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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 08, 1986

    Notice: Information from Places of Evacuation

    Two weeks after the accident, an unnamed KGB officer from the Ukrainian SSR reports on the situation in evacuation sites, the sentiment of local people, the situation in transportation hubs and at key industrial facilities in Kyiv, as well as about the measures taken to prevent foreign journalists from gathering information about the case.

  • May 12, 1986

    Untitled notice on public attitudes toward the Chernobyl accident

    The document lists public responses to Chernobyl, citing a Ukrainian professor who attributed the accident to a Russian desire to exterminate Ukrainians, former members of underground Ukrainian Nationalist movements (OUN) expressing sympathy to those affected, and how several truck drivers refused to drive in area of the plant, choosing to quit their jobs instead.

  • May 16, 1986

    Report on Radiation Situation. Secret. Signed by Experts A.V. Produnov and G.V. Yeremin

    Radiation levels in Pripyat and the surrounding area following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

  • May 21, 1986

    VCh Message from Moscow, dated 18:20, 21 May 1986

    Sent by Deputy Minister Shchepin, the telegram states that those who are under observation for radiation exposure, but who do not show signs of serious radiation sickness, will be discharged with a diagnosis of “vegetative-vascular dystonia”. Those who have been diagnosed with radiation poisoning of higher degrees will be given the diagnosis “serious radiation sickness from associated exposure to radiation” with notes on its level of severity and specific details of complications, including radiation burns.

  • May 23, 1986

    Preliminary Report on Radiation Levels in Lithuania Following the Chernobyl Accident

    Report from the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences on radiation levels detected in May 1986 following the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Both atmospheric tests and tests of food products like milk and honey showed elevated levels of radiation and radioactive isotopes which were “dangerous to the health of the population.”

  • June 11, 1986

    The Situation and Measures to Eliminate the Consequences of the Accident at the Chernobyl AEhS as of 12 June 1986

    The report covers the radiation conditions in Kiev Oblast as of 12th June 1986. In addition, it covers decontamination process, public security and well-being, transportation and calls for speed up building of sarcophagus.

  • July 03, 1986

    Gordienko, 'Notice on "OS" [Environmental Conditions]'

    This note explains the levels of radiation around the reactor, decontamination techniques, the number of troops involved in the cleanup process.

  • July 08, 1986

    Inventory of Information Subject to Classification on Issues related to the Accident in Block # 4 of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station (ChAES)

    The document lists extent to which various information related to Chernobyl which should be classified, and for what reasons certain items may be shared.

  • July 28, 1986

    List of Information Subject to Classification concerning Questions Associated with the Accident at Unit Nº 4 of the Chernobyl AEhS (ChAEhS)

    An archival summary of the level of secrecy attached to various types of information about the Chernobyl NPP accident, the vast majority of which are classified as "Secret."

  • 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'

    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.

  • August 15, 1986

    Report Memo from S. Mukha to Comrade A.P. Liashko, 'On the Reliability of Measures taken for Dosimetric Inspection of Contaminated Environment and Food Products'

    The document refers to the multifaceted work of ministries and departments of the USSR in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident and recommends numerous new to reduce environmental, food, and water contamination.

  • August 28, 1986

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

    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.

  • August 30, 1986

    Order from the Chair of the Committee of State Security [KGB] of the USSR, 'On Measures to Strengthen the Counter-Intelligence Work at Atomic Energy Units in connection with the Accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station'

    The Chairman lists a series of directives and responses to the Chernobyl incident, addressed to different levels of KGB cadre, discussing ways to strengthen standards at nuclear power facilities, calling for increased responsibility for the failure of local KGB staff to inform the central command on plant issues, recommending that specialists be pulled in to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities going forward, and implementing more intense oversight at all nuclear plants and scientific research facilities to ensure that issues which may lead to accidents are known.

  • September 16, 1986

    Second Report on Radiation Levels in Lithuania Following the Chernobyl Accident

    In a follow up to their earlier May report, the Lithuanian Academy of Science summarizes levels of radiation detected between April and August of 1986 following the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Atmospheric tests showed a sharp rise in radiation levels in late April, up to 50 times higher than Soviet standards for safe levels of exposure. Levels dropped off in May, with occasional spikes. The report also summarizes tests of food products grown in Lithuania or imported from other Soviet Republics.

  • September 30, 1986

    Order of the Committee of State Security [KGB] of the USSR

    These documents contain information regarding acceptable levels of radiation on individuals, in foods, as well as on roads, clothing, and equipment.