Sunday, September 23, 2018

32 Years On, Russia’s Chernobyl ‘Clean Up’ Enriches Putin’s Friends Rather than Helps Accident’s Victims

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 22 – Thirty-two years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident contaminated regions of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, Moscow has been spending some 500 million rubles (seven million US dollars) a year not to treat the victims of that disaster but rather to fill the pockets of the owners of Russian corporations.

            That is the conclusion of the Russian Audit Chamber which says most of the money – more than two billion rubles (30 million US dollars) over the last five years -- has been misused, often under cover of spending on untraceable “research” or not used at all and that the companies want even more money next year (провэд.рф/article/50326-izluchenie-pribyli.html).

                The auditors found numerous violations of Russian laws, violations that appear to have been made easier because much of the funding was passed through institutions of the Union State with Belarus; but what appears to have infuriated them the most is that programs intended to help victims are helping ever fewer.

            Between 2013 and 2017, only 8100 Russian victims of the Chernobyl accident received help despite the fact that more than 26,000 people had been identified as needing it. Instead, the money from Moscow went to projects that had nothing to do with their health and indeed little to do with improving nuclear safety or any future response to an accident. 

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