A familiar picture for most major Ukrainian cities, especially on the eve of the next anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy, is modern photo exhibitions dedicated to the Chernobyl disaster.
Fortunately, not only Young Ecologists from school circles visit them, but also direct witnesses of the accident – veterans of the Chernobyl Hell, sad and serious, aged with radiation, the distinguishing feature of whom are numerous orders and medals.
Valery Merkov is one of those heroes, he believes that such exhibitions are necessary, they provide an opportunity to tell the truth firsthand, to tell about what happened at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant by the participants themselves, until these events were voluntarily or involuntarily modified.
Among the artifacts of such exhibitions, there are often scary and eloquent photos of terrible events, a photo chronicle of the fate of heroic people and vital documents that were not commonplace in that days. The Chernobyl photo is an image of the heroism and sacrifice of hundreds of scientists, military and workers who went to their deaths in a battle with radiation, very often having only a party ticket and faith in this idea.
Then, in the mid-80s of the twentieth century, communism still had significant reserves for persuading people and a huge arsenal of means of intimidation – partisanship and career were synonymous.
There are well-written inscriptions under most of the photos that directly or indirectly lead to the fact that almost all communist officials acted in a false, cowardly and incompetent manner at the time of the tragedy.
Socialist labor “in the service of communism”
One of these photos shows three liquidators in overalls against the background of the Chernobyl administrative building. There is outdoor advertising above the entrance to the building, directly above them: “IN THE SERVICE OF COMMUNISM”. Immediately recalling documentary footage on the liquidation of the consequences of the accident, people in overalls quickly take out the crowded trolleys from the tunnel, which the miners lay under an exploding reactor to cool it. A red flag with white letters hangs above them: “Socialist labor is stronger than an atom!”
Everyone decides for himself whether to agree with this statement or not, but a terrible technological disaster occurred in the framework of this “socialist work”. Is it because socialist labor was “in the service of communism”?
Historians and experts who studied the tragedy believe that the probability of guilt of the regime is 85-90%. The station was built with violations, and, as you know, nuclear plants are being designed by very serious institutions, the construction of any nuclear station is approved at the highest level. The fact that the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was allowed is a very important proof that the whole system of the Soviet way of life was very sick already in the 70s of the last century.
Firstly, the station was built according to a simplified design. This was done in order to significantly reduce its cost. The main feature of this simplification is that deep mine wasn’t built under the nuclear reactor, in which it would be automatically submerged in the event of an explosion threat. Such a scheme for operating nuclear power plants works, for example, in the “most nuclear” country, France, where stations with only very deep mines are operated.
As you know, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built at the junction of lithospheric plates – the amplitude of earthquakes is always much larger in such places. A small earthquake occurred before the accident, which was recorded only by high-precision scientific instruments. The role of this small earthquake in the explosion of an atomic reactor at the 4th power unit has not been proved.
Experts are sure that the Chernobyl equipment should not have caused a significant malfunction, but the combination of circumstances is very suspicious. There is a point of view of individual scientists that it was precisely because of this small push that emergency moderators could not fall in time to the reactor core.
At the same time, most experts agree that the moderators did not work due to the sudden large overheating of the reactor and the surrounding equipment. This is not exactly known whether it was already later, and what was before it, but this became, in the end, the cause of the explosion.
Did kinda a maniac or a fool, or a saboteur act?
Of course, there were a huge number of errors directly by the operators themselves. The reactor was operated with six protection loops turned on, which is strictly prohibited under any circumstances. The fact that this was possible in principle cannot be explained by the fact that kinda a maniac, or a fool, or a saboteur acted at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that ill-fated night.
This is more evidence that the country had “rusty management approaches”, the communist system itself was decomposed, and it was incurably ill with corruption and authoritarianism. Both then and now, there are different opinions on this subject even among the station employees.
However, there is no doubt today that the experiment was really planned so that the risk was inevitable and it was impossible to carry it out in any case. The experiment was directly planned by the manager of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, who was writing a dissertation at the time of the accident and hoped to open a new reactor operation mode, in which the design power of the power unit would be preserved during reactor shutdown.
For this, when the shutdown of the reactor began, the turbine was not removed from the heat sinks. So, as the electric motor usually overheats from the load, the nuclear reactor overheated, and as a result, it exploded. It was not very difficult to predict for a true professional. The conclusion suggests that the director of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was incompetent and held his position “not for knowledge”, but “for the right position”.
There is a version according to which the purpose of the experiment was to create more weapons-grade plutonium, which was produced at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as a by-product and which, in the end, was the true reason for the closure of the station on December 15, 2000. However, there has been no official confirmation of this version yet. It is not difficult to assume that if any of the employees of the nuclear power plant knew at least something about this, then he had no right to talk about it.
What is the share of guilt of the communist regime in the Chernobyl accident?
The Chernobyl photo exhibitions provide information for reasoning about the real role of communism in the accident. Valery Merkov recalls facts about which he can freely say out loud only now:
“… A significant number of liquidators, who were sent to the Chernobyl draft boards, were completely unprepared young men. The guys were lied that they were being taken to the planned exercises, only after a couple of weeks formally spent in training, they were sent not to home, but to hell – to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. They were promised the “golden mountains” upon their return, but in fact, they returned home, only awarded with a bunch of illnesses. Nobody dared to go to instances and uphold the promised things, at the wrong time.
