creative. It means that no response to injustice and no help for the suffering will ever come. It is the tool of governments that are, in fact, the enemy of their people, for it benefits only the ruler — never the victim, whose pain is magnified by neglect. To dismiss the plight of political prisoners, hungry children, the homeless Chernobyl refugees or the irradiated workers in need of a lifetime of medical help is to exile them to a netherworld of helplessness. Government officials who deny human solidarity in this way deny their own humanity.

    From his prison cell awaiting his execution by Hitler’s Gestapo, Dietrich Bonhoeffer declared that we must all “share in God’s suffering.” Indifference for Bonhoeffer was not only a sin, but also a type of punishment. This is perhaps the central lesson of Chernobyl: Governments that systematically turn a blind eye to their citizens’ fate ultimately condemn themselves.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/the-meaning-of-chernobyl/435648.html

  17. The usual complement of moscovite tripe here ! All the ” arguments “,
    lamentations and excuses of the Bootstraps , Jockstraps , Swinedicks
    and the rest of the moscovite trash , must do what they do best ; deny
    all facts and refuse to accept responsibility for their crimes .
    Bohdan and Les propos to both of you for using the correct spelling of CHORnobyl , rather than the hateful , moscovized version of
    CHERnobyl . ! Arriba Ukrania ! ! Avajo Russia !

  18. OK, I’m going to jump in here and ask a question…aren’t there Chernobyl survivors who can tell us what did and didn’t happen? Someone should interview them systematically.
    Even more important, is there anyone still living who survived the Ukrainian famine? If so, they should definitely be interviewed. They will be pretty old, but I think it’s important that their testimony, their perspective, be obtained and preserved for future generations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s