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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August, 1986

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL S. N. MUKHA TO ARMY GENERAL V. M. CHEBRIKOV, 'ON INADEQUACIES IN THE ORGANIZATION OF THE USE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE ELIMINATION OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE ACCIDENT AT THE CHERNOBYL ATOMIC ENERGY STATION'

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    A report on how military personnel involved in the response to the Chernobyl accident are being improperly managed at the site, leading to inefficiencies in the cleanup process.
    "Lieutenant-General S. N. Mukha to Army General V. M. Chebrikov, 'On Inadequacies in the Organization of the Use of Military Personnel involved in the Elimination of the Consequences of the Accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station'," August, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, HDA SBU, f. 65, spr. 1, t. 37. Originally published by the Center for Research into the Liberation Movement (TsDVR) together with the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv at http://avr.org.ua/index.php/viewDoc/24450/. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134307
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gk/2

No 6363

of August 86

Secret

Copy No. 2

To the Chairperson of the USSR Committee of State Security [KGB]

Army General V. M. Chebrikov

On inadequacies in the organization of the use of military personnel involved in the elimination of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl atomic energy station

In accordance with a decision by the Authorities to implement efforts to eliminate the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl atomic energy station, a significant number of military personnel and reservists have been involved. There are currently 43 military subdivisions working in the accident zone, with over 31,000 persons overall.

Our intelligence shows that these forces are not being used effectively. At the beginning of August, in particular, out of more than 31,000 military personnel, only 14,620 persons (46%) were immediately involved in the work.

On July 31st and August 1st and 2nd of this year (days selected for conducting spot checks), out of 3,225 military personnel from the 25th Chemical Defense Brigade (Krasnoznamenii Kiev Military District), 953 persons participated in the work being done, or less than 30%; out of 3,055 persons from the 26th Chemical Defense Brigade from the same District, 1,394 participated (45%), and in the remaining subdivisions (the 2185th Pipeline Battalion, the 136th Bridge and Roadway Engineering Regiment) 1 to 5 percent of the staff was working.

There are considerable failures in the organization of labor in six military construction divisions (more than 3,200 persons) who arrived at the accident zone between June 28th and July 4th of this year. They do not show evidence of being prepared for the necessary work, nor do they have the necessary building materials or tools. Necessary oversight is lacking from the leadership of the organizations they have been sent to work in, and qualified military builders are being used at times as auxiliary forces.

Such a situation has a negative effect on morale and the political climate in military sectors and on the state of discipline, and leads to disciplinary and other infractions, and, in some cases, to criminal offenses as well.

In a number of cases, many military personnel, mainly the reservists, are expressing their failure to understand and resentment over the situation with letters to relatives and connections in their circles (see attached document).

All of this could also complicate the conditions for intelligence-gathering in view of the fact that some politically maladjusted individuals are trying to interpret these failures negatively.

In consideration of what has been described above, we would consider it expedient to take measures toward a more effective use of Soviet Army military personnel involved in emergency work at the Chernobyl atomic energy station through the USSR Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, and the Ministry of Energy, starting from the volume of work and deadlines for its completion.

We are reporting [and waiting] for your decision.

Attachment: Document on materials from the Party Committee service on the reaction from military personnel to inadequacies in the organization of their work to eliminate the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl atomic energy station, No. 15/3884, secret, on 4 [“3” is written by hand over the typewritten “4”] only to the first address.

Chair of the Committee

Lieutenant-General S. N. Mukha

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