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President Lukashenko about progress in Chernobyl affected lands

Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the progress on the rehabilitation of the affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe zones. It was stated by Alexander Lukashenko on June 16, 2017 when he was visiting the Polesie State Radioecological Reserve.

The President was told about the radiation situation in the area, about the ecological processes in the reserve, about the plans on further development of the polluted areas. The production of Gomel region was discussed as well. In the last 15 years the region managed to treble the food production in certain segments. For instance, a bee yard was organized in the reserve, where, despite the high level of radiation, pyre honey is produced.

The reserve is divided into two parts today. The first part is a reserve, the second one is an experimental farming zone of 68,000 hectares, there is a bee yard and horse farm there.

More than 24 thousand people used to live here. However, the accident of 1986 wiped off 429 settlements from the map. It is not surprising that President Lukashenko comes here for the fifth time.

The territory was hit by radiation immensely. From the 1,500 nuclides known, this area has 900 of them. On level of pollution, the area is divided into two parts: restricted farming area, where the soil contamination density is from 15 to 40 Ci, and there is the reserve, where the radiation is off the charts.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Give me the report on the Chernobyl programme immediately when I return, how much money has been invested into the programme.

Life on this land exists. Maybe some people left to a different town or village. There are those who remained on their native land despite all the fears, the radiation, and helps this land to come alive again.

All the activities are carried out within the State remedial action programme. However, salaries must be increased, the work in the reserve must be developed and the borders of the reserve must be widened as well.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Get the documents sorted, take these issues for the prospects. So that you have certain documents. We need to consider this problem once again taking into consideration these 30 years and the experience we have. And then we need to decide. This problem belongs to you and the scientists: if there is good fish in the spring water and people catch and eat it. Consider the matter yourselves. A person will not go to a place where it is not safe.

By order of Alexander Lukashenko, and experimental base was founded there in 1995, where the possibilities of producing goods on the territory are being considered. This is an experimental bee yard where pure honey is produced. If ell the instructions are followed, a whole infrastructure can be established here in the future.

Alexander Lukashenko:
You need to make your minds up how many bee yards you’ll have here, how many finishing and hunting acreages, where people will be resting, catching fish, tourists will come. I will come fishing here next time.

Sergei Krasovsky is from Khoiniki. He did not leave his land when the accident happened. His main task is to understand the processes of radionuclides entering plants from the soil, from soil into bee honey and so on.

Sergei Krasovsky, forest-guard of Vorotetsk forestry:
We will develop, the bee yard will have up to 100 bee families. The second bee yard will be like this as well. As for the horses, as many as 50 of them were brought to the reserve as far back as in 1988. This land has changed a lot since then. The horse farm breeds horses and sells them to the people of the district and the region. In 1995, they tried to breed horses, pigs and cows for meat. But it didn’t work out. So, they decided to breed horses for work. There are more than 300 horses here now.

The President is sure that there should be more farms in the zone like this.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Make stables and breed horses. Sell them and there is nothing left on clean feed in half of year. That is one thing, Secondly, we do not eat horses we breed them for work. I noticed that more and more people buy horses today. If he chooses a horse for me, I’ll buy it from him.

The horse breeders of the reserve are interested in the ties of radiation science with production. Ferrocyanides, biological active and complex additives were tested on this farm in the last five years. New growing and feeding technologies were developed. The radiation level a few kilometres away from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station is under control of scientists. They study the water systems, forests and wildlife there. The results of their work have been recognized at the world level a long time ago.

Vyacheslav Zabrodsky, head of spectroscopy and radiochemistry laboratory:
We had several agreements since 2014, scientists from Norway came and from other Scandinavian countries as well. There was a project in 2014, there were five teams, the employers of the reserve prepared platforms here, they tested their equipment there.

Alexander Lukashenko got acquainted with the local museum as well. Having though about that tragic event once again, he shared his thought with the journalists.

Alexander Lukashenko:
This is a big part of my life. And it is not the happiest part of it. This is where the toughest decisions had to be made, when I visited these villages, when people were frightened, when people were thrown out of their homes, some of them decided to leave themselves. They returned to the place in one year, they weren’t given passports, they weren’t registered. This is when my Chernobyl life began. There was a lot of criticism addressed to me when we began to cultivate land there. I was forced to settle near the Pripyat then, I built a wooden house there. I even live there today. I always began my new life in the new year in the Gomel region. The sowing campaign always began here, I used to visit this place a lot. Agricultural settlements were built in the Polesie. The Polesie program was accepted. I was forced to live here, I spent a lot of time here 20-15-17 years ago. This is what this life began with. Can you imagine what Chernobyl life means to me? Chernobyl stayed there. Yes. There are consequences here. However, nice and beautiful people live here. I always ask this question (and asked him as well): tell me about your feelings. As many as 20 years have passed since our last meeting, what has changed? What are the people like? What is the life expectancy? He smiles and says that many have lived more than they could before Chernobyl. I am happy that the right decision was made, it did not influence the health of people who lived here, returned to the zone and who left this life before. It proved the correctness of the made decision. Nevertheless, we stay careful. We do not really enter the 30-kilometre zone. However, I am happy that by coming here such a decision was made. The money was given to the governor. The task now is to have ten horsing farms like this one by the end of the five-year-plan (in three years’ time) and three new bee yards. Maybe even a wood processing plant. They have the money so do it. I’ll come back at the end of the five-year plan and see whether it has been done or not.

After the Chernobyl accident, this land turned into a real oasis of wildlife. Maybe people do not live here but there is life. This is how it should be. People should help this land to get a second life in the future.

President Lukashenko about progress in Chernobyl affected lands