Here are the pictures of Ed Ou from Kazakhstan. During the 20th
century, Kazakhstan was the site of major Soviet projects, including
Khrushchev's Virgin Lands campaign, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the
Semipalatinsk "Polygon", the USSR's primary nuclear weapon testing
site. For 60 years, Russians tested there its first nuclear weapon
called "First Lightning". The Kazakh people living near by the nuclear
site felt this testing through three generations.
Now let’s see the radiation consequences.
Larissa Soboleva holds two-year-old Adil Zhilyaev in an orphanage in
Semey, Kazakhstan November 24, 2008. Adil was born blind and afflicted
with Infantile Cereberal Paralysis (ICP) and hydrocephalia, as a result
of his mothers exposure to radiation during years of Soviet weapons
testing during the Cold War. He was abandoned by his parents, and is
now cared for in an orphanage.
big dipper rises over the Nuclear Polygon with the lights of Kurchatov,
Kazakhstan on the horizon on November 22, 2008. The Polygon was the
site of almost 500 nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War. Villagers
living close by were given virtually no protection or warning of the
dangers of radiation. The United Nations Development Programme says
that over one million people were exposed to nuclear radiation over the
forty years of nuclear testing.
Zhumageldina bathes her daughter, Zhannoor, in Semey, Kazakhstan on
March 2, 2009. Zhannoor, 16, was born with microcephalia and
sixth-degree scoleosis - a twisted spine because of exposure to high
levels of radiation. The defect harmed Zhannoor's brain development as
if she were in a permanent vegetative state. She cannot think, speak or
perform basic functions. Mayra must bathe her every day because she
cannot afford diapers.
Mayra Zhumageldina feeds her daughter, Zhannoor in their home in Semey, November 21, 2008.
Mayra Zhumageldina massages her daughter, Zhannoor, before bed in their home in Semey, Kazakhstan on November 23, 2008.
Mayra Zhumageldina kisses her 16-year-old daughter, Zhannoor outside their home in Semey, November 21, 2008.
Mayra Zhumageldina pushes her daughter, Zhannoor in a wheelchair in Semey, Kazakhstan November 27, 2008.
The sun sets over Semey, Kazakhstan on March 3, 2009.
woman at a Russian Orthodox church in Kurchatov, Kazakhstan rings bells
for Christmas Eve services January 6, 2009. Kurchatov was was once the
epicenter of Soviet nuclear weapons research and development during the
cold war, housing scientists and nuclear technicians.
Syzdykov sits in bed in his mother in law's home inside the nuclear
polygon in Kazakhstan February 25, 2009. He was born deformed, and
blind as a result of radiation exposure in the womb.
Berik Syzdykov (right) reaches out for the hand of his mother-in-law, Bibigul, in her home in Kazakhstan February 25, 2009.
Syzdykov, 29, sings and plays piano in an apartment in Semey,
Kazakhstan November 19, 2008. Berik learned to play piano and fell in
love with opera when he travelled to Italy for an operation on his
Berik Syzdykov is led outside by his mother in Semey, Kazakhstan on Tuesday, November 19, 2008.
Berik Syzdykov smokes a cigarette outside a hill overlooking the Kazakh city of Semey on November 24, 2008.
scientists use geiger counters to test radiation levels at the site of
the first surface atomic explosion at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon
in Kazakhstan January 6, 2009. Over four hundred nuclear weapons were
test detonated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, leaving the
area highly radioactive and dangerous to visit.
nuclear scientist uses a geiger counter to test radiation levels at the
site of the first surface atomic explosion at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear
Polygon in Kazakhstan January 6, 2009.
7-year-old Valeria Zholdina plays with fiber optic lights in a
rehabilitation center in Semey, Kazakhstan January 15, 2009. She was
born with a developmental problems, and only recently learned to walk.
The lights are designed to develop motor control skills.
Zhanbolat Turysbekov watches television as his sister Aida plays in
their house in Semey, Kazakhstan November 26, 2008. Both were born with
spinal amytrophy, and are unable to walk.
Bochkaryov, 18, is bathed by his father in Semey, Kazakhstan January
12, 2009. Nikita, who has infantile cerebral palsy, cannot control his
limbs and requires his parents' constant care.
Nikita Bochkaryov is dressed by his father Andrei after being bathed in Semey, Kazakhstan on January 12, 2009.
Bochkaryov uses his nose to tickle his younger brother Daniel in their
apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan March. 3, 2009. Nikita can use only his
nose when he and Daniel take turns pretending they are dogs wrestling
Bochkaryov types with a stick attached to a helmet during a Russian
grammar lesson with a teacher, in his apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan
January 14, 2009. His life exists on the Internet, where his mind is
liberated from his physical disability, enabling him to write stories,
letters and poems, and communicate with his loved ones.
Nikita Bochkaryov shares a tender moment with his mother Sybilla in their apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan on January 12, 2009.
illuminates the abandoned military town of Chagan, next to the
Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon in Kazakhstan February 27, 2009. The city
was once a military airbase during the Cold War, with planes ready to
drop nuclear payloads. It was abandoned after nuclear tests ended
following the fall of the Soviet Union, leaving a ghost town in the
middle of the steppe.
Zubritsky exercises in a care facility for the elderly and disabled in
Semey, Kazakhstan November 20, 2008. Sergey, whose parents worked in
the Nuclear Polygon during the cold war, was born with deformed hands