Victim of Soviet test wants all nuclear weapons destroyed – BBC News

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  • In the barren steppe of Kazakhstan is an area known as The Polygon. It’s the former Soviet Union’s vast nuclear weapons testing site, where they detonated nearly 500 nuclear bombs over forty years. An estimated 600,000 people, living outside the exclusion zone, were exposed to radiation. Today doctors are still uncovering its devastating impact on successive generations. Rustam Qobil has been to meet the victims of this terrible legacy.

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    In This Story: Soviet Union

    The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, it was a one-party state (until 1990) governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR.

    The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy of the Russian Empire.

    On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union’s rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality.

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