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August 28, 1986

KGB’s Report Operational Disorder in Organizing Activities Aimed at Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Elimination

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

KGB’s Report about Operational Disorder in Organizing Activities Aimed at Elimination of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster . Secret. 


Copy No. 2

Addressed to Director of the Committee for State Security of USSR

General of Army Chebrikov V. M.


About deficiencies in the staff of the military units participating in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster elimination


In accordance with the Agencies’ decisions, many compulsory-duty servicemen and recalled military personnel of the Red Army are involved in work on Chernobyl nuclear disaster elimination. Currently, 43 military units including more than 31,000 people work in the disaster zone.

According to investigative information, these forces are used ineffectively. For example, at the beginning of August only 14,620 people from more than 31,000 military men (46%) were engaged in work.

During days of random inspection visits (31 July, 1 August and 2 August this year), 953 people (less than 30 %) from 3 225 military men of the 25th chemical defense brigade participated in activities. 1 394 people (45 %) from 3 055 military men of the 26th chemical defense brigade of the same military district participated in these activities. In separate military units (2 185th separate pipeline battalion, 136th road construction regiment) 1 to 5 % of the personnel were engaged in these activities. 

Considerable deficiencies occur in organizing the work of 6 construction corps (more than 3200 people), which arrived to disaster zone for the period from 28 June till 4 July this year. They did not receive tasks, materials, and instruments in time. There was no necessary control from the heads of their organizations. Sometimes the qualified installers are used as an auxiliary labor.

This situation negatively influence the morale environment and the political atmosphere, as well as the disciplinary situation in the military units. This causes breach of discipline, and sometimes criminal offenses.

Many military men, mainly those who were recalled, convey their incomprehension of and often their outrage with this situation in letters to relatives (the report is attached).

All this could complicate the operational situation if we take into account that some politically unstable persons may try to explain the deficiencies from a negative perspective.

To summarize, we would propose to undertake measures through the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, the Ministry of Medium Machine-Building Industry, and the Ministry of Energy of the USSR for more rational use of the Soviet Army military men who are involved into activities at Chernobyl NPP, taking into account the scale of the activities and the duration of the task.  

We are waiting for your decision.


Director of the Committee

Lieutenant General                                              S. N. Mukha

This document describes the deficiencies which were made in activities aimed at overlapping of Chernobyl disaster’s consequences. These deficiencies could lead to new victims because the security rules of handling with dangerous radioactive materials were broken.

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