News / Europe

Russian, Ukrainian Leaders Remember Chernobyl Accident

A veteran "liquidator" at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor places flowers during a ceremony to honor victims of the Chernobyl disaster, in Krasnoyarsk, April 26, 2011
A veteran "liquidator" at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor places flowers during a ceremony to honor victims of the Chernobyl disaster, in Krasnoyarsk, April 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster during a memorial service outside Chernobyl's nuclear reactor.

As Japan struggles with its own nuclear crisis at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said no nation can overcome the consequences of such a catastrophe on its own.  

Marking the first visit to Chernobyl by a Russian president, Medvedev called on the international community to work together toward unified nuclear safety guidelines to ensure that disasters like those at Chernobyl and Fukushima are not repeated.

His words echoed the remarks by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In a statement released Tuesday, Ban highlighted the need to strengthen global nuclear safety. He also praised the heroism of emergency workers who responded to the Chernobyl disaster and the plight of millions of people affected by the accident.

Earlier, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill led a commemoration service in Kyiv. He struck a bell at the exact moment of the Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986. The bell tolled 25 times, once for each year since the accident.

The Chernobyl anniversary was also remembered by protesters in several European countries. Thousands took part in demonstrations across Germany on Monday.

The Chernobyl explosion released 400 times more radiation than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. It sent a cloud of radioactive fallout into Russia, Belarus and over a large portion of northern Europe.  

The 1986 disaster has left a 30-kilometer area around the Chernobyl plant largely uninhabitable. Environmentalists any crops grown in the surrounding area could pose a threat to human health.

Thousands of sickened workers involved in the cleanup have protested in Kyiv against cuts in the benefits and compensation they receive for their exposure to radiation. They say their monthly pensions recently were cut, leaving them with barely enough money to pay for food and needed medication.

A donors conference in Kyiv last week raised more than $785 million, short of the $1.1 billion goal to build a new containment shell to replace the  now-decaying original shell that was built over the damaged reactor.  

The disaster fueled a global debate about the safety of nuclear energy as a power source, a debate that has renewed since last month's earthquake and tsunami damaged the Japanese plant.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid