Cover Osteuropa 4/2006

In Osteuropa 4/2006

Radiant Disinterest
Chernobyl in Russian Public Opinion

Natalija Zorkaja

Deutsche Fassung


The Russian public’s attitude towards Chernobyl is contradictory and paradoxical. For almost half of Russians, the disaster’s anniversary is one of the most important commemoration days in 2006. Simultaneously, when asked about the most significant events of the 20th century, not even 10 percent of those polled named Chernobyl. The event has slipped into the subconscious, where it mixes with vague fears of another nuclear accident and radioactive contamination. A proper appraisal of Chernobyl has yet to take place, and instead of providing penetrating analysis, the Russian media offers unimaginative catastrophe scenarios.

(Osteuropa 4/2006, pp. 235–238)