…Random V: Around Semey and the finale

Posted in Semey, UNL Journalism Students on June 3, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

Photos by Bruce Thorson

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Dolinka, Kazakhstan

Posted in Dolinka, Uncategorized, UNL Journalism Students on June 3, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

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Photos by Megan Nichols

High school graduation in Karaganda

Posted in Karaganda, Uncategorized, UNL Journalism Students on June 2, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

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Photos by Megan Nichols

A walk along the Ishim River in Astana

Posted in Astana, Uncategorized, UNL Journalism Students on June 2, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

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Photos by Megan Nichols

Ualikhan

Posted in Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

Story by Elizabeth Gamez and photos by Sarah Tenorio

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The Serkaliev family has put all their hopes on German journalists who have promised to help Ualikhan, 8, have reconstruction on his arms and legs.

His underdeveloped limbs according to doctors are a result of radiation from the Semipalatinsk site, where the Soviet Union did more than 450 nuclear tests between 1949-1989. The journalists have made two trips to visit. They’ve taken X-ray photos back to their country’s specialists.

Sarzhankali, the father, wants his son to run one day. But as of now, his son who is no taller than a meter, is fragile and sits in a baby stroller. For years, he was carried on a large sponge so his bones wouldn’t break.

“Imagine being scared to hold your baby,” Sarzhankali said.

Industrial Consequence

Posted in Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

By: Travis John Beck and Kyle Bruggeman

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In the factory city of Temirtau lies a community economically dependent on the Accelor Mittal steel plant that pollutes the surrounding environment. Kostenko coal miners provide the fuel for one of the largest metallurgy in Central Asia. Mercury and other contaminants poison the air, water and soil of surrounding villages Chkalovo and Gagarinskoe.

In 2008, World Bank began a clean-up project in the Nura river with oversight from Austrian and Chinese companies privately contracted. Since then, the contamination — mostly mercury — has spread throughout the village because of government unresponsiveness. The contractors drive trucks in forbidden zones exposing tainted soil to surface winds.

Villagers rely on the Nura river to drink, feed livestock and irrigate crops. The Gagarinskoe village has access to separate drinking water but use the Nura for feeding farm animals. The mercury is fat-soluble and concentrates into the milk consumed by the people. Clean-up crews promised clean soil, fresh water and research updates long ago, none of which have come to fruition.

Tursynkanov

Posted in Semipalatinsk on June 2, 2010 by unlinkazakhstan

photos and story by Andrew Dickinson and Patrick Breen

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Balgyn Tursynkanov saw the explosions. She said when she saw them, they were interesting. But that was back then.

Today, Tursynkanov said she would give anything not to have.

Tursynkanov, 71, lives with her two sons, Serik and Serikkazy off of a 25,000 tenge (Just under $200) pension a month in a village outside Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

In Shakaman, the family lives with chronic health issues do to Soviet testing in the polygon in Semipalatinsk. From 1949 to 1989, 456 nuclear tests were done just west of the city.

“I blame the test range for the problems, for the diseases, for the misery caused by the test range,” Serik said, “The misery caused by the test range. All my relatives, all my surroundings feel the effects of the test range.”

Serik’s father died of a heart attack at 50 years old, and his sister passed away at 36 years old.

Balgyn said she misses them. And that she is mad at the test range for putting them through such a tough life.

“They (the Soviets) knew this would happen,” she said.