ON this day, 71 years ago, August 29, 1949, the USSR performed its first nuclear test at Semipalatinsk in East Kazakhstan. From 1949 until 1990, the Soviet Union used the Semipalatinsk region, dubbed the Polygon, as a nuclear testing ground. Hidden from the world, this top-secret site the size of Wales was subjected to 607 nuclear explosions, including 26 above-ground tests, 124 atmospheric tests and 457 underground. Cynically, the military scientists would wait until the wind was blowing in the direction of the remote Kazakh villages before detonating their nuclear devices. KGB doctors would then closely study the effects of nuclear radiation on their own population.
Herald 29th Aug 2020 read more »
On 29 August 1949 the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear weapon in the atmosphere at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan. By the time it stopped testing nuclear weapons in 1990, the Soviet Union had conducted some 715 explosions, including 456 at the Semipalatinsk test site. Having declared its sovereignty in 1990, Kazakhstan closed the test site on August 29, 1991, exactly 42 years after the firstSoviet test. In 2009, on Kazakhstan’s initiative, the United Nations proclaimed August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Having suffered much from nuclear testing, Kazakhstan has been leading the way towards the full cessation of nuclear testing and nuclear disarmament.
Astana Times 28th Aug 2020 read more »