Liquidators (ликвида́торы) is the name given in the former USSR to approximately 800,000 people who were in charge of the removal of the consequences of the April 26 1986 Chernobyl disaster on the site of the event.
Between 1986 and 1992, it is thought between 600,000 and one million people participated in works around Chernobyl and their health was endangered due to radiation. Because of the dissolution of the USSR in the 1990s, evaluations about liquidators' health are difficult, since they come from various countries (mostly Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, but also other former Soviet republics). Furthermore, the government of Russia has never been keen on giving the true figures for the disaster, or even on making serious estimates (independent scientists are often silenced). However, according to a study by Belarusian physicians, rate of cancers among this population is about four times greater than the rest of the population. All the figures quoted by various agencies are controversial — see the main article, Chernobyl disaster for more on this.
The 20th anniversary of the catastrophe was marked by a series of events and developments.
The liquidators held a rally in Kiev to complain about deteriorated compensation and medical support. Similar rallies were held in many other cities of the former Soviet Union.
On April 25, 2006 a monument to Hero of the Soviet Union General Leonid Telyatnikov (Леонид Телятников), who was among the very first liquidators, was inaugurated in the Baykove Cemetery (Байкове кладовище) in Kiev.
4,200 liquidators who currently reside in Estonia may hope for the introduction of an Estonian law for their relief after the meeting of their representatives with President of Estonia on April 26, 2006. It turns out that by the Estonian laws, the state may provide help and relief only to citizens, who are "legal descendants" of the citizens of 1918-1940 Republic of Estonia. At the same time, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine do not provide any relief to the liquidators residing abroad.
A number of liquidators residing in Khabarovsk who were in military service were denied a certain compensation for loss of health on grounds that they were not salaried workers, but rather under military order. They have to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.