“Who, except ecologists, even still talks about it?” is a valid question Elena exposes in her article and sheds a light on the variety of perspectives and attitudes people in Belarus nowadays have towards the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. The spectrum of attitudes extends itself from experiencing the accident’s aftermath and being afraid to shake people’s hands up to today’s indifference towards the accident – and where do you find yourself?
From keeping the tragedy a secret in the USSR to commemorating and revealing secret information about the exposure in independent Ukraine – this is how the discussion about Chernobyl shifted throughout the years.
Vsevolod Bohdanovycj Smerechynskyi was one of the 830 000 liquidators who were ordered to clean up the contaminated areas after the accident at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. According to the Chernobyl Foundation, one out of five of the liquidators had died by 2005, most of them in their 30s and 40s. Smerechynskyi survived, but his believe in the system he was serving as a specialist died. And, like the majority of the survivors, he lost his youth and his health in the catastrophe.
Three decades after the nuclear desaster in Chernobyl, the accident at the nuclear power plant is not just a mere historical fact, instead its radioactive residues still affect people in Belarus and Ukraine today. Still, Chernobyl should not be just a mention in historical books. Instead it should serve as an important lesson on how not to handle a nuclear catastrophe, on failed communication, and severe lack of reponsibilty from the officials. The handling of the accident in the poweplant in Fukushima in 2011 has proven, that we still have a long way of learning ahead of us. Thus, equally as it is part of European history, Chernobyl is a matter of today and the future. If it happend today – this is how we imagine a Chernobyl Twitter-feed to look like.
Name: Orest Franchuk Age: 19 Hometown: Kyiv Country: Ukraine EUSTORY experiences: Eustory Berlin Academy 2010, “25 Years After Chernobyl” 2011. Actual occupation/studies: Studying Law at National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla academy” Orest says he chose studying law because he has always been interested in the legal and political underpinning of the society. A constant challenge is what he prefers and the sphere of law seems to be a task that he can spend all of his life learning about. He enjoys doing research and he likes the kind of thinking it involves. He also always wanted to be involved in a field which has the possibility to make a difference. “If you’re not heartless at the end of it, you can really make a positive difference” he proclaims. It is very interesting that he connects la...[Read More]