Semipalatinsk newspapers

This page contains some of the local newspaper articles from Semipalatisk which I was collecting as a teenager describing the personal experiences and the suffering of people who were working on the nuclear weapons test site (the “polygon”) or living close to it. It also contains images of our “radiation passports” with English translation, a document promising social benefits to people living in the area of increased radiation danger.

Most of the translation was done automatically and completed by me manually. Please contact me if you find any serious mistakes.

They survived their own “nuclear war”

When they were brought to the railway station with the strange and, as it later turned out, the very symbolic name “Final” (“Konechnaya”), the young guys could not even think that from that moment on their lives would change dramatically. They came to serve at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site… He remembered his first “job” (as the atomic bomb test was called there) for life. There was a dense unsightly fog. Private Viktor Goloshchapov as part of the radiation intelligence team stood on the hill. The rest of the units were lying down as they should, with their feet facing the explosion. It was a duplicate team of scouts. They were to rush to the “battlefield” (the epicenter of the explosion) if the main group for some reason could not perform the task. It was ten kilometers from their hill to the place of “work”. Despite the safety goggles and fog, the flash was dazzling. The fireball, swaying and swelling heavily, went upward, dragging a dark mass of ‘mushroom legs’ with it. It was astonishing that the fog around the ‘mushroom’ has moved aside, even the blue sky was visible. There wasn’t much time for astonishment – the shock wave dared them from the hill as the hostess sweeps a rag of crumbs from the table. They returned depressed to the barracks, washed in the bathhouse in silence, and went to their bunks in silence as well.
Next time, Goloshchapov was already in the main group. A few minutes after the shock wave, which crushed cab of the truck, the scouts went to their place of work, and then something happened that happened more than once, but then for the first time, and they even got confused. The dark cloud, which seemed to have crawled away, suddenly returned, and the radioactive ash sprinkled on the scouts. Black hazelnuts, gray jellyfishes 5-6 meters in diameter were falling on them from the sky. All the instruments were off the charts. It was death itself that fell on them. It penetrated their lungs with the ashes scattered in the air, penetrating their hot, unprotected bodies with invisible radiation particles. They were taken out of their daze by an officer who arrived and ordered them to return immediately.
At the sanitation facility, they washed for four hours. When you get out, the dosimetrist says, “Go back!” I wanted not only to peel off the skin but also turn it inside out, rinse, wash every piece of the body. Viktor still had a stupid idea in his head: “Well, at least a piece of the tank didn’t fall on his head”. On the “battlefield” before the explosion stood military equipment, where the “crew” were dogs. Of course, the hardware couldn’t fall: everything was turned into the same dust that was falling on them. Already in the evening began terrible diarrhea, blood was running from the nose… They were told: “It’s all right, your stomachs are weak. And the blood – run saltwater through your nose – the vessels will get stronger, it will pass.” They’ve been given a week’s rest and then work again.” During the service, from 1960 to 1963, none of them had ever undergone a medical examination. In the medical unit, they received simple answers to all requests: “Weakness? Eat more actively, rest more. Stains on the body? It’s an allergy”. One day, they were given old, contaminated clothes. They abruptly gave it up and stayed in the barracks. That’s why they canceled “work”. People in civilian clothes came, the scouts were stood up, and it started. Threats with which they were shattered were growing more and more. They were not afraid: they understood that these people defended themselves rather than frightened them. But what could scare them if they constantly risked their lives? One of the people who arrived silently stood aside. Then he said: “Come on, they’re right. They’re working 10 to 12 hours now. (At that time, there were often two explosions a day.) And all the time in “dirty” clothes? It’s murder.” Then the scouts found out it was a “secret” academic named Sakharov. That same evening they were reinforced with rations, and now the expression of feeding for “slaughter” has acquired a kind of specific meaning for them. They said that all were presented for the battle award – the Medals of Courage. And they certainly deserved it. The whole world was then panicking about nuclear war. And for them, it was happening, so to speak. And they “fought” it honestly. But they never got any medals. Before they left the service, they signed a 25-year nondisclosure notice. And there was a tricky clause in the text of that subscription, which forbade linking their possible diseases “in the civilian time” with military service. At the time, they didn’t care about it. But it wasn’t long before they remembered the ban. Viktor went to MAI, and his army friend, Nikolai Sorvachev, to MPEI. Once he went to a consultation and never came back. The institute said: “The ambulance has taken him away. Something strange happened to the guy – suddenly he went blind”. Vologoshchapov was out of exams, but then he got into the MISI. And here we are – the first session. One day I woke up and felt that I couldn’t get up. Roommates in the dormitory gathered around. One pulled the blanket off