Lyubov Kovalevskaya

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Lyubov Kovalevskaya
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Lyubov Kovalevskaya Ukrainian: Любов Ковалевська is a Ukrainian journalist who is noted for obtaining secret state documents and helping to break the story of the Chernobyl Disaster to the Western media in 1986. Kovalevskaya first published her article in Tribuna Enerhetyky, Chernobyl power plant's official newspaper, citing the substandard construction of Chernobyl's fifth reactor a month prior to the disaster, to the chagrin of government censors. This article was subsequently published in Literaturna Ukraina (Ukrainian Literature) a national Ukrainian Newspaper, on March 27th, 1986. The article helped spread international awareness of the underlying structural issues that plagued the power plant.

Kovalevskaya had faced harassment from the KGB and other Soviet politburo officials for her actions at the time.


Kovalevskaya had become first interested in the affects of nuclear waste in 1974, when as a teacher, she made the connection between nuclear waste and elevated cancer rates in and around the Chelyabinsk disaster area of September 29th, 1957 (also known as the Kyshtym disaster).

Kovalevskaya was in Pripyat, the city that housed the Chernobyl nuclear power plant workers and their families, the night of the Chernobyl disaster. When asked about the potential long term effects of the disaster, she was quoted as saying, “The failures here will be repaid, repaid over the decades to come” [1], citing the substandard construction of the reactor and the bureaucratic incompetence [2] during the construction process, and missteps by Soviet officials after the disaster in terms of communicating its severity to the general public.


She had won the "Courage in Journalism" award in 1991 for her efforts to promote truth in journalism while living and writing under heavy censorship during Soviet rule in her country.

Written Works

Chernobyl: The True and False Versions , Chernobyl: Classified and The Clinical and Psychological Aspects of Chernobyl.

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  1. “The failures here will be repaid, repaid over the decades to come”
  2. bureaucratic incompetence

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