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Liquidator (Chernobyl)

    Liquidators (Russian: ликвида́торы) is the name given in the former USSR for approximately 800,000 people who were in charge of the removal of the consequences of the April 26 1986 Chernobyl disaster on the site of the event.


Scope of the appellation

  • Personnel of the reactors
    • Yuri Korneev, Boris Stolyarchuk and Alexander Yuvchenko are the last surviving members of the Reactor No. 4 shift that was on duty at the moment of the catastrophe. Anatoly Dyatlov, who was in charge of the safety experiment at Reactor No. 4, died in 1995 of a heart attack.
  • about 40 firefighters, who were among the first to deal with the catastrophe, all now deceased
  • a 300-person brigade of Civil Defense from Kiev who buried the contaminated soil
  • medical personnel
  • various workers and military who performed deactivation and clean-up of the area
  • construction workers who constructed the "sarcophagus" over the exploded reactor
  • Internal Troops, who ensured secure access to the complex
  • transport workers
  • coal miners, who used their expertise to pump out the contaminated water to prevent its entrance into groundwaters
  • Nikolai Melnik, Hero of the Soviet Union, a helicopter pilot who placed radiation sensors on the reactor [1]



Between 1986 and 1992, it is thought between 600,000 and one million people participated in works around Chernobyl and their health was endangered due to radiation. Because of the dissolution of the USSR in the 1990s, evaluations about liquidators' health are difficult, since they come from various countries (mostly Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, but also other former Soviet republics). Furthermore, the government of Russia has never been keen on giving the true figures for the disaster, or even on making serious estimates (independent scientists are often silenced). However, according to a study by Belarusian physicians, rate of cancers among this population is about four times greater than the rest of the population. All the figures quoted by various agencies are controversial — see the main article, Chernobyl disaster for more on this.

  • In April 1994, a commemoration text from the Ukrainian embassy in Belgium counted 25,000 dead among the liquidators since 1986.
  • According to Georgy Lepnin, a Belarusian physician who worked on reactor #4, "approximately a 100,000 liquidators are now dead", of a total number of one million workers.
  • According to Vyacheslav Grishin of the Chernobyl Union, the main organization of liquidators, "25,000 of the Russian liquidators are dead and 70,000 disabled, about the same in Ukraine, and 10,000 dead in Belarus and 25,000 disabled", which makes a total of 60,000 dead (10% of the 600 000, liquidators) and 165,000 disabled [1].

20 years after

The 20th anniversary of the catastrophe was marked by a series of events and developments.

The liquidators held a rally in Kiev to complain about deteriorated compensation and medical support.[2] Similar rallies were held in many other cities of the former Soviet Union. [3]

On April 25, 2006 a monument to Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously) General Leonid Telyatnikov (Леонид Телятников), who was among the very first liquidators, was inaugurated in the Baykove Cemetery (uk:Байкове кладовище) in Kiev.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary the American charity Children of Chernobyl delivered the 32nd cargo with $1.7 million worth of medical supplies to Kiev.[citation needed]

4,200 liquidators who currently reside in Estonia may hope for the introduction of an Estonian law for their relief after the meeting of their representatives with President of Estonia on April 26, 2006. It turns out that by the Estonian laws, the state may provide help and relief only to citizens, who are "legal descendants" of the citizens of 1918-1940 Republic of Estonia. At the same time, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine do not provide any relief to the liquidators residing abroad.[4]

A number of liquidators residing in Khabarovsk who were in military service were denied a certain compensation for loss of health on grounds that they were not salaried workers, but rather under military order. They have to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.[5]

See also

  • Chernobyl2020
  • Chernobyl compared to other radioactivity releases
  • Chernobyl disaster effects
  • Chernobyl Heart
  • Chernobyl in the popular consciousness
  • Chernobyl Shelter Fund
  • April 26 1986 Chernobyl accident
  • Yuri Bandazhevsky, a Belarusian scientist who was jailed 4 years because of his investigations on Chernobyl's consequences
  • Vassili Nesterenko‎, physicist from Belarus involved as a liquidator, and working on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
  • Wladimir Tchertkoff, Swiss journalist who realized movies on the liquidators
  • List of Chernobyl-related articles


  1. ^ "Selon un rapport indépendant, les chiffres de l'ONU sur les victimes de Tchernobyl ont été sous-estimés (According to an independent report, UN numbers on Chernobyl's victims has been underestimated"", Le Monde, April 7, 2006.  (French)
  2. ^ April 2006 liquidators' rally in Kiev (Russian)
  3. ^ Ashes of Chernobyl (Russian)
  4. ^ Estonian President promises rights for liquidators (Russian)
  5. ^ Liquidators seek help from the European "Themis" (Russian)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Liquidator_(Chernobyl)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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