Today, April 26, is the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, the largest man-made environmental and humanitarian catastrophe that occurred on April 26, 1986. A day that shook the whole world and changed people’s attitudes towards the use of the peaceful atom, a day that changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, changed the history of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Today is the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster.
The scale of this tragedy is enormous – 30 countries have been exposed to radiation, 8.5 million people have been injured and more than 100,000 have died. In Ukraine alone, the Chornobyl accident affected 1,769,000 people, of whom 188,000 were liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster, 1,588,000 were victims, and about 2,500 were involved in the aftermath of other accidents. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.
Ukraine is still paying its terrible price for this terrible lesson and, together with the whole world, is overcoming the consequences of the tragedy.
All the future generations will always remember those who, at the cost of their lives, protected Ukraine and the world from a nuclear catastrophe. They should show respect for the gift of life and for the future.
Monuments to the heroes-liquidators and victims of the Chornobyl accident have been erected in 11 cities of Ukraine, the Museum of Chornobyl has been opened in Kyiv, and a memorial to those displaced from Pripyat (Chernobyl satellite town) has been erected in Kyiv.
“Chernobyl” is a word that evokes strong emotions in every Ukrainian – on April 4, 2020, a large-scale forest fire broke out in the exclusion zone around the former nuclear power plant. The radiation levels raised 16 times higher than normal, posed a serious threat to firefighters and other rescue personnel engaged in firefighting.
The Salvation Army in Ukraine provided assistance to the firefighters and rescuers by supplying bottled water, flashlights and disposable tableware.
The Salvation Army in Ukraine continues to take care of the people affected by the forest fires in Chornobyl zone. Thus, Kyiv Mayak Corps regularly visits Ragivka village. This village is located near the exclusion zone. Ragivka village was affected by large-scale forest fires in 2020. Kyiv Mayak Corps regularly provides help to the people in need – clothes, shoes, necessary things, and toys.
The help is possible because of caring people and dedicated volunteers.
Kyiv Mayak Corps launched its “Christmas Angel Tree” to collect and deliver on December 26, 2020 more than 100 Christmas presents.
The Salvation Army is blessed by having such committed followers of Christ – officers, soldiers, friends, volunteers and other supporters. There are many possible ways how we can share our love with the suffering humanity. Taking care of the people affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe is one of them that Salvation Army in Ukraine committed to.
Words by Ivan Berezkin