The Semipalatinsk Test Site was home to at least 456 nuclear tests between 1949 and 1989, during the height of the Cold War. These top-secret missions were carried out with little regard for human or environmental impact in the surrounding area, just a few miles away. Locals celebrated when their town was selected to help advance technology, but since its closure in 1991, the full extent of the radiation damage left behind has been revealed.
Saim Balmukhanov, the former Soviet Ministry of Health’s Chief Radiologist, says he tried to warn Russians of the effects more than 60 years ago.
He detailed during Amazon Prime’s “The Polygon” series how he was left outraged after discovering the true extent of these tests.
He said in 2014: “I first learned about the Polygon in 1952, but what really happened there I learned much later.
“I was the Chief Radiologist of the Ministry of Health and I was worried about my people.
Nuclear tests were carried out in Kazakhstan