The "Chernobyl effect" on Gorbachev was so evident that even Ronald Reagan recognized it. When the two leaders met at Reykjavik in October 1986, just half a year later, Reagan wondered if Chernobyl might be "behind Gorbachev's new eagerness to discuss abolishing nuclear weapons."[34] Secretary of State George Shultz was also "struck by how deeply affected Gorbachev appeared to be by the Chernobyl accident" as late as May 1988, when he and Reagan and their spouses spent an evening at the Gorbachev's dacha at the conclusion of a summit meeting in Moscow: "It was obvious from the evening that Chernobyl has left a strong anti-nuclear streak in Gorbachev's Thinking" [35] This interpretation has been confirmed by Gorbachev's top foreign-policy aides, although they point out that Gorbachev's antinuclearism was present even before the Chernobyl disaster.[36]

ゴルバチョフに対する「チェルノブイリ効果」は、ロナルド・レーガンにもわかるほど明白なものだった。半年後の1986年10月の両首脳がレイキャビクで会談したとき、レーガンはゴルバチョフの核廃絶を議論しようという強い意志の背景には、チェルノブイリがあるのではないかと思った。ジョージ・シュルツ国務長官も、遅くとも1998年5月のモスクワでの首脳会談の終わりに彼とレーガンと彼らの夫人たちが、ゴルバチョフのダーチャで夜を過ごしたときまでには、チェルノブイリ事故にゴルバチョフが深く影響されていることに衝撃を受けていた。「チェルノブイリ事故はゴルバチョフの考えに、反核の傾向を残したことは、その夜からも明らかだった。」 この解釈はゴルバチョフの外交政策に関する側近たちによって確認された。ただし、彼らはゴルバチョフの反核が、チェルノブイリ事故以前からあったと指摘している。

[34] Ronald Reagan, "An American Life, p.676, 1990.
[35] Shultz to Reagan, memorandum, reprinted in Reagan, "An American Life,", pp.710-711
[36] See, for example, the comments by Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, then deputy foreign minister, and Anatolii Cherniaev, Gorbachev's personal foreign-policy aide, in William C Wohlforth, ed., Witnesses to the End of the Cold War (Baltimore Md., 1996), 33, 37; also Aleksei Arbatov, interview by author, Cambridge, Mass, 18 August, 1993.

[Matthew Evangelista: "Unarmed Forces", p.273]
The price of the Chernobyl catastrophe was overwhelming, not only in human terms, but also economically. Even today, the legacy of Chernobyl affects the economies of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Some even suggest that the economic price for the USSR was so high that it stopped the arms race, as I could not keep building arms while paying to clean up Chernobyl.

This is wrong. My declaration of January 15, 1986, is well known around the world. I addressed arms reduction, including nuclear arms, and I proposed that by the year 2000 no country should have atomic weapons. I personally felt a moral responsibility to end the arms race. But Chernobyl opened my eyes like nothing else: it showed the horrible consequences of nuclear power, even when it is used for non-military purposes. One could now imagine much more clearly what might happen if a nuclear bomb exploded. According to scientific experts, one SS-18 rocket could contain a hundred Chernobyls.



[Mikhail Gorbachev:"Turning Point at Chernobyl"(2006/04/14)]
The Chernobyl catastrophe consumed the Politburo's energies for three months. It shattered ossified bureaucratic structures and the old militarized mentality to the core. Gorbachev was humiliated by the international scandal and indignant at the rigidity of bureaucratic structures, and he chose to scapegoat the military-industrial complex. The most secret and impenetrable part of the Soviet system, its nuclear program, became the object of blistering criticism, its heroic and romantic image tarnished beyond repair. Military scientists and the military command were shaken, too. It was the first time that Soviet armed forces participated in rescue and decontamination operation on such a large scale. To the head of the General Staff, Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, Chernobyl was reminiscent of the Great Patriotic War. But, instead the lessons of vigilance and military buildup, the catastrophe revealed that the military doctrine of "victory" in nuclear war was a hollow hulk. And it dawned on the military command what a disaster it would be to have even limited nuclear warfare in a Europe studded with atomic reactions. Akhromeyev recalled that after Chernobyl "a nuclear danger for our people ceased to be abstraction. It became a palpable reality."

Chernobyl's effect on the Soviet political leadership was greater than any other single event since the Cuban missile crisis. "We learned what nuclear war can be," Gorbachev said to the Politburo. ....

チェルノブイリの大惨事は、 3ヶ月の間の政治局のエネルギーを消費した。それが硬直した官僚機構や古い軍事精神を中心まで粉々にした。ゴルバチョフは国際的スキャンダルに屈辱を味わうことになり、官僚機構の硬直性に怒り、軍産複合体をスケープゴートにすることにした。ソ連体制で最も秘密で、最も不可侵なものである核計画は膨大な批判の対象となり、その英雄的でロマンティックなイメージは修復不可能に損なわれた。軍科学者と軍司令部も揺さぶられた。これまでソ連軍がこのような大規模な救助及び除染活動に従事したことはなかった。参謀総長セルゲイ・アフロメーエフ元帥にとって、チェルノブイリは大祖国戦争を彷彿とさせるものだった。しかし、警戒強化と軍備増強という教訓のかわりに、チェルノブイリの大惨事は核戦争に勝利するという軍事ドクトリンが、張子の虎であることを明らかにした。そしてそれは、核の応酬の可能性をはらんだ欧州限定核戦争の災厄がいかなるものであるかを、軍司令部に思い知らせることとなった。アフロメーエフは「チェルノブイリ後は、我が国民への核の危険性は抽象的なものではなくなった。それは触れることができる現実のものとなった」と述べた。


[Vladislav M. Zubok: "Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev", 2009]
"The accident at Chernobyl showed again what an abyss will open if nuclear war befalls mankind," Gorbachev said. "For inherent in the nuclear stockpiles are thousands upon thousands of disasters far more horrible than the Chernobyl one." As a result, the Soviet government has decided to extend a unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests until Aug. 6, the 41st anniversary of the Hiroshima attack, Gorbachev said.


[WILLIAM J. EATON:"Gorbachev Urges A-Plant Warnings : Denounces Reporting on Chernobyl, Extends Nuclear-Test Moratorium" (1986/06/15) on LA Times]
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