Interviews with Chernobyl Liquidators
Between 23 - 29th
of March 2005 Humanity For Chernobyl completed interviews
with Chernobyl Liquidators in their native city of Donetsk
in far eastern Ukraine. Whilst serving compulsory military
service for the USSSR tens of thousands were sent to the
reactor in Chernobyl to try to contain the radioactivity.
We met with victims of the Chernobyl catastrophe and their
families in the Makeyevka district of Donetsk and interviewed
7 men who worked at the power plant in the days and weeks
after the explosion at Chernobyl.
The Condition of life for these people is disastrous.
Chernobyl victims face not only continual major health
problems but also economical and political problems
in Ukraine that make life for many almost impossible,
especially Chernobyl victims - one of the most unprotected
people in Ukraine. High prices for food and medical
treatment make it very difficult for Chernobyl victims
to survive. Many of those people are not able to receive
the medical attention they desperately require and have
a tiny pension which goes nowhere near towards the actual
cost to buy necessary medical drugs.
Soldiers that had injuries before Chernobyl in addition
were sent to work in the plant. One of Chernobyl victims
was serving in Afghanistan. He received 3 injuries and
malaria, and 5 years letter was sent to Chernobyl. Another
person was the only one of 14 people that survived a
mining accident and few years later was sent to Chernobyl.
Unfortunately the pension for these people is not equivalent
to their achievements serving their country. Their small
pensions do not allow them to buy essential medical
drugs, ones that help their digestive system, support
kidneys and fight diseases that affect the brain and
nervous system. The Chernobyl catastrophe affected all
organs of their body and most victims need continual
Chernobyl victims who are able to perform some kind
of work are trying to find it, but afraid to say that
they are Chernobyl victims as Ukrainian companies may
not want to employ them. One of the victims enjoyed
working in school with kids but had to leave after he
lost his continence in front of the children. In Ukraine
it is not easy to find and keep jobs even for young
and healthy people and there is no place for invalids.
We were deeply moved by the resilient nature of the
liquidator families considering the shocking conditions
and environment they must live in. Every chernobyl victim
that we met is a hero having served a duty to humanity
at large. Some are unable to continue, thousands have
already passed away and more and more each day fall
prey to their diseases which have been left practically
untreated. Many are only alive due to their love and
support of their families who work hard to support them.
Without additional support their lives are bound to
end shorter than they deserve.
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