him, all changed faces, and retreated in fright. He held his hand across his chest, put his palm to his eyes – all in blood. She came out of the skin in drops, bloody sweat. And nothing can be explained to anyone, not even a doctor. When he could get up, he went to the hospital. Stumbled across a toll clinic on the way. He gave the last 25 rubles, came in. The doctor examined him and said: “Where are your parents, in Sverdlovsk? Go to them.” He was surprised: “What about school?” “You seem to be a tough guy,” said the doctor, “I can tell. Go home, your parents will be closer to your cemetery”. The doctor came out of the office with him and told him to return the money. That time he made it through. It’s a long story. It was very hard. Sometimes he didn’t feel himself, could “hammer the nails in the wall with his forehead”. Several times the thought of “end it all at once” came. But every time something stopped him. He wanted to live, and he wanted to live a lot when he had a daughter. He got married somehow unexpectedly. He discouraged his future wife: “Don’t make any sacrifices to me,” he pushed her, “you just don’t understand now. A few years, and I will be a burden on you if I have a few years at all.” She insisted on it. He only went to school for three years, and couldn’t do it anymore. He came home, tried to work on a construction site. Once he fainted on the roof, fell down. In 1968, they wanted to give him a disability, did not go to the commission. They wouldn’t let him work with the second group of disability, but he was only 28 years old. He found a job in a design institute, at least he could bring something home. His attacks of unknown disease were repeated every few months. But then there was a doctor, Vitaliy Naumovich Motenko, who took him to acupuncture. With the help of the doctor, he mastered some particularly effective method of auto-training very helpful in the fight against diseases. He made himself a device for electrotherapy. Diseases began to recede.
In 1991 he learned about the creation in Leningrad of the city committee of veterans of special risk units. And immediately went there, got acquainted with its chairman V. Bentsianov – a former member of the furnace (near Orenburg) exercises using an atomic bomb. Upon return, he took up the task of creating a similar committee in Sverdlovsk. Viktor Alekseevich zealously took up the task of organizing assistance to “atomic soldiers” like him. Their official status was established only by 1993 when the first of them received their certificates. It was a hell of a lot of trouble to beat out the statutory benefits. Many of these benefits are still not in effect. For instance, there is a provision for free travel on public transport – the Ekaterinburg Metro flatly refuses to recognize this right. Everywhere, from the bottom to the top, from housekeeping departments to some ministries, veterans of special risk units – all people are deeply ill – are causing almost anger and indignation. “Some veterans again?! You are multiplying – lovers to enter paradise on someone else’s hump.” This is probably the “softest” of all the things Goloshchapov had to listen to all the time. The deep secrecy of those events contributed in no small part to it. No one simply does know what these people were doing there, at the polygons, which as if don’t exist. No one can even imagine what each of them sacrificed to create a nuclear shield for the country. And, of course, no one even thinks about the simple idea that they may have prevented nuclear war. And now it’s a huge problem for them to get a certificate. It takes years of correspondence with military agencies. Not everything is still declassified, not all documentation is allowed to see God’s light. But is it not possible to establish a mechanism to confirm human participation in the trials without violating the secrecy regime? Of course, you can, but no one cares. According to Goloshchapov, there are about 900 such veterans in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. A little more than a third of them have received their certificates, and a third, in his opinion, will never receive them – it’s such a difficult case. But once they’ve received their IDs, they still have to go to their offices, sometimes even sue to get the benefits. R. Bikmukhametov, former deputy of Goloshchapov, has sued twice and died almost without getting anything. These people are mowed by illness, many are killed by forced loneliness – not everyone was lucky to get married like Goloshchapov. They live on minuscule pensions. With such poverty, even small benefits have helped them a lot. In Russia now, there are only 16,000 people with certificates – not that much money is needed to help. And there’s a new attack. In the State Council deputy, O. Shenkarev is actively putting the bills under consideration, under which veterans are deprived of benefits at all. His argument is as follows: “Why should healthy people, not disabled people, be equated with Chernobyl invalids? ” “And if they are still disabled, let them prove that the disability was due to tests.” – Add the supporters of the deputy. It’s blasphemous to call veterans “healthy”. And it is sometimes very difficult to prove the connection between their numerous diseases and weapons tests today. After all, they have spent their whole lives talking about their work at training grounds, and there can be no hint of such a connection in any medical documents. They were not asked to agree when they were brought to nuclear hell. Young and strong, they were needed. And when they came out of hell – sick, with broken destinies, far from all able-bodied, having paid with all this for the life and tranquility of all others living in this country, – Russia turned away from them….
Anatoliy Dzapakov

