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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid