If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Karipbek Kuyukov: 'My parents were witnesses of nuclear tests'

Karipbek Kuyukov: 'My parents were witnesses of nuclear tests' - e-history.kz
A round table was held in honor of the 25th anniversary of Semipalatinsk nuclear test site’s closure at the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The round table ‘The Great Steppe people who aimed for peace and safety’ is dedicated to International day against nuclear tests.

 Director of the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan Darkhan Mynbay spoke about politically advantageous decisions of republic figures who influenced on peaceful life and bright future of the nation at the opening ceremony and noted that all the initiatives were not so easy to be implemented. 


 -According to some data, it was decided to give 18 million land acres to the testing ground for nuclear tests at that time. Semipalatinsk test site was the largest strategic object of the Soviet Union. A large number of scientists worked on that project. There were more than 450 nuclear explosions in forty years. A total capacity of nuclear weapons tested in the air and on the earth surface in Semipalatinsk test site was 2,5 thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. All these facts are indisputable. Although, 25 years have passed since that time, we cannot forget the echo of explosions and tragic fates of 100 thousand people. Many of them still cannot fully recover. It remains as incurable wound, despite the fact that the state creates all conditions. On August 29, 1991 N.A.Nazarbayev signed Decree No.409 on closing the nuclear test site. It was an important decision, which had a great importance for the future of the country,- Darkhan Mynbay said. 


 Kazakhstan artist and an active member of anti-nuclear movement Karipbek Kuyukov told about the creation of anti-nuclear testing movement and the tragic consequences of nuclear test for Kazakhstan land. 

-We formed anti-nuclear movement 25 years ago. The movement was headed by the writer Olzhas Suleimenov. There are no active participants among us who stood at the origins of the movement. But I think that their contribution in this case should not be forgotten. Telling about tests, they covered the territories of Karaganda, Semipalatinsk, Pavlodar regions. I was born in Egindibulak district, located in 100 km from Semipalatinsk test site. My parents were witnesses of those tests. My father told me about those historical events a lot. One of his colleagues had 10 children, they all were born sick and died in infancy. He could not bear the pain of loss and died sitting right at the door of his house. It is so hard to tell about the tragic consequences of those tests for humanity,- Karipbek Kuyukov said. 


 The visitors were offered a personal exhibition ‘The Great Steppe people who aimed for peace and safety’ by the artist Karipbek Kuyukov — an active participant of anti-nuclear movement ‘Nevada — Semey’. 


 Karipbek Kuyukov was born in the village Egindibulak, in Karkaraly District, which was located in 100 km from Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. He always tried to portray the effects of a terrible tragedy in his works. He was born without arms, but that was not an obstacle for him, all the works, which people admire around the world, are created with the help of toes or holding brush in his teeth. Karipbek Kuyukov travels the world and tells people about the impact of nuclear testing on human life. He held personal exhibitions in Germany, the USA and Japan. 

 Famous scientists-historians, leading members of the movement and public figures also participated in the event.