Even if the government did not directly cause the disaster, it surely did show some questionable ethics in its wake. In addition to keeping a lid on the disaster for as long as possible, during initial investigations and clean-up operations the Russians formed a group of expendable workers picked from soldiers ranks that were to be sent into the danger zone. It was quite simply for these doomed souls; they could go off to war in Afghanistan for two years or spend just a few minutes working the Chernobyl disaster site and be released. Many men chose the latter, and they became known as “liquidators,” who were mostly tasked with shoveling sand onto the dangerous, highly radioactive reactor. Unfortunately for them, for many this proved to be more of a death sentence than joining the fighting in the Middle East, and the vast majority of them would die of radiation poisoning or inexorable illnesses associated with working there. It is not something the Russians have ever really advertised, and the tale of the liquidators has been mostly swept under the carpet.
Chernobyl nuclear power plant
The Russian government has also been accused of sparking rumors in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster of a mysterious illness that has come to be called “Chernobyl HIV.” This supposedly unidentified disease is allegedly only passed on from those who have been in close proximity to the disaster zone, and it is these people who are claimed to be ground zero for some kind of potential epidemic. The thing is, there is no evidence whatsoever of such a sickness, and it seems to be part of efforts to close off and isolate the affected areas to leave them to economically wither and die more than anything else. Former U.S. Congressman, Alabama Secretary of State, and Alabama State Legislator Glen Browder has said of this conspiracy: