The accident on ChNPP: we’re not the first – we’re not the last
The accident on ChNPP: we’re not the first – we’re not the last

It is no secret today that the Soviet government tried in 1986 in every possible way to hide the terrible accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Even when the information about the explosion became generally known, the Soviet newspapers wrote everything. For example, about firefighters who were supposedly “equipped with everything necessary”, and about the absence of any reasons for panic. And that this had happened more than once in other countries, they say the accident is a “victim of progress”.

But as soon as the chain of catastrophes from the consequences of human life became sufficiently systemic, many began to harshly criticize the so-called version of “scientific progress”, giving convincing evidence that humanity was not only unable to achieve perfection in development, but moreover rapidly roll into the abyss.

Sooner or later, a person will be responsible for nature for all his actions. Accidents, epidemics, tornadoes, pandemics, catastrophes, natural disasters, any kind of man-made or natural disasters – this is not revenge on a person, but the result of his life and a terrible warning to future generations.

Our planet was not created so that people mercilessly use its benefits, giving nothing in return, forgetting that it is just a detail of a huge natural mechanism. Humanism to all living things is the main mission of the existence of man on earth, as the highest link in biological evolution that led to his appearance.

The catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is a milestone that all humanity would have to make very serious conclusions.

If it weren’t for political ambitions, the dictatorship of total fear imposed on the population, state borders, military potential, multibillion-dollar military budgets, fierce battles over national over-grandeur or religious symbols, perhaps we could not only learn the necessary lessons in a timely manner from what nature, but also cured of the disease itself – the virus of permissiveness.

Man, proudly sitting on the biological peak of cellular civilization, most likely believes that the history of life on Earth is a chain of environmental disasters occurring on the planet since the Cretaceous period, to which he was not involved.

On the one hand, this theory is not without truth. But today, one cannot reassure oneself with such primitive conclusions, if only because humanity has ceased to stand aloof from civilizational kaleidoscopes controlled by nature.

On the contrary, a person, considering himself the master of the planet, makes all kinds of experiments with it. Fate is inevitable. The development of the techno-sphere led not only to certain benefits of civilization and grandiose luxury, but also brought society closer to a chain of dangerous consequences.

More than 33 years ago, one lie, replacing another, caused radiation, as a result of nuclear weapons tests, the ever-growing need for energy consumption, technical experiments in the absence of highly reliable reactor protection, and unprofessionalism, to become a gigantic planetary-scale problem. How little is needed to lie or hide the truth, and how expensive it is for humanity.

Chernobyl propaganda

Most of the press publications on the Chernobyl tragedy were borrowed in those days from the central mass media in regional and district centers. Regional sources broadcast the words of the capital’s colleagues, as if on carbon paper:

“Neither the conquest of the pole, nor the cosmic orbits, nor the energy of the atom, nor the ocean depths obey without tragic losses. Unfortunately they are inevitable. And the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant reminded all humanity about this … ”.

It announced the “line supported by the country’s leadership to publicly inform the public” at a press conference at the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held almost a month after the Chernobyl disaster. However, instead of specific figures or facts about Chernobyl, it was informed that “… we are not the first, and we are not the last, since not only such a tragedy occurred in the USSR, but nuclear power plants also exploded in other countries.”

The first Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR A. G. Kovalev told how at one time at a meeting of seven developed countries in Tokyo, international representatives reproached the Soviet Union for prejudice about information about the Chernobyl accident, which they do not provide objectively enough. To which the first deputy replied: “…such reproaches to the Soviet side are insulting, since the state is doing everything to inform the public as much as possible…”

But then the official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not cite facts of evidence of “wide awareness” for some reason, but began talking about US nuclear plants:

“… Along the way, I’ll note, not in reproach, but for the sake of truth: when the accident occurred in the USA in 1979, the American side did not immediately understand the reasons for what happened. They transmitted information to the US Senate only 10 days later, and to the International Atomic Energy Agency at the IAEA, almost two months later.”