Nobody asked them when they were taken to nuclear hell

After the publication in one of the last issues of the evening issue of “GN” material “They survived their “nuclear war”, where we were talking only about the citizens of Russia, not by their will suffering on the Kazakhstan’s test site, we received a letter from Yevgeny Fedorovich Yastrebov from Semipalatinsk, whom by the will of fate and chance had to participate in that nuclear war” and experienced its terrible consequences. The clear and distinct handwriting at the very beginning of the letter changes after a few lines so that it is impossible to understand anything: the man got excited, and the letters rolled up with motley woolen lines on the sheet.
From a personal conversation, it became clear that this man, who suffers from many diseases that have overwhelmed him in the seventh decade of his life, suffers much more from his helplessness to our grandiose bureaucratic machine, which does not care about his specific problems.
Evgeny Fedorovich, how did it happen that you had to work at the range directly during the tests?
In 1950, I left Semipalatinsk for Kurchatov and got a job as a freelancer in a military unit at Konechnaya. In September of the following year, I was drafted into the army. In the spring of 1953, several dozen men, including me, were selected from our unit and sent to the nuclear test site. Of course, no one asked for our consent. We, in turn, did not ask anybody unnecessary questions either. We were placed in tents and for the first few months, we were taught, for example, how to measure radiation in areas remote from the center of the explosion.
Are we talking about ground testing?
Yes. There was a nuclear explosion in August 1953. I remember when we were picked up on the alarm early in the morning and taken about thirty kilometers towards the Irtysh. Everything was calculated to the nearest second. Just as we received the command to lie on the ground and close our eyes – the explosion was heard. The mushroom literally immediately rose – an indescribably beautiful sight. After the blast wave left, on command, we got into the car and headed towards the explosion, measuring every 100 meters the degree of contamination of areas with radiation. We worked, though not for very long, but every day, and in two months we got to the place of the explosion – measurements were made directly there.
Did you work in protective clothing?
We wore marsh boots, tarpaulin suits, gas masks. But we were young and did not associate the theoretical knowledge of irreversible processes that destroy the human body by radiation with ourselves. At least when the heat of August was becoming very badly tolerated, it was easy to take off your gas mask – to breathe in “fresh” air, to take a break from this new rubber mask, to put a sweaty face under a saving, as it seemed at that time, swaying hot air.
When you came to the place of the explosion, what did you see?
Within a radius of about two hundred meters from the center of the explosion, it was as if everything had been cut to zero with a giant razor. We saw tanks, planes, guns, a few five-story houses before the explosion – nothing left after that as if it never existed.
How was the medical care provided to people who found themselves in this fever of their own free will?
Nothing, you could say. I’ve never had a medical examination during my entire service. Returning to Semipalatinsk immediately after his dismissal, I got bronchial asthma and varicose veins. I could hardly work then, even just moving around was very hard. I went to the doctors, and they shrug their shoulders in surprise: so young, where did you get all this? And I couldn’t even say anything about possible radiation contamination: we signed a document on non-disclosure of state secrets, which was then and for many years after our polygon. Of course, I was treated little by little, but my diseases were never connected to the service at Konechnaya during active nuclear tests.
And now, do you enjoy any benefits?
Free bus rides and 50% utility bills. And most importantly, the treatment – all paid by myself, occasionally, from your little pension. I have a whole bouquet now: hypertension, ischemia, steno-cardia and so on and so forth. Medicines are very expensive. That’s what I wanted when the presidential decree was issued to provide a number of benefits to nuclear test participants so that my illnesses could be linked directly to nuclear radiation and my pension could be calculated accordingly. I collected the documents, appealed to the commission, but I was told that since I do not have cancer, it means that it is out of the question that the diseases that have been haunting me all my life are related to work at the test site. I confess, I was surprised by their statement, went somewhere else, appealed to someone else, but I was explained: if I do not agree with the decision of the commission, I must send the application and documents to Almaty. And that was the end of it. Not so long ago I read in your newspaper that a non-governmental Kazakh-American Foundation for Radiation and Health was established. This is great, of course, but for us, the specific people, it’s abstract and so far away.
Tell me, how many people from Semipalatinsk served with you at the range?
From Semipalatinsk, I was there alone. The rest were from different republics, but mostly Russians and Ukrainians.
And what about Ivan Vetlugaev, do you know anything about him?
His leg bone started rotting after demobilization. He had to move on crutches all his life. Doctors determined that it was from radiation, but he never used any special benefits, just like me.
Natalia Drozdetskaya

