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Avoiding Armageddon
Personal Tales

Ali Shah Khan

Ehab Yusef

Essam Alridi

Leonid Smirnov

Leroy Richmond

Milya and Gosman Kobirov

Omeed

James & Robin Wong

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Milya and Gosman Kobirov - Fighting Nuclear Contamination - "The Nuclear Energy Ministry is my personal enemy - they have not killed a single enemy soldier with their bombs, but managed to kill all my relatives." - Victim of poisoning from nuclear weapons facility waste

Gosman Kobirov and his wife, Milya, were born and raised on the banks of the Techa River. In the 1950s the Mayak nuclear weapons plant dumped radioactive material into the Techa, poisoning the water and soil and leaving those in the nearby villages with medical problems that have spanned generations.

"They said that I could never have children," said Milya, now in her 40s. "I will never forgive those people who did this to me... it is horrible for a woman to live with... it's the most terrible thing."

Milya's father, mother and brother all died young - she believes from exposure to the poisoned Techa. There are very few people remaining in the village where the Kobirovs grew up, and many of those still there are sick. But the Khobirov's refuse to be seen as victims. They are determined to let the world know about this legacy from the nuclear weapons race, when the Soviets were more concerned with stockpiling weapons than protecting their citizens.

Hearing about a plan to store nuclear waste from other nations at the now defunct Mayak plant, the Kobirovs have traveled around the world to lobby against the plan. Their focus for the future is to ensure that the world takes care of the nuclear weapons waste from the past.

Gosman and Milya Kobirov's story is told in "Nuclear Nightmares: Losing Control," the second episode of "Avoiding Armageddon."

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