3.‘Sveta’ Belarus 2015
The aftermath of Chernobyl has not yet passed. Every year, children are born with intellectual
and physical deficiencies caused by the disaster of 1986.
It’s not easy to directly link particular cases with radiation. Statistics are the stronger proof of
I developed a strong bond with Sveta. An incredibly articulate young woman, she is extremely
confident when it comes to how she looks. Any opportunity to take a selfie with me, and she
would jump at the chance.
Sveta could not talk until she was five. Operations were needed to repair her cleft palate and
she still talks with a lisp. An NGO worker told me that her right eye is potentially fully
functional and that her face, eyes, and vision could be completely restored after thirty
expensive and painful operations. Even if Sveta decided that the operations were worthwhile
– something that she would be perfectly capable of doing – there is no possibility of such
procedures being funded by the state.