USSR government response

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It should be remembered that some of the information contained in the files held in the PRONI was compiled by the government of Northern Ireland before any official announcement was made by the USSR government. It wasn’t until 14 May 1986 that Mikhail Gorbachev, as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, addressed the USSR for the first time and admitted that there had been an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. Until this point, no detailed information had been released either to the Russian population or internationally. Even then, the information broadcast was considered (by western Europe) ‘economical’ in terms of reactor damage and number of deaths.

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