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Yuri Bandazhevsky (1957)

scientist, pathologist, investigated the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster

Yuri Bandazhevsky

Yuri Bandazhevsky

Born on January 9, 1957 in the Grodno region of Belarus, Bandazhevsky specialized as a pathologist and in 1991 founded the Gomel National Medical Institute in Belarus, the first research center dedicated to investigating the environmental consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Professor Bandazhevsky headed the institute until 1999 and with his research he is able to demonstrate the effects over time of continuous exposure to small amounts and low doses of radionuclides, the radioactive particles that have deposited on the treetops and on the soil in the aftermath of the explosion of the nuclear power plant.

In June 2001 he was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of having received money from the parents of his students.

According to human rights groups, Bandazhevsky was a prisoner of conscience, Amnesty International stated that his detention was related to research on the Chernobyl disaster and criticism of the authorities' response to the damage suffered by the inhabitants of the Gomel region.

The scientist was released on probation in August 2005 with a ban on leaving Belarus. Later he moved to France, to Clermont-Ferrand (twin city with Gomel), invited by the mayor to work at the university and at the hospital on the consequences of the Chernobyl accident,  with the support of the Commission de recherche et d 'information indépendantes sur radioactivity (CRIIRAD).

Since 2013, Professor Bandazhevsky has been in charge of the international research center "Ecology and Health" established in Kiev, which conducts studies on the effects of radiation on the population, in particular on children, in contaminated areas of Ukraine, and directs the project for the protection of health "Chernobyl: Ecology and Health" in the district of Ivankiv, funded by the European Commission.

In April 2020, a devastating fire, which lasted ten days and extended over a radius of 30 km, hit the Chernobyl exclusion zone, burning hundreds of hectares of forest and accumulating an enormous amount of radioactive elements. Professor Bandazhevsky intervenes immediately by launching an urgent appeal to the entire international community to draw attention to the dramatic situation of the 600 children and their families living in the area, victims of the disaster.

In this relief operation Bandazhevsky is joined by Chernobyl Children International (CCI), an international, medical and humanitarian non-profit organization, accredited by the United Nations, which works with children, families and communities still struggling with the economic consequences of the Chernobyl accident.

Chernobyl Children International has donated vitamins and general aid to protect children from the effects of radionuclides, which were dispersed back into the atmosphere by forest fires.

To indicate useful tools for dealing with these disasters, Professor Bandazhevsky has recently published, together with Dubovaya NF, the book Forest fires in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and children's health, which analyzes the impact of forest fires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone on the health. of children living in nearby towns.

The volume also contains data on the levels of radioactive substances in the soil and trees of the forest of the Chernobyl area and adjacent districts.

The book is intended for doctors of all specialties, ecologists, scientists, specialists in the field of radiation protection, interested in the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Professor Bandazhevsky's odyssey is told in the book Bugie nucleari, by Silvia Pochettino, Ed. Gruppo Abele, 2008

In an interview Bandazhevsky said: "At 16 I started experimenting and my studies have always been independent. They told me: 'Eliminate the word radiation and you will have everything.' I said no. My only goal is to help people."

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