UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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UWC honors Chornobyl victims, calls for Russia to be designated state sponsor of terror

#UWC news
April 26,2024 833
UWC honors Chornobyl victims, calls for Russia to be designated state sponsor of terror

As the world marks the 38th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and Ukrainians worldwide join Ukraine in commemorating Chornobyl’s victims and honoring the firefighters and first responders who gave their lives battling deadly radiation. Their bravery in the face of mortal danger must never be forgotten. 

The 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster is a stark reminder of the consequences of unchecked authoritarianism and the Soviet regime’s reckless pursuit of nuclear power without regard for individual safety. From the outset of the catastrophe, the UWC sought to expose the Soviet effort to conceal the magnitude of the radiation leak and spearhead the international response to aid Chornobyl’s victims, primarily by supplying medicines and medical equipment.

The UWC and other Ukrainian diaspora organizations lobbied to ensure that discussion of the Chornobyl catastrophe was included on the United Nations’ agenda in 1986, and, in the following decades, the UWC contributed numerous medical, humanitarian and technical assistance programs to address the consequences of the disaster. 

Nearly four decades later, Russia is again threatening the world with nuclear catastrophe. Since launching a full-scale war on Ukraine in February 2022, Russian soldiers have occupied and damaged the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and taken control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power facility, once again threatening the world with nuclear catastrophe.

Since taking control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Russia has hindered the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) monitoring mission from accessing the site. Russia has stored ammunition and housed military vehicles and artillery within the plant’s facilities, shelled the area surrounding the plant and caused significant damage to the facility. In fact, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remains “enormously fluid and precarious.” 

UWC President Paul Grod called on the international community to hold Russia accountable for its crimes and stand with Ukraine as it faces another potential nuclear catastrophe.

“On this Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, we once again call on the democratic international community to stand strong with Ukraine and bring the Russian aggressor state to justice by designating Russia a state sponsor of terror, imposing punitive sanctions against its nuclear energy sector and transferring frozen Russian assets to Ukraine,” Mr. Grod said.

“The civilized world must ensure that the regime of Vladimir Putin – the biggest modern challenge for global peace and security – is suffocated. Only then will peace in Ukraine and Europe prevail,” Mr. Grod said.

Cover: Ihor Kostin / Law Net