"Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the accident": Ideology and the Soviet Response to the Chornobyl Accident

Angeles Espinaco-Virseda

Abstract


Although Soviet ideology has been identified as a factor leading to the Chornbyl disaster, there has previously been no discussion of its role in the official response to the accident or to its aftermath. Yet, as seen in the Soviet media, this nuclear catastrophe triggered an ideological crisis which authorities struggled to respond to within a traditional dialectical framework. Paradoxically, their appeal to ideology in the management of this crisis contributed to growing disillusionment with the Soviet state and a reconsideration of Communism, leading, ultimately, to the collapse of the USSR.

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