Russian troops digging trenches in Chernobyl suffer radiation sickness

Originally published at: Russian troops digging trenches in Chernobyl suffer radiation sickness | Boing Boing


Inhalation has got to be one of the worst forms of radiation poisoning. What possible strategic advantage could occupying the contaminated parts of Chernobyl have?

Oh yeah… terrorism.


Is this war getting more stupid by the day?




I was reading a report that claimed many/most of the Russian soldiers there didn’t actually know the history - they had no idea of the nuclear meltdown or that the area was contaminated. Which… would explain some things.


I would guess the Russian generals who ordered them to dig in and fortify were probably hoping the Ukrainians would attack that position in a way to make blaming a “nuclear accident” on the Ukrainians much more believable.


came to ask “what did they think would happen?” and I see @Shuck has given a most plausible answer

makes sense to me


valid point


Ignorance and general lack of sophistication are defintely at play. A lot of the Russian soldiers are from the rural hinterlands and are reported to be genuinely shocked by the “luxuries” of the Ukrainian countryside: paved roads, indoor plumbing, electricity. Kids like that won’t have the first clue about the radioactive deathtrap their commanders sent them into.


It makes me think that their ABC training/prep is shit if they don’t have maps with an actual rad zone marked.


They have the bodies now, so why not blame it on Ukraine anyway.


It’s been a decade since I lived in the FSU, but everyone I met there knew about Chernobyl. Of course, I lived in fairly well educated, cosmopolitan areas, so my experience might be skewed.

My alternate theory is they weren’t told they were near Chernobyl, or the “you will die a horrible death if you come here” zone.


I mean, the Chernobyl disaster happened, what, 36 years ago? I’d not at all be surprised if the average Russian conscript isn’t aware - at all - of something that happened 18 years before he was born. I’d not be surprised if their parents weren’t aware of it, even.

What I’m reading indicates that the nature of Russian conscription is that it’s basically a trap for kids from families with no education or political savvy that specifically targets those from extremely poor rural areas - kids who are often functionally illiterate. (Apparently the army retains soldiers often by tricking - or threatening - them into signing up for tours beyond the mandatory period.) So we’re not talking about anyone cosmopolitan or educated (much less highly educated) - those people know how to keep their kids from the military entirely. Apparently, unlike other countries, there’s no real sense of patriotic duty to doing mandatory service - the military is seen as a horror to be avoided (and quite rightly, given the deaths by hazing, maltreatment, etc.), so if you can avoid it, you do.


Apparently the Exclusion Zone was directly between their staging area in Belarus and Kyiv.

So through the contaminated area was the quickest route to encircle Kyiv.

It’s probably just some tactical idiocy. Direct unexpected route, and then troops started digging in, and trying to secure the area when things stalled. Not knowing where exactly they were. Which is kinda a big thing with this invasion.


Maps? I doubt very much Russian grunts are issued with much more than basic kit, and in this case, shovels. They’d have been trucked in and told where to dig.


This is how Godzilla came about, stop it you тупой.


When I was there, military service was compulsory after 17, unless you could get a deferral for education, or get designated as an invalid (cadet bone spurs). The wealthy of course could pay bribes to get out of service, or to get assigned to cushy posts. But, yes, Russian (and Kazakh, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbek — I don’t know as much about Ukraine, but probably similar), mandatory service is a nightmare to be avoided if possible, and the poor and disenfranchised suffer the most.

Most of the men I knew had served their time, and didn’t have much good to say about it. At one time it was seen as a right of passage, now, a curse to be endured.


Whoopsie doodle. Looks like they didn’t follow the protocol of holding your breath and crossing your fingers.


I’m sure they also neglected to give them their сто грамм of водка to protect from the radiation, as well.

(Sadly, this is only partially a joke. The people who first responded to the Chernobyl disaster were given 100 grams of vodka and told it would protect them from radiation while they worked. We all know how that worked out.)


Except maybe for Israel (?) I can’t think of a single country with conscription that doesn’t see it as something to be avoided if at all possible.

It certainly was that in Germany when I was that age.