35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CHERNOBYL NPP On the night of April 26, 1986, the planned shutdown of the reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant seemed to be a routine inspection of electrical equipment. However, a few seconds later, as a result of a sharp jump in voltage, two thermal explosions occurred, as a result of which almost 600 dangerous radionuclides were released into the atmosphere. The fire immediately broke out and lasted for 14 days. 100 firefighters from the city of Pripyat came to eliminate it. The fire was extinguished by helicopters, from which bags of sand and clay were dumped on the reactor. The explosion at the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was felt by the whole world. In terms of the number of victims of the accident, Ukraine ranked first among the former republics of the Soviet Union. The total area of contamination of the territory of our state was about 200,000 km2 in 12 regions. Belarus accounted for 60% of harmful emissions. A powerful cyclone carried radioactive substances through the territories of Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Finland, Great Britain, and later - Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium.
Realizing that an ecological catastrophe of this magnitude would have negative consequences for the communist regime, the Soviet leadership chose to remain silent. For 2 days the world knew nothing about the explosion. To demonstrate the alleged danger of radiation, the party leadership did not even cancel the May Day demonstration.
The victims of the dangerous Chernobyl accident were a large number of people not only in Ukraine. Thirty NPP employees have died in an explosion or acute radiation sickness within months of the accident. Independent experts estimate that 500,000 people have died from radiation. In the coming days after the accident, 8.5 million people in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia received significant doses of radiation. 2293 Ukrainian cities and towns with a population of about 2.6 million people are contaminated with radioactive nuclides.
The events of that day became one of the greatest tragedies of mankind. The explosion, which destroyed the lives of thousands of people and formed a multi-kilometer exclusion zone, is forever etched in the memory of many people.
The material was prepared by M. Onipko, a junior researcher at the Department of Scientific and Educational Work of the State Historical and Kultural Reserve "The Poltava Battlefield".