Global Journalist: Soviet Nuclear Program Leaves Grim Legacy | KBIA

Global Journalist: Soviet Nuclear Program Leaves Grim Legacy

Jul 11, 2019

A radiation test at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 2008.
Credit AP Photo

The Soviet Union's nuclear program was once one of the largest in the world. But from Chernobyl to the empire's former atomic bomb site in Kazakhstan, the legacy of that effort still affects tens of thousands of people in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we learn about the Semipalatinsk test site in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan, where more than 400 nuclear weapons were tested and where local people now graze their animals near thermonuclear bomb craters.

We also examine the lasting impacts on Ukraine and neighboring Belarus of the 1986 meltdown of Chernobyl's reactor No. 4.


Joining the program: 

    • Tetiana Iakubovych, journalist, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    • Alex Znatkevich, multimedia producer, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    • Harutuyun Mansuryun, multimedia producer, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    • Magdalena Stawkowski, researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and assistant professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina

Producer: Seth Bodine
Visual Editor: Megan Smaltz
Production assistance: Trevor Hook