THE SOLITARY FIGHTER AGAINST THE ATOMIC LOBBY
Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky was a pathologist and rector of the Gomel Institute of Medicine in Belarus, the land most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, with 70% of its territory
contaminated forever. Professor Bandazhevsky began to study the consequences of contamination on the local population and found that cesium 137, one of the major contaminants released by the
accident, accumulates in heart cells, destroying them and causing, even with low doses, the onset of cardio-vascular diseases, such as ischemia, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathies and
cardiac malformations, defined by Bandazhevsky as "Cesium 137 cardiopathies”.
In 1999 Professor Bandazhevsky was arrested on charges, never proven, of having received bribes to admit a student to his research institute, and sentenced to 8 years in prison, in isolation. All his archives with his studies and the data he had collected on Chernobyl were seized by the Belarusian authorities and disappeared. In the same year Amnesty International denounced the fact that Professor Bandazhevsky was a prisoner of conscience for openly criticizing the Belarusian Ministry of Health for hiding the truth about the harmful effects caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe on the population. After six years in prison, under international pressure, he was released and, after a period in France, he moved to Ukraine to continue his studies on the consequences of Chernobyl.
Yuriy Bandazhevsky, is currently studying the consequences of internal contamination in children living in Ivankov province and in villages, such as Radinka, located close to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and fights against local, international authorities, and the atomic lobby to make known the truth, risking his life as has happened in the past.
Radinka is a highly contaminated village located 300 meters from the border with the Chernobyl exclusion zone. After the incident in the Chernobyl power plant a 30 km radius exclusion zone was created by artificially dividing the province of Polessie (province of northern Ukraine) and positioning the village of Radinka in zone 4 of radioactive contamination, the area with less contamination, despite the high contamination levels. Thirty years after the worst nuclear disaster in history, Radinka and the other villages in Ivankov province are the example of what there is around the Chernobyl exclusion zone: a highly contaminated and inhabited area, totally forgotten.
From the studies carried out by Professor Bandazhevsky 80% of the over 3700 children examined, and who live in these lands on the border with the exclusion zone, have heart rhythm disorders, directly related to the amount of cesium incorporated. Furthermore, 30% have an internal contamination from cesium 137 above 50 Bq / kg, a level in which all pathologies develop.
Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky has given and is still giving his life for the victims of Chernobyl. The project funded by the European Community for the Ivankov hospital, of which the professor was the coordinator and which allowed him to study internal contamination in children, was no longer financed after he discovered, over 30 years of distance from the Chernobyl accident, that the negative health consequences continue, that children still fall ill and that, above all, the irrefutability of the passage of genetic damage has been scientifically proven.
The powerful nuclear lobby, within the European Community, has done and is pressuring for the project to be blocked and not renewed. And so, for over a year, Professor Bandazhevsky can no longer continue his work on behalf of the Chernobyl victims. Meanwhile, the population of lands contaminated by Chernobyl continues to suffer and die due to the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
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