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The Officials Admit That They Messed Up with Chernobyl

Three of the darkest days in the history of humanity passed without any official statement from the USSR. While people from neighboring regions could physically feel the heat from the raging nuclear reactors and engineers were dying trying to protect the world from the radiation rapidly escaping the burning NPP, officials tried to cover up the situation.

The official note arrived only 3 days after the initial explosion. The report claimed that only 2 people died during the incident and that the radiation poisoning of the environment is being taken care of. The governmental note assured that the situation was under total control and that the region is in lock down and was issued the “industrial reserve” status while all nuclear reactors were stopped.


No one had actual picture of what was happening in the area and the Soviet Union only said that the fire that started there was successfully extinguished. However, the scale of the catastrophe was hard to conceive from all-seeing eyes of satellites. American reports on the issue were much more terrifying and claimed that the damage is irreversible and on a much larger scale than reported by the USSR.

Amongst officials who responded to questions from other countries was Mikhail Timofeev who claimed that only a dozen of people died and tried to dispel the rumors about the true scale of the incident. The minister calmly stated that the accident is far from a calamity that some called it. At the same time, the TASS reported on the incident with a casual note that people received medical attention. Nonetheless, even official statements noted that 3 nearby settlements including the town of Pripyat were wholly evacuated. 25 thousand citizens moved away in a matter of hours.

The low-key official report contrasted sharply with western news agency reports, quoting local residents as saying that up to 2,000 people were either dead or facing death from radiation sickness. An area of 500 square miles around the Chernobyl site has been evacuated and cordoned, according to western technicians in Kiev. Russian scientists said privately that nuclear technicians were being flown in from around the Soviet Union to take turns in tackling the emergency, so as to reduce their exposure to radiation.[1]

Mr Peter Walker, the energy secretary, was in touch with the Soviet authorities yesterday morning to convey sympathy and offer good wishes to those affected by the accident.

[1] During the preparation of the article were used the materials of the site https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/apr/24/russia.ukraine