Ukraine marks 35 years since Chornobyl disaster

35 years ago, on April 26, 1986, the world faced the most severe man-made disaster in the history of humanity — the accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP).

Today, Ukraine and the World commemorate the victims of the tragedy — those who lost their lives directly at the explosion site of the station’s Reactor 4, who was heroically saving humanity in the aftermath of the accident, who died or suffered from radiation, who lost relatives and families in this disaster. Honoring the memory of all those killed and injured in the Chornobyl accident, we must remember the inhumane nature of the USSR’s communist regime, which was the main cause of this tragedy.

Overcoming the consequences of this unprecedented catastrophe is a story of true partnership, cooperation, and solidarity of the international community for the secure future and sustainable development of humanity.

We are grateful to the international community for the offered solidarity and comprehensive assistance, inter alia, within the frameworks of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine, G-7 countries, and the European Commission on the Closure of the Chornobyl NPP by the year 2000 signed in Ottawa 1995. Strictly fulfilling its international obligations Ukraine finally shut down the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in 2000.

Consolidated efforts and constructive cooperation with the international donor community resulted in а significant success. In particular, the New Safe Confinement (NSC) over the Shelter Structure and the Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2 project) have been built already.

We appreciate the contribution of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — as a separate donor and administrator of funds of the international community.

This is our common success story. It is our great interest to continue writing it further in order to overcome the challenges of Chornobyl.

We welcome the EBRD’s decision to establish an International Chornobyl Cooperation Account, a new donor fund to handle the remaining issues in the Chornobyl Zone. The first meeting of the Assembly of Contributors and Donors of the fund is devoted to the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe.

We appreciate the continued attention of the United Nations to the issue of Chornobyl, particularly the establishment of the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day now observed worldwide on April 26.

We welcome the participation of the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who is paying a visit to Ukraine now, in the events devoted to the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster.

The Chornobyl accident has left a mark as the greatest nuclear catastrophe of humankind and as a symbol of lies that kill. Imperfections in the plant’s constructional design, technological defects, the use of low-quality materials, and numerous incidents that kept silent or lied about by the Soviet government for years, putting ideological interests above the value of human life and health of millions of people around the world. Similarly, the Soviet authorities covered up the truth and tried to hide the fact and the scale of the Chornobyl accident. The Chornobyl tragedy actually exposed the criminal character of the Soviet regime and demonstrated the kind of responsibility any government bears for human life and health, for the fate of the planet. It became an example of the tragic consequences of misinformation.

Just as 35 years ago, misinformation and twisted facts are one of the greatest challenges of human development. The danger of that became especially noticeable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Ukraine understands the critical role and consequences of misinformation more than anyone else. By actively increasing its military presence in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and in the regions adjacent to Ukraine, violating the ceasefire on the contact line in the conflict zone in Donbas, pursuing a tough occupation policy in Crimea and Sevastopol, Russia is actively using hybrid means of warfare against our State. Both we and the world witness Russia trying to undermine international solidarity in restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. These actions must not remain without response.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine