Archive for December 9th, 2013


 

On April 26, 1986 the worst nuclear accident in human history occurred at Chernobyl located within the northern Ukraine. This occurred due to a surge of power at nuclear power station’s no. 4 reactor, what ensued was a massive explosion that let out massive amounts of radiation. This disaster led not only to the destruction of the nearby town and environment, but also to the economy and international relations.

Following the explosion, Russian leaders raced to evacuate the nearby town of Chernobyl and also tried everything they could to cover up this accident from the rest of the world. However this cover up was disastrous and instead the Soviet Union not only lost all credibility on the world stage but also got footed with a tremendous bill.   Though the Russian government have never published the exact figures many people believe the cost have well exceeded beyond three billion dollars.  The cost to clean up such a horrific disaster far exceed just throwing money at the issue.  Not only did the Soviet leaders need to clean up the affected area but they also needed to find homes and jobs for the thousands displaced from this nuclear disaster. Yet, as one could guess a significant consequence from this nuclear disaster came in the way of international relations. Not only did this produce resentment from many prominent countries such as the U.S. and the UK but also countries like Switzerland resented the Soviets for trying to cover up the issue instead of warning the surrounding countries. But one of the most significant forms of resentment came from an unforeseen location the people of the Ukraine. The people of the Ukraine long felt as if they were being abused and miss used by the soviets and this disaster was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

This disaster at Chernobyl was just another issue added onto the long list of issues compiling on top of the weakening Soviet Union. Though many could argue that this led to the fall of the Soviet Union I am not one of those people. Even though this event led to disastrous consequences on the global scale it’s still didn’t have as major an impact on the home front as the Soviet-Afghan war which wouldn’t end to almost three years later.

Sources:

Current Digest of the Soviet Press. Vol. 42, No. 18 (1990), pp. 6-7. http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=article&ArticleID=1985chernvs1&SubjectID=1985chernobyl&Year=1985

United Nations and Chernobyl. 2002. http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=article&ArticleID=1985chernobyltv1&SubjectID=1985chernobyl&Year=1985

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