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I could reject this trip but my conscience could not afford it

April 19 the retired colonel Victor Galagayev celebrated his 92d birthday. Victor Andreyevich is an experience doctor and heroic officer. He has seen and experienced a lot but has remained devoted to his profession. Before the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident Victor Galagayev shared his memories about his trip to the radioactive area.

On the day of the tragedy he was in the country and noticed some changes in the atmosphere. The official information about the accident arrived only several days later. Victor Galagayev had some theoretical knowledge about radiation and its consequences. 

Having got into the contaminated zone Victor Andreyevich became a disaster fighter who spent long hours carrying out his duties. 

He cooperated with local authorities and militia representatives. He held a control over the quality of water and food consumed by the officers. He supervised waste disposal. Victor Andreyevich was responsible for hygiene education of his colleagues, obligatory disinfection of motor transport. 

One more responsibility of the head of the regional medical service was to control the radiation level, to examine the local population, to tell them about harmful effects of radiation on human bodies. Having returned from Chernobyl area Victor Galagayev continued his work in the medical service of the internal affairs office. His trip to the contaminated area lasted 32 days (September 6 – October 8 1986). The commemorative watch – a present of the Internal Affairs Ministry – keeps the memories of the trip.

Photo from the personal archives of V. Galagayev

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