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Открытая библиотека для школьников и студентов. Лекции, конспекты и учебные материалы по всем научным направлениям.

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RADIATION, LONELINESS HAUNT CHORNOBYL'S NEIGHBOURS

The sunlight reflects dully off a sign along the road «ATTENTION: Forbidden Area». It is a wasteland disguised as rustic paradise.

This is a place where an invisible poison of radiation released during the 1986 ChomobyP meltdown has seeped into the land and people's psyche. Yet some know no other home. «We were born here and we will die here,» says an elderly peasant woman. «There can be not other way. It is our fate».

It is a ghost-town life for many who remain in Ukraine's forbid­den areas more than a decade after the world's worst nuclear acci­dent. International health authorities estimate nearly five million people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries were exposed to wind-borne radionuclides. Thyroid cancer has increased greatly in children, but officials are unsure how many people have died or been affected by Chornobyl'-related cancer, chromosome damage or post-traumatic stress. The disaster still haunts Ukraine, taking 15 percent of its bud-

get to operate damaged power complex, provide medical care for vic­tims and pay other expenses.

Some people refuse to leave the contaminated areas, while others return years later out of economic desperation or a longing for their forefather's home. Authorities allow them to stay, and weekly food deliveries are sent to some areas. One forbidden zone is the Narodychi district, about 45 rniles west of Chomobyl'. Here, past check­points manned by bored police, villages are abandoned, window shut­ters bang in the wind against crumbing houses, door-ways stand open like missing teeth. Silence is on the land, the whitewashed houses like scattered skeletons, the bones still there but the flesh gone. A few figures move furtively, dogs and people, birds startled up, like survivors of an apocalypse, only without the crude damage of war, fire or flood.

In Loznydtsya, where the population dropped from 200 to 60 after the accident, Maria Zymuha still opens up the village library for a few hours a day. It is a cold little room in the village's theatre, which closed years ago. Large drama masks symbolizing comedy and trag­edy still hang on the building's facade.

The great war of ideas that has defined the twentieth century is finally over. The central ideals of democracy and market-based eco­nomic systems are now accepted in most of the world. At the most fundamental level, the idea that a self-appointed group of individuals can run a country is seen as folly. The transitions to democracy dur­ing the 1970's and 1980's, as well as those yet to come, are due to a variety of the quest for a higher quality of life by people everywhere. Although the recent trends outlined above highlight various ways that changes in political systems affect and are affected by economic fac­tors, they also rebut any simple notion that economic change alone causes the development of democracy. The current situation in China is one of the clearest examples of the complex interactions of poli­tics, economics, culture, and the demands for dignity and freedom by students, workers, and the emerging entrepreneurial groups.

Few people realize how complex it is to establish and run the institutional infrastructure essential to a modern society for it is through the constitutional, political, and governmental processes that the basic rules and structures that underlie market mechanisms are established.

Herman Bochi, the architect of Chile's economic transforma-

tion, has written that he needed overЂ00 trained people to introduce essential reforms in the governmental bureaucracy. Competent busi­ness managers, experienced entrepreneurs, accountants, bankers, and other professionals are also essential to a market economy. On the political side, well-trained and experienced legislators and politi­cal operatives at all levels, especially local government, are indis­pensable. Some of these values can be taught in the formal educa­tional systems; others require national leadership, such as the exem­plary, selfless role played by Vaclav Havel, the president of the Czech Republic.


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  • - OBSTACLES AND SOLUTIONS

    RADIATION, LONELINESS HAUNT CHORNOBYL'S NEIGHBOURS The sunlight reflects dully off a sign along the road «ATTENTION: Forbidden Area». It is a wasteland disguised as rustic paradise. This is a place where an invisible poison of radiation released during the 1986 ChomobyP meltdown has seeped into the land and people's psyche. Yet some know no other home. «We were born here and we will die here,» says an elderly peasant woman. «There can be not other way. It is our fate». It is a... [читать подробенее]