The artwork, written content, design
copyright © Igor V. Babailov. All Rights Reserved.
I was inspired to do this work after my haunting memories took me back to the morning of April 26, 1986 when one of the most serious accidents in the history of the nuclear industry occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the former Soviet Socialist Republic. I was temporarily stationed in Minsk for three weeks, some 185 miles from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, during my two year compulsory military service. That morning on April 26, our superior warned us not to take off our uniform tops, like we usually did during the morning exercises. "Radiation!"- he said misteriously. Around noon the news broke, that the nuclear reactor melted down, and at 2 pm loud sirens went off and all 2,000 troops at Minsk’s military base were mobilized within only thirty minutes time and sent to Chernobyl to clean up the mess of the catastrophe. I was one of the very lucky few who was not deployed to Chernobyl that day, as I was assigned to that base temporarily. A few days after the disaster, the soldiers were returning to base on stretchers, overdosed with radiation. Brave and healthy young warriors only a few days before, were now the living dead, still alive, yet unable to move or speak, their eyes open and skin a pale blue.
As we know today, Chernobyl's disaster was equal in impact and devastation to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It will take many generations in Central Europe to realize the consequences of that horror, as radiation related birth defects soar and child cancers spread and the human and environmental repercussions take their toll.
In this humble and provocative pastel, the little child that I created sends a message of warning about nuclear responsibility and the implications for health, the environment, nuclear safety and global economies working together.
~ Igor V. Babailov, Hon. RAA