As is generally known, at Semipalatinsk Nuclear Tests Site (SNTS) in the republic of Kazakhstan, 456 nuclear tests were carried out from 1949 to 1989, including 111 atmospheric explosions between 1949 and 1963...
Because of those tests, according to the Kazakh government, approximately 1.6 million people suffered from the tests, and about 1.2 million people are still now troubled with the aftereffects...
Human Suffering Effects of Nuclear Tests at Semipalatinsk,Kazakhstan: Established On the Basis of Questionnaire Surveys Kawano et al. J. Radiat. Res., 47, Suppl., A209–A217 (2006)
Back to Kawano et al:
…I believe that my parents, sister - they all died as a result of the nuclear tests. My grandson was born in 1990 having infantile cerebral palsy; we treated his disease for 10 years. In 2000 he died. I also believe that he became sick as a result of the nuclear tests and all people in the area are the victims of the nuclear tests. (Karauyl, M, 1946)ibid
…My daughter was born in 1970, she was also sick from the moment of birth, had dystrophy in feet and lower legs and she was a mentally defective child. She died in 1997. In 1976, my son was born also mentally defective; he is the 2nd category invalid. I think they all suffered [because we live close to] the nuclear test site. (Dolon, F, 1938)
...When talking about the consequences of the nuclear explosions, there standing before my eyes is the image of my innocent daughter born in 1976, who became a victim of nuclear tests. She graduated from teachers’ training college and became a teacher. Her life had just begun, yet at the age of 20 she committed suicide. This is a result of nuclear tests. I curse the Soviet Union, which put the testing ground on Semipalatinsk soil. (Saryzhal, M, 1946)
…People who used to swim in Irtysh River before had some skin disease. Later on it became clear that, especially in the testing ground area (epicenter), an increase in the number of invalid kids and people who committed suicide, and an increase in kinds of illnesses that people were not aware of, were due to the explosions. … (Karauyl, M, 1936)
…I remembered every nuclear test, because we waited for them in fear. It seemed the earth would tumble down at any moment. Such fears have certainly affected our nerves. There are many mentally ill and mentally handicapped people in the village. … (Saryzhal, F, 1945)
Background radiation levels in the Atomkul district now reach more than 5,000 microroentgens per hour*. Nonetheless, the local people continue to pasture their livestock and grow crops there. A local shepherd told us that the military had warned him that he was grazing his flock on contaminated land, but since he had no dosimeter, he was unable to determine where it would be safe to pasture his animals. Supplying the population with dosimeters, however would not really solve the problem because they are being exposed to the strongest carcinogens, plutonium and americium, particulates of which are carried in the air and breathed by people and animals.
* "Prolonged exposure to 150 microroentgens per hour is the borderline figure for serious health risk hazards. A reading of 1,000 microroentgens is more than 80 times the level of normal "background" radiation. "
The whole Semipalatinsk project brought to you my that shining colossus of socialist compassion Lavrenty Beria!