In May-June 1986, reports were published on the pages of Soviet regional newspapers about how accidents occurred at US nuclear plants, how the American government did not inform the population about what had happened and did nothing to eliminate the consequences.

“At about 4 a.m. on March 28, the cooling system at the second reactor of the Three Mile Island failed. There was a threat of an explosion of accumulating hydrogen and specialists had to release radioactive vapor into the atmosphere.In the meantime, Metropolitan Island remained completely silent about what happened at the station …”, from the regional press of May 13, 1986, “Criminal silence: how the accident at the US nuclear plant “Three Mile Island” occurred.

“Safety at US nuclear reactors is not guaranteed” was the title of the article on the shortcomings of the US nuclear safety system, which was published in mass circulation in the regional editorial of the state that announced the “course for restructuring.”

Certain publications continued to use newspaper fields to publish not just the latest news about the situation in Chernobyl, but to talk about the scandal in connection with the accident at a nuclear power plant located in the Hamm-Uentrop district of Hamm in Germany:

“..German farmers staged a protest as a sign that they were not informed in time about the accident and because of what they learned about the occurring radioactive contamination only a few days later.” However, the material does not say what the accident is, what its scale is, in comparison, for example, with Chernobyl.

In general, any critical material about the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in foreign media, information about the number of victims, about radiation sickness of the liquidators, panic among the population, etc., was interpreted by the Soviet authorities as “slander” and “deliberate spread of panic”.

“The reactionary forces of imperialism, primarily the military-industrial complex of the United States and other NATO states, having unleashed a psychological war against the USSR, are not shy about using outright lies… First of all, this is evidenced by the campaign of anti-Soviet hysteria that swept some Western countries in connection with the accident at the Chernobyl NPP. For instance, newspapers in Germany wrote about tens of thousands of dead, invented terrible tales, did everything to denigrate and insult the Soviet Union,” from the regional press of May 20, 1986.

Informing about the man-made disaster “in the Soviet way” is the height of cynicism

Information on the state of affairs at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was still published. From time to time, reports appeared in the press about how to deal with the consequences of the accident, evacuating the population, and the like.

So, for example, “Sovetskaya Volyn” dated June 14, 1986, informed about the press conference that took place in Moscow. It talked about how well the doctors and rescuers worked. A radio correspondent in Finland asked V. Vorobyov, a professor at the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, which group of workers suffered the most during the accident.

“Firefighters. They knew exactly what kind of fire was being extinguished and that they were threatened not so much by fire as by mortal menace of radiation. Certainly, they HAD THE RELATED EQUIPMENT. This service is serious. It deeply analyzes and thinks over the protection system… ”, Vorobyev answered the correspondent.

It is he top of cynicism! As you know, firefighters who extinguished the reactor subsequently died of radiation sickness precisely because they did not have adequate protection.

In addition, another professor, the head of the department of radiation hygiene at the Central Institute of Physicians, MD Golikov, in another material called “Radiation and Safety”, that residents of the Chernobyl region are primarily concerned about the risk of an increase in cancer and genetic disorders as a result of increased levels of radiation. “There is no reason to worry,” the professor and head of the department of radiation hygiene at the Central Institute of Physicians, MD Golikov, assured readers.

Some information on the pages of the press somehow dissonant among themselves. On the one hand, there were reports about how actively the authorities inform people about the state of affairs in Chernobyl and about the spread of radiation, but along with this there were reports that people “cut off” the phones of local editorial offices with a request to provide them with some information about the events in Chernobyl. There were even questions about radiation: “Is it true that patients who were brought from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are given iodine in the regional hospital?”

Today, it can be argued that the press did not have objective and specific information at the time when it was extremely necessary. People did not know the scale, nor the consequences, nor the real threats and dangers of this catastrophe. But they could read about Chernobyl:

“..Yes, life goes on. We are sure that men will give women flowers grown in Chernobyl. Life will take its toll. It is not in vain that a stork is waiting for people, who is standing near its nest on the roof of one of the empty houses. There will be people and flowers in Chernobyl, and there will be weddings,” from the report of special correspondents TASS-RATAU dated May 20, 1986.