Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CHORNOBYL

This was the beginning of the end of the USSR.  When the Soviet authorities ignored, then denied the explosion at Chornobyl, and subjected Ukrainians, Belorusy, and the rest of the world to radiation  -- and did not ask for help -- that was the beginning of the end.  Especially because a few months later, when the Armenian earthquake happened, and Gorbachev appealed for aid -- there was that contrast.  Why no appeal for aid for Ukraine?

A few years later in the late 1980s, I met a Ukrainian artist from Kyiv here in Winnipeg.  He spoke very openly about the Soviet system.  He said he is no longer afraid.   "When they endangered my children, and my elderly mother, and yet got their own families out of Kyiv without warning the rest of us -- that was it.  No, I am no longer afraid."   

It really began to unravel then.

In a few hours April 26th will begin in Ukraine.  Let us remember the ones who lost their lives in the accident, in the rescue, who had their lives affected and lost by radiation, who were displaced, who suffered physically and emotionally and mentally from the explosion and the effects of the cruelty, insensitivity, and politics of the government.

Chornobyl is a wild plant, a medicinal one.  This is an article about it I wrote a few years ago.  And let's remember that the Ukrainian transliteration is ChOrnobyl, not ChErnobyl.

Вічная Память!

Vichnaya Pam'iat'!     -- May Their Memory Be Eternal!