Action “Polygon”

I would like to express my great gratitude to the editorial staff for raising such an important topic for all of us Semipalatinsk people as “The Polygon and its aftermath”.
I was born in this city and have been living in it for 50 years. Our family was not small: a father and mother and five children. Now I’m left alone. Father and mother and four brothers died, almost all with the same diagnosis – cancer. I’m an invalid myself. 7 years ago I got sick, was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery. Three years later I had surgery again, thyroid tumor again, surgery again. A year later, I was diagnosed with pituitary gland adenoma. They didn’t operate on us, they suggested radiation. I refused because I’d already taken 22 radiations. Good people advised to go to Moscow, to the clinic named after Burdenko. Although the polygon belonged to the whole Union, the clinic did not have any benefits for us, the people of Kazakhstan. From other cities of Russia the patients were treated free of charge, and we, who suffered the most from these trials and are still suffering, had to pay for every bed day, for food, for taking tests. for surgery.
Semipalatinsk has a scientific research institute on ecology. I went there, passed a medical commission, and I was given the decision of the expert council: my disease is associated with radiation exposure during testing at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.
Well, so what? I received it, went to the department of social protection of the population, and there are answers that there are ten people like me, and they do not know what category we belong to. They didn’t add a pension, they don’t pay me “environmental” [pension], I don’t use anything else. I am just an invalid of 2 groups with a pension of 3300 tenges. Every year I pass a subcommission, I don’t receive a life-long group, I am not eligible for the “ecology” pension under the new pension legislation, as I only in 1998 was 50 years old. And with such diseases I have to wait until I’m 58 years old?
40 years of bombs exploded next to us, and now suddenly the retirement benefits have been canceled in our city! When the city was a regional center, there was still some way to live, some help, at least free medical and consulting. Let it stay that way, otherwise, we really only have to die.
V.G. Petrikina

I was born in 1948, lived my whole life in Semipalatinsk, in other words – at the nuclear test site. I was exposed to nuclear radiation for many years, although I was not asked if I would agree to be tested as a guinea pig. Everything was done in secret.
I am now sentenced to death without trial, but for what? People who have lost their loved ones are wary of despair, humiliation, and disease. The so-called “polygons” [pensions] were never paid to us, they adopted a new pension law, according to which all of us will simply not live to the pension. Although those who, according to the old law, managed to retire at the age of 50, were lucky. So what’s going on? Those who are lucky – the sick, and those who have not had time to get under the old law, – healthy?
It should be more profitable for the state to appreciate and respect living people, to help those who are in need, rightfully demanding compensation for the health lost against their will. Instead, medical equipment designed to diagnose and treat patients like us is being torn apart in front of our eyes. Indifference to the destinies of the Semipalatinansk borders on crime!
We demand for those who have lived in Semipalatinsk from opening to closing of the polygon, retirement of women at the age of 50, and not a one-time, but long-term compensation for lost health.
L. Sidorova

In 1982, my father died of pancreatic cancer. In 1969, I myself was lying in old oncology for a benign tumor, and then, in 1985, I had everything concerning the female organs removed. In addition, I lost almost all my teeth. I was standing in front of the prosthetics yesterday. In June of this year, I had to make new prostheses, but the order came out: only for a fee. Where can I get 6 thousand if my pension is 4000 tenge?
With respect, a pensioner.

I was born in 1940 and lived all my life in Semipalatinsk. My mother Pryadkina Nadezhda Sergeevna died in 1956 of stomach cancer. Then this disease only began to rage, my mother was taken to Alma-Ata, wanted to operate, but to no avail. I’m only 50 years old, and I can’t get on or off the bus as if I were 70 years old: there are excrescences on my knees, my legs hurt as if someone was twisting them. My husband’s parents and two brothers died of cancer.

