Chernobyl Liquidators' Health
as a Psycho-Social Trauma

2.3.1. Similarity of Chernobyl experience of the liquidators to combat experience

       The substantial list of common non-radiation, not site- or environment-specific harmful factors and circumstances makes experiences of the Chernobyl liquidators similar to those of the survivors of other mass-traumatic events, both of natural and social origin. In particular, the Chernobyl experience of the liquidators appears to be in striking coincidence with the experience of combatants.
       Indeed, Chernobyl (for a liquidator) and war (for a combatant) has several common essential features:
       1. Both are characterised by actions (often — regular, or continuing) against an alien force threatening the health and life of the participant;
       2. In both events, participants are not volunteers (at least an absolute majority of them).
       3. Both situations are characterised by unfriendly social environment threatening the health and life. “The soldier should fear its own sergeant more than an alien”, states an old saying of different armies.
       4. Both experiences, as I will show further (Ch. 4.4), leave a deep impact on the subsequent life of the participant.

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Design by: M.Opalev
Studio ARWIS  Kharkov, 2001