Ukrainians remember Chernobyl - Chernobyl Disaster: 20 years later
Ukrainians commemorated the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster with solemn ceremonies yesterday. One more sad chapter in the history of a nation that has suffered so much -- forced genocidal famine, persecutions, arrests, foreign domination. Yet Ukrainians still persist in seeking the light of freedom.
Ukrainians remember Chernobyl - Chernobyl Disaster: 20 years later - MSNBC.com: "Bells tolled across Ukraine and mourners carried red carnations and flickering candles to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion Wednesday, an event that continues to scar the psyche of the ex-Soviet republic.
The April 26, 1986, pre-dawn explosion, to be marked in Ukraine with daylong events, became the world's worst ever nuclear accident, spewing radiation across vast stretches of Europe. It cast a radioactive shadow over the health of millions of people; many believe it contributed to the Soviet Union�s eventual collapse.
�My friends were dying under my eyes,� said Konstantyn Sokolov, 68, a former Chernobyl worker whose voice was hoarse from throat and lip cancer. Sokolov was among hundreds who gathered for a pre-dawn ceremony Wednesday in the Ukrainian capital, which President Viktor Yushchenko attended.
I try not to recollect my memories,� Sokolov said as Orthodox priests led the mourners in a somber procession. �They are very terrible.�
In Kiev, bells tolled 20 times starting at 1:23 a.m., marking the exact time of the explosion at Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station."