Estonia Marks 15th Anniversary Of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

The local Ukrainian fraternity and the association of Estonia's Belarussians organized a vigil devoted to the 15th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's disaster on the square in front of Tallinn's City Hall. Those taking part in the vigil gathered around an improvised eternal flame, which resembled a withered tree that had succumbed to radiation (trees are considered to be the symbol of life). Some 4,000 Estonians participated in clean-up operations at the Chernobyl plant, says academician Juri Martin, who has co-founded a republican fund for aiding radiation victims. 93 percent of all local clean-up workers require medical aid; 36 percent have no job; another 22 percent lack medical-insurance policies. Meanwhile, a mere 6 percent of them boast average nationwide incomes, he added. Clean-up workers from Estonia still continue suffering from unemployment and lack of adequate health care.

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