The topic you have raised in the section “Campaign Polygon” is extremely important. I think that all residents of our region, villagers and citizens, suffered from the activities of the Polygon. You can only see this by one example of mine. I will describe it briefly: all my life was spent in a hospital bed, although it seemed that I grew and developed as a normal child, without any anomalies or external ugliness. But from the age of 10, my hospital “epic” began. At first, there was kidney disease, and from the age of 20 suddenly there was a persistent noise over the round arteries. And as a result, four paralyzes I had suffered. At the age of 46, I became a cripple, an invalid of group 1. I can’t live without pills, I don’t own my right hand, my speech is difficult, simple walking makes me suffer. I myself was a doctor, wrote good (as they say) stories and poems, even sang on stage. Now the present, to put it mildly, is not fun, and the future is even less optimistic. Finally, my disease has been linked to the polygon. At my written request almost a year ago, our akim Vyacheslav Butin gave a positive resolution, but in GorFO [city administration?] they say that there is no money, the budget is poor. I understand everything, but it doesn’t make me feel better…
А. Nestersov, former doctor, member of the Kazakhstan Journalists’ Union, disabled group 1

Thank you very much for your attention to the problem of the polygon. I was born in 1951 in Semipalatinsk. During nuclear tests, I lived in the zone of maximum radiation risk for 12 years, of which 7 years during ground nuclear explosions and 5 years during underground nuclear explosions. I lived in the zone of high radiation risk for 26 years. Today, I have cardiovascular diseases, as well as chronic kidney and liver diseases. In 1994, during the liquidation of the enterprise was reduced. Now I do not work, there is no insurance policy and I have no possibility to receive free medical aid in a polyclinic or a hospital, despite the fact that I am on the dispensary account.
In accordance with the Act on the social protection of citizens affected by nuclear tests, three years were not enough for me to retire at the age of 45 and receive social benefits. But there were many people who lacked 1-2 months, 1-2 years… And isn’t 7 lived years instead of 10 not enough? I remember the nuclear tests well, I saw nuclear mushrooms. The only thing I received in accordance with the above-mentioned law in January 1996 for myself and two children was 1/3 of the one-time compensation. What kind of equalization has our state made: people did not live in the zones of extreme and maximum risk, and at the age of 50 they retired and receive social benefits. And who lived there – stayed aside.
My suggestions and wishes: – all who lived in zones of extreme and maximum risk during air and underground nuclear explosions, should receive a social allowance. It is necessary to link the amount of the allowance with the number of years lived in risk zones: for 10 years of residence, an allowance to pay from 45 years, for 9 years – from 46 years, for 8 years of residence – from 47 years and so on. The amount in question should not depend on average earnings, which was not a pension but a social benefit; lump-sum compensation should be paid to all those living in areas of extreme and maximum risk, regardless of their current place of residence; free medical care should be provided to all those living during nuclear tests in areas of extreme and maximum risk, regardless of an insurance policy; if the United Nations-supported and provided assistance, it should be targeted. It is possible to build a new hospital with the latest equipment, but if examination and treatment are paid for, what will it give the victims? And exactly this happened with the diagnostic center.

Dear Mr. G. Burstock! We welcome your good intentions, the mission of charity, kindness to our land, our region, and our people. From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you for your desire to help the victims of the polygon and I wish you success in this noble cause! I, Tursumbayev Token Taytelovich, was born and grew up in Degelen village of Abralin district of former Semipalatinsk region, i.e. in the epicenter of nuclear tests. The terrible consequences of the 40-year activity of the test site have taken and are taking the lives of many and many people. The land, air, and water of our region have been contaminated. Over the years, 2,500 nuclear bombs have been detonated, with a total output hundreds of times greater than that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My family and loved ones, 21 people, have died of all kinds of diseases, mainly cancer: my cousin – from stomach cancer, his wife – from female genital cancer, my father’s cousin – from liver cancer, his wife – from esophageal cancer. My wife’s parents and relatives have died of cancer: my father – from stomach cancer, my mother – from esophageal cancer. And many others and many… I myself – disabled 2nd group, my wife is seriously ill: liver, kidneys, heart attacks, but for more than 20 years, doctors have not formalized her disability group. Five of our children are often ill. My peers and countrymen from “Degelen” and “Kaynar” agriculture are completely extinct. I’m the only one left, like a museum piece… I’m only six decades old, and I look like a 70-year-old man. Old age came early: general weakness, memory lapses, arms, legs dry out, heart, kidneys, liver hurts. How and why do I live?!

