The most cruel thing I heard was the emerging rumor of “Chernobyl HIV,” a whispered warning against romance and friendship with impacted individuals. This damning gossip about some sort of infectious sickness among victims and survivors in that region is baseless; but fear-mongers have begun spreading the rumor anyway. Such talk not only hinders social opportunities for individual survivors; it discourage businesses from investing in impacted areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
But why should the Russian government have all the fun? Of course we have to get the CIA in here somehow, and there have been conspiracies that they have been involved with the Chernobyl tragedy as well. In the documentary Mysteries of the Abandoned: Chernobyl, American civil engineer and Chernobyl researcher Philip Grossman explains that through his analysis of the area he believes that the plant was more than just a means to produce power, but also as a site for nuclear weapons, making mention of the Duga-3 radar installation as well. He believes that the site was capable of not only detecting missiles, but also launching them. Grossman also says that he uncovered manufacturing plants in the area ostensibly for making consumer products, but which had evidence of also producing nuclear materials sealed off in hidden laboratories in the basement.