Ukraine declassifies secret Soviet documents on Chernobyl explosion

Ukraine declassifies secret Soviet documents on Chernobyl explosion
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Ukraine's government has declassified a new set of Soviet-era documents and other information regarding the 1986 Chernobyl incident, known as the worst nuclear disaster in history.

The Brussels Times reported that the documents, published as part of a book, "The KGB’s Chernobyl Dossier: From Construction to the Accident," contains an overview of construction errors in the nuclear plant. Those mistakes were believed to have led to a deadly explosion at the plant in April 1986 that spread radioactive material across a wide swath of Ukraine now known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Russian state-run news service Sputnik reported that the book also included transcripts of calls to emergency services from the night of the explosion, as well as information about KGB efforts to root out "unreliable" people among those tasked with responding to the incident, including those with extensive contacts with people in Western countries.

One regional chief of the KGB, the Soviet Union's intelligence agency, reported “deliberate gross violations of technological standards on construction” of the facility in the recently declassified transcripts, according to Sputnik.

Thousand of deaths have been linked to the disaster over the years, though the exact death toll is unknown. The disaster was examined in a widely viewed miniseries, "Chernobyl," on HBO last year.