During the operation of the nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk the food and light industry dominated. Over 20.0 thousand people were employed in these industries. Due to the state orders they had, production rates were increasing, jobs were being created and the number of employed people was increasing. After the closure of the nuclear test site in the region, there is a significant loss of production capacity and accumulation of idle working power. The number of employees in 1997 decreased by more than 50, Otys. people compared to 1992. All these people joined the ranks of the unemployed. In 1997 and at the beginning of the current year unprofitable enterprises were subjected to bankruptcy proceedings, as a result of which hidden unemployment became open. In 1997, 20833 people applied to the Employment Center, which is 1.9 times more than in 1992, including accountants, doctors, educators, nurses, engineers of various profiles, drivers, seamstresses, locksmiths. 60% of the unemployed are at the age of highest professional activity (30-50 years old), 60% of the unemployed have higher and secondary special education, and women and youth account for 80% and 25% respectively.
The region has sufficient labor potential with business ideas, which are difficult to implement due to a lack of money. The unemployment problem will be addressed when projects are invested in job creation, vocational training, and retraining for the unemployed, taking into account market demand.
Completion of the campaign in the next issue.

Action “Polygon”

Hope for the U.N., but don’t pat yourself on it!
On this page you will read your stories (though very briefly) about how this 40-year-old nuclear monster affected your health and, ultimately, your destiny: because when something hurts somewhere, sometimes you don’t want to live. And very often you don’t.
That is why our relatives and friends, friends and neighbors have left (and are still leaving) us, and we can do nothing to help them – only to relieve suffering. Although it is psychologically difficult – because of its hopelessness – action every year is given to us more and more difficult. Our beggar’s pocket cracked at all the seams, unable to bear the cost of treatment and care for a fading man … And by the way, the UN expert group came to our city just to understand our problems and provide assistance, which is called “the whole world”. The weeks of hard work of the experts ended with a meeting in Horakimat, at which the leaders of the groups gave reports on what they saw, heard, studied and now recommend for the improvement of the situation in our region.
As Mr. Knut Ostby, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Nations in Kazakhstan, quite rightly noted, this noble mission was preceded by a great deal of preliminary work: meetings were held with many people, piles of documents were studied, trips were made to businesses, medical facilities, videos were watched, letters of citizens and publications in the press were read. Now, a group of international and national experts has a lot to do first at the UN Assembly this autumn, and then at the UN Conference of Member States, which will make the final decision on our region.
It should be noted at once that the residents of Semipalatinsk and its surrounding regions should not rely on the “manna of heaven”: only 40 thousand people whose illnesses have been documented and officially recognized as victims of nuclear tests. As painful as it sounds for others, the fact remains: many and many of our diseases, injuries, and deaths are caused, according to experts, by quite different causes – political, economic, psychological and many others. Therefore, the rescue of the drowning is the work of the drowning themselves. This is by no means a comforting thought for many: all the leaders of the groups (environmental, health, economic, humanitarian) insistently advised “to learn, to learn and to learn. To learn to assert their rights; to learn to survive under extreme conditions; to learn new market relations; to learn to cleanse the world and ourselves in it…
For the good advice – thank you, and it is worth of course not only to listen to it, but also to try to turn it into action.
How long will it take for our mentality to change, for us to learn to respect and appreciate ourselves and each other, to learn to live in this new, unfamiliar world? Probably, it will take more than one year and even more than one decade, probably, it will be enough for not one generation, but we should start it now, already today. And we still can’t do without help from outside.
Therefore, the main task of the experts was to identify the main population group that simply can not get out of trouble by themselves: orphans, lonely old people, single mothers, psychotronic, disabled people, etc. A program of emergency assistance will be developed for this population group.
Targeted humanitarian aid should be provided to families with less than three thousand monthly incomes, according to specialists, as well as teenagers, prisoners, women of childbearing age, and many others and many of us who are not included in the main group. The group has made recommendations to the Government for immediate action on pensions, salaries, allowances, financing of schools and hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes… The creation of monetary resources for governmental and non-governmental organizations should also help to effectively assist poor families and all other poor segments of our population…
In short, the goal has been set, the priorities have been set, the measures to bring us out of the collapse have been developed, but it is not wise to rely only on the UN as God’s Lord – we have to do it ourselves. There is nothing to oppose, is it not true, gentlemen? In the meantime, it’s your word:

