Antymonjuk Alexander Anatolevich was born in the Makeyevka
district of Donetsk in March 1954. He completed a programme
of study at college where he gained a qualification
in Industrial electro-mechanics.
In 1972 he
went to serve in the army "Boundary Armies" and after
this service he went on to work in the coal mines. During
this period he was repeatedly injured and in 1975 he
was paralyzed for 8 months due to damage to his backbone
in a mining accident. In 1982 Alexander twice found
himself trapped when the mines collapsed, blocking the
exits. Fortunately he was rescued by his workmates.
He explains that many others were not as lucky as they
died of their injuries or could not be rescued in time.
He subsequently left the mines and bagan a career as
a mechanic in Nuclear stations and after his formal
training he began working on Zaporozhye Rovno Nuclear
1987 he was called up to work at the Chernobyl power
plant. 66 days of shift-work at the plant followed.
Merely 2 months of service which was to ruin his health
for the rest of his life.
During our interview Alexander
explains how he has coped with his illness
and how it has affected his family. It seems remarkable
that he is still alive against all the odds and with
so little support he has even turned to alternative
medicine as conventional drugs are too expensive with
his measley pension.
Root medicine is a cheap alternative,
Alexander's family has arrived and food and drink is prepared
for our visit. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone
is affected in some way. "There is no recognition
or support for what my husband did" explains Alexander's
wife. "He can not work anymore, we support him all
we can but we can not afford to pay for the operations
and drugs he needs". Remarkably everyone in the family
has a steely resolve to carry on as best they can.
A local support group has been set up by Chernobyl victims
and although it offers no financial support or medical
help, the social occasions provide a crucial diversion
and opportunity to share problems.
Chernobyl comrades sing the "Chernobyl
You can make a difference to Alexander’s life and
his family by making a donation to us. Your contribution
will help purchase the drugs and operations Aleksander