A pile of gas old weathered gas mask.

Civil-military relations during emergency management

Answering the Distress Call

April 2010, Number 01.02

“On April 26, 1986, at 1:23 a.m., an accident occurred at unit #4 of Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a routine shutdown for repairs after two years of operation. The reactor exploded, destroying the reactor core. This was one of the biggest disasters of the 20th century, and hundreds of thousands of people suffered as a result; 100,202 people were evacuated from the disaster area. The cleanup following the catastrophe continues to this day.

Throughout the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, the world has seen a series of both natural and man-made disasters and emergencies...”

Excerpt from Victor Sapon, “Answering the Distress Call,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 2, 2010: 18-24.

Col. Viktor V. Sapon is head of the Sevastopol City Public Assistance and Information Service in Ukraine. He has served in a variety of military and civilian positions in an emergency management capacity, including the Ministry of Emergency Situations as an expert on the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. He has commanded at the battalion and company levels, and served as the chief of service for chemical, biological and radiological protection in the Ukrainian armed forces. He is a graduate of the Military Academy of Chemical Defense of the Soviet Armed Forces and a 2000 graduate of the Marshall Center's Senior Executive Seminar.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.