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04 June 2021

"Chernobyl, My Eternal Pain": Comment by Liquidator, Natalia Manzurova, on "Chernobyl" Miniseries

Natalia Manzurova, one of the few survivors of the cleanup of Chernobyl, comments on the mini-series, "Chernobyl". 

Edited and translated in English by Tatiana Kasperski

Natalia Manzurova, participant in the mitigation of the Chernobyl accident's impact. The HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” has sparked great interest in all countries around the world and made the audience aware of the risks of a massive nuclear disaster. But this is a fictional movie in its essence. Is it based on real events and characters? How is it possible to to distinguish between truth and artistic exaggeration? Natalia Manzurova, a radiobiologist and engineer, worked as a liquidator in the Chernobyl zone from 1987 to 1991. Having been affected by the chronic radiation sickness, she paid dearly for this mission with her health. Natalia considered it necessary to share her comments on the series with the public. Edited and translated in English by Tatiana Kasperski

In place of afterword. 
by Natalia Manzurova

Natalia Manzurova, shown here in 1988

I know what I'm talking about, I was there. I've survived two cancers and now I'm struggling with the third. One day I decided to devote my life to telling everyone the truth about Chernobyl. 
What changed after the accident? They still don't want to tell the truth that the nuclear industry is not so safe. After all, in addition to the factors I mentioned above, natural forces can intervene, like in Fukushima. No matter how many 
times my colleagues and I would go around, telling the truth about nuclear accidents, people listen, get surprised, upset, worried. And then forget. 

But this film was featured to the whole world. There was a shock from the fact that it was so truthful. People can clearly see what happened at that time. They see the heroism and suffering of the Soviet people. They see that the peaceful atom might not be so peaceful! Let there be a lot of criticism. A lot of disputes. But nobody remains indifferent and people reflect on it. Maybe there is no need for lie anymore. The most important is that there is truth! 

The director of the film said that when he made it, he was not against nuclear power. But one doesn't have to be against it. The film responded to the public demand. We have to admit mistakes. It is necessary to analyze and minimize the risks of new incidents. It should be acknowledged that the nuclear industry leaves a heavy legacy in the form of radioactive waste. That we leave our descendants with problems for centuries. We cannot change it anymore - the atom has entered our lives. And if all this is not controlled by the society, the atom itself will come to everyone, as Chernobyl has entered every home. It is necessary to learn to act safely and to be able to protect oneself in case of danger, since it already exists. I am glad that the film was released and I thank the creators of the film on behalf of myself personally and of all my fallen comrades. 

Thank you. Natalia Manzurova

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