The third generation of the polygon
The third generation of the Semipalatinsk polygon is already growing. What’s it like? Without statistics, you can tell about his state of health. On the streets of our city, it is possible to see, when suddenly the boy falls and it starts to shake. Frightened passers-by stop, afraid to touch him. This, which has become common in our region, is an epilepsy attack.
Two years ago, my ten-year-old son’s seizures started. I wouldn’t want the enemy to survive what I’m going through right now. It’s probably easier to hang myself. But it’s the responsibility of a mother who gave life to two innocent children.
The last drop that overflowed the cup of patience was the fact that free prescriptions did not allow our children to take medicines. The seizures became more frequent, intensive treatment had to be done in the hospital. And there was no medication. I don’t have anything to buy them for. So what do I do? How do I make my baby feel better? How do I get these anticonvulsants, which used to be free?
I went to the Red Cross Society too, but they said, “We don’t have any medication.” But for a mother, there’s nothing more precious than a child’s health and life. I sold things: a gold ring, a mink hat. But the money from the sale was enough for 10 days, and then what? My heart is breaking: my son has seizures every half hour. He can’t be left unattended either day or night. And at night, he has a seizure: eyes open and starts to turn everything. You have to try, though it’s not easy, to turn him on his side, so that his tongue does not fall down his throat. For two years now, at night I’m afraid to sleep. And every time, after another attack, I come to my senses for a long time. The doctors prescribed valerian and a heart exam, myself. But I can’t do it yet, I don’t have time, and I need money. I can’t work with such a sick child. I got on the unemployment register, I thought I’d get some benefits. But a month later I was taken off for violation, I didn’t come to the mark, and I had no money for the bus. And none of my friends no longer lend me, I owe to everyone I knew to buy a medicine for my son. When I tried to register again, on the exchange, I was so reprimanded that it was inappropriate with my sick child. So we live on the pension of my son on disability since childhood 1580 tenge (now we added up to 1900 tenge). We get it from the latest lists. And we should be first, because these are sick children who live only on bread and water. At least they’d have bought their medicine on time. Who have children, imagine when a child is so tormented, and you can not do anything. How your heart is torn apart by powerlessness and resentment. What did the children do to Allah? Or maybe not to him, but to the authorities? Where is humanity? How can we talk about the health of the nation, If this is happening where nuclear, hydrogen bombs have been detonated for 40 years! Isn’t that a crime against human rights.
I, the mother of a disabled child, declare..: “To have the victims of nuclear tests financially supported not only by our president but also by the UN.” As in support of the rehabilitation of our population. Without their support, we are doomed to extinction.
I think my compatriots will support me.
And one more request to our authorities, pay more attention to families with disabled children. Make some kind of allowance and financial support for the mothers of these disabled children. Lighten the burden on their shoulders, bring a little joy not only to these children but also to the sickened hearts of mothers.

Nuclear “mushrooms” – with my own eyes
The topic of the consequences of a nuclear test site that you have raised is extremely important. Maybe somebody can help us. I’ve lived in Semipalatinsk since 1956. I’ve seen nuclear “mushrooms” with my own eyes. These “observations”, which aroused interest in my childhood, have now turned into terrible diseases: in 1994, I was diagnosed with cancer and in March 1995, after 4 months of treatment, I was given a second disability group. On 27 January 1998, I had a “surprise” at VTEK: I was changed from the second to the third disability group. By the way, I was not the only one in this situation. I was not satisfied with such a situation at all. And not at all because I don’t want to go to work. The fact is that with today’s unemployment, it’s unlikely that anyone will hire me, a sick person. So I filed a complaint with the regional health department. On March, 18th the commission from Ust-Kamenogorsk returned to me the status of the disabled of the second group and appointed the committee for February, 1st, 1999. (you would think that cancer diseases are curable). Now I am not full 46 years. With the increase in retirement age, I’m afraid I won’t live to be 58 years old. It was possible to solve the issue of the retirement age in the Semipalatinsk region at the state level, at least not raise it.
N. Ivanova

The growth hormone is expensive.
It’s hard to write about human pain. Besides, if it’s not two or three people who have these pains, it’s tens of thousands. And on the other hand: if we don’t raise our voice, who will take care of us?
The illnesses that the nuclear test site has brought are an immense bouquet. And one “twig” of this bouquet is an internal secretary gland disease called endocrine. They are treated in the endocrinology department of the Emergency Medical Aid Hospital (EMS) – the only one not only in the city, but also in the entire Semipalatinsk region. And this is despite the fact that there are over 6000 patients with such diseases in our region.

