Staunton, April 25 – The Soviet government knew that the Chernobyl atomic power plant was an accident waiting to happen at least three years before the 1986 disaster and, when it did, Moscow tried to find foreigners it could blame for that event, according to KGB archival documents newly released by Ukraine’s Security Service.
The Ukrainian service has published 35 documents ranging from reports about problems in 1983, 1984 and 1985 and efforts by officials at the plant to present the situation as fully under control even after the meltdown began and by Soviet officials in the capital to find “foreign agents” to blame (mbk-news.appspot.com/korotko/sbu-rassekretila-dokumenty-o-chernobyle/).
Photostats of the documents are available in their entirety at vr.org.ua/?f[name]=Чорнобильська трагедія – злочин радянської влади. Документи Архіву СБУ&f[type]=zbirky&f[npp]=21&p=0&p=21&sd=true&fd=true&so=Дата%2C зростання&as=false&sp=false&vm=0&tb=zbirky&locale=ua.
Had the KGB managed to evacuate these documents as the Soviet Union dissolved, there is little likelihood that they would have been published, especially as photostats rather than carefully redacted. What Kyiv has now done for Chernobyl, others have for issues ranging from environment to espionage, another way the world has benefited from the end of the USSR.