Thirty-four years ago, Chornobyl’s Nuclear Reactor Number Four exploded in the early morning hours of April 26th, 1986. Releasing 400 times more radioactive material than the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the explosion remains the worst nuclear disaster in history. The subsequent acts of the imperialistic Russian regime not only intensified the irreparable harm done to Ukraine and its people, but also demonstrated a blatant and callous disrespect for human life.
Located just 64 miles north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, the explosion that occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant subjected the Ukrainian nation to catastrophic loss and devastation. Only when radiation levels set off a nuclear power plant in Sweden two days later, did the Soviet authorities issue an acknowledgment of the disaster. By then, the majority of people in the nearby town of Prypyat had already suffered nuclear poisoning. Moscow continued to deny and conceal the explosion’s magnitude in an effort to uphold the totalitarian regime’s Iron Curtain. Thousands of innocent Ukrainians, including young children, were forced to go about their days, completely unaware of the nuclear contamination that was urgently poisoning their bodies. To this day, the detrimental consequences of Moscow’s incompetence are still evident. On April 4th, 2020, a forest fire caused radiation levels to spike to nearly 17 times above the normal levels, reminding the Ukrainian people that the memory of this catastrophe is still fresh. Adverse economic, ecological, and health effects stemming from this disaster are expected to plague Ukraine for many years to come.
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) annually commemorates this disaster, offering our prayers for all the victims killed by this tragedy and all those who continue to suffer from its effects. This year, we call upon the international community to help us ensure that the ongoing needs of the victims are never forgotten. In light of Russia’s continued disrespect for human life in Eastern Ukraine, we ask that the international community join us in bringing justice to all those who have fallen victim to the acts of the Kremlin.
As we commemorate the 34th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the world, let us never forget the lives that were lost to this catastrophic crime against humanity.