Only on April 28, under pressure from the international community, the population was informed of a radiation leak at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and made recommendations on how to behave. When the population was evacuated, they lied that the evacuation would last only three days. People were taken out mainly through the territory contaminated with radiation, although it was possible to take them out through more or less safe areas. On May 1, May Day festivities took place in Kiev, the level of radiation in the city exceeded the permissible level several hundred times – clouds flooded with radionuclides bubbled up from north to Kiev.
At that very time, the media in Western Europe were already actively informing the international community about the strong radiation pollution coming from the USSR … “
Archival materials indicate that it is clearly visible among the memoirs of individual officials of the state apparatus that the authorities referred with special reverence only to “like ones”. For example, a high-ranking civil servant from the State Planning Commission of the Ukrainian SSR recalls that he “… received a list of products in the beginning of May 1986 that were not recommended for consumption, also notes that a certain anti-radionuclide drug was distributed among the employees of his state institution.”
The common population was informed and supported, of course, many times worse. The Soviet government did everything to make the people know the truth as little as possible, it was officially called “non-proliferation of panic”.
If the authorities were so afraid of panic, it means that the people supported it weakly, did not respect it, had a low level of political consciousness and discipline. The Communists, realizing this, actively used provocateurs to discredit competing ideas.
The KGB secret documents say a lot about how the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built, how it was launched in the late 1970s, how the station functioned until the accident in April 1986.
There are intelligence reports about how they tried to eliminate the consequences of the disaster. Unfortunately, the conclusion that follows from these documents is clear and scary – this catastrophe could not be avoided. The KGB documents very clearly show that there were many violations, thefts, appropriation of state property, other thingsfrom the very beginning of the Chernobyl construction, which, in the end, would inevitably lead to another accident.
KGB intelligence agents report that the first Chernobyl accidents began immediately after the first power unit was launched in 1978-1979, there were incidents with a significant radiation leak and in 1982, 1983, 1984.
Nobody knew about it
Neither the residents of Pripyat nor Chernobyl knew about these radiation leaks, the inhabitants of Ukraine and the entire Soviet Union did not know about this, apparently, the whole world did not know about it. It is likely that the same fate awaited the disaster that occurred on April 26, 1986.
In a similar scenario, the Soviet government again tried to block the spread of information about what happened at the 4th power unit on the night of April 26, 1986. And only the fact that radiation clouds spread far beyond the iron curtain of the communist regime, right up to Sweden, finally forced the Soviet authorities to at least report what had happened.
The message in the Time news program sounded very modest at 9 p.m. on April 28: “An accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, measures are being taken to eliminate it.”
No one talked about what kind of accident it was, what its scale was. No one said how terrible the consequences for people from the release of such a large amount of radiation can be. No one thought about people.
The first instructions that went along the KGB immediately after the Chernobyl explosion were not about how to save people, but about how to cut off telephone communications so that no one could call outside the zone of radiation damage.
How to inspect and re-register personal correspondence so that no one can write about what is really happening in the territory covered by radiation. About how to work with foreign journalists, how many agents to send to foreign journalists, so that they tell them that “everything is fine with us, everything is calm, nothing bad happened.”
Retribution for the “Communist Paradise”
We must learn that today, the exclusion zone is the most terrible, but at the same time extremely expressive monument to the communist totalitarian regime. This monument is huge in its scale and heritage.
The abandoned avenues and streets of Chernobyl and Pripyat, with once high-sounding names – Proletarskaya, Lenin, Chekists, Frunze, Red Banner, Sverdlov, and so on – are exhibits of the communist system and an example of what should forever remain in the past.
Two more interesting points from Valery Merkov. Having survived the Chernobyl disaster, he believes that those who today admire the Soviet Union often do this because their country’s “military might” warms their souls.
But there is objective reason to believe that if the Lord had brought the war, the Soviet leadership would hardly have acted more humane and wiser than during the Chernobyl emergency.
Lies, coercion, desertion are the laws of a “communist paradise,” and what communist propaganda boasted of is just an exception.
Once they showed on television an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev about the reasons for the collapse of the USSR. He noted that one of the most important reasons for the collapse of the Union was the country’s economic exhaustion. The Chernobyl tragedy, like a worm, undermined the state treasury, a sharp drop in oil prices in 1986 layered on it.
That is, the economic stability of the “most advanced” country depended solely on the sale of raw materials abroad … In addition, “one sixth of the land” in the meantime produced only six percent of world GDP, that is, about the same as one tiny Japan.
Both before the Chernobyl accident and after it, especially, the country, with its once progressive industrial development, began to slide into the abyss. Low labor productivity, lack of professionalism, and communist obscurantism are direct and indirect culprits of the Chernobyl tragedy.
Most bitter and shameful is the criminal exploitation of the heroism and enthusiasm of people who did not spare themselves in order to correct the terrible Chernobyl mistake. They are an example, and I really want to believe that the current generation will behave no worse than they if they have to sacrifice themselves. Of course, it is better if you don’t have to sacrifice anything to anyone. This can be achieved by understanding the criminal fallacy of any Leninist ideology.