Iron of the internal secretion, especially – thyroid, are, if I may say so, targets for small doses of radiation, – said the head of the department Saule Uzakovna Smagulova.
There are grounds for this judgment. As a result of the conducted studies, the following pattern was established: the closer the area is to the polygon, the more cases of thyroid gland pathology.
The annual analysis by region shows that the number of diseases is increasing. The number of patients with the nodal form of goiter is increasing – and it is already a precancerous disease, which can be avoided only by surgery.
The conclusion is self-evident: nuclear testing is one of the many causes of endocrine diseases.
The department, which can accommodate 40 people for 3 attending physicians, does not solve the problem, especially now: with the granting of the new status of the central hospital BSMP and it is designed specifically for the ambulance, but not for long-term treatment.
Since 1989, the idea of creating an endocrinological center in the city has been fermenting among endocrinologists. What will this center give?
Firstly, the center helped to improve the theoretical knowledge of doctors, especially those working in district policlinics. It is no secret that there are no endocrinologists at all in the districts, and endocrine diseases are handled by therapists. When they come to town on their own, they take the time to visit the BSMP and consult with their city colleagues. And if there was a center, then the problem of exchange of experience could be solved by seminars, conferences.
Secondly, it would have been possible to create a hormonal laboratory at the center and thus improve the diagnostic work. There are no drugs for hormonal status determination in the hospital; nor (even if there were 6) time for practicing doctors.
Thirdly, it would be possible to open a children’s ward in the center. Now everything is allocated for children with endocrine pathology… 5 beds – and even so at the regional hospital. It’s “very convenient” for doctors to drive across the city to see their little patients.
To date, no sick person has been denied help in the department. In addition, the so-called substitution therapy (hormonal – with an insufficient function of the glands) is free of charge, insulin bought at $ 60,000 city department of health, thyroid hormone is provided through the partnership “Semipalatinsk-Houston”. And treatment of complications (concomitant pathology) is already at the expense of the patient.
Problems – like everywhere else: lack of funding. There are no anorexic drugs for the treatment of obesity (appetite suppressant). Due to its high cost, there is no growth hormone for children with impaired physical development (one ampoule of growth hormone costs 50-60 dollars, you need to make 3-4 injections a week, and the whole course of treatment is several years). And after all, such children are considered disabled since childhood, and by law, they are entitled to free lifelong treatment. And the state, alas, can not help them. Or does it not want to?

Radiation passports

(first page)
Approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated May 26, 1993 No431.


Affirming the right to receive benefits for the victim of nuclear testing at the Semipalatinsk test site.
Series SP, No 561632
Surname Stepanov
First name Ivan
Patronymic Sergeevich
Date of birth 10 May 1985
from V 1985 to XII 1990
was living in the city Semipalatinsk in the zone of increased rad. risk and from …(empty) to … (empty).

Date of issue 190799, signature.
The certificate is permanent and valid on the whole territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

(second page)
Brief information
On benefits for citizens affected by nuclear tests (from the Act of 18 December 1992 on social protection of citizens affected by nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site). Citizens who have lived and are living in the zones referred to in articles 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are guaranteed differential lump-sum monetary compensation. In addition, these citizens are entitled, within the framework established by the Act, to:
pensions on preferential terms;
benefits for calculating length of service;
annual medical benefits for disabled persons whose disabilities have arisen as a result of nuclear tests;
additional pay, pensions, stipends and allowances;
and annual additional paid leave.
Children and adolescents up to the age of 18 living in areas affected by nuclear tests are entitled to free health-improvement (for medical reasons) in sanatorium and health-improvement facilities.
Payment of lump-sum monetary compensation in the amount of
produced by
(name of the organization, date, stamp and signature of the person who issued the compensation).
The recipient’s personal signature.