International Meeting
2003 World Conference against A & H Bombs

Renata Izmailova
Public Youth Anti-nuclear Fund "Sarena"

Good afternoon dear friends.

Every new day starts with sunshine.

The sun gives all living things warmth and brightness.

One day 58 years ago, something other than the sun flashed in the sky. The flash of light looked like "another sun." But it was not a light that gives energy to live. It was the first atomic bomb experiment in world history.

In 1949, the "nuclear sun" brought unparalleled disaster to the people of Kazakhstan. It was the first testing of a nuclear bomb at Semipalatinsk. After that the people in the grassland had to live near huge fireballs for several decades.

The beam of the "nuclear sun" burnt my body and ruined my life.

It's painful to live with the legacy of the nuclear test site.

My life is very unusual, nothing like those of ordinary people. I cannot do anything at all without [the] help of my family.

I like painting. But painting is an ordeal full of difficulties. For example, when I paint a big picture, I cannot reach the other end. I found the solution to this problem. I turn it upside down and I can keep painting the other way round. This is difficult. But my pictures express my feeling, my pain. They are a part of my life.

I talk about my hardship and my problems because I want people to have a correct understanding of the situation of radiation victims.

When you get thirsty, you take a glass of water and quench your thirst. In the past I was often left alone all day long. There were times when I had to put up with being thirsty for I could not stand up and fill the glass with water. Such a common, everyday desire becomes a trial for radiation victims.

I grow up and my problems grow too. I always get worried when I think about my future. Can I make use of my expertise when I graduate from college? Can I get a job? Will I not be a useless person for society because I am a radiation victim?

I pay a big sacrifice for the development of nuclear weapons. I pay it with my life, with the fate of my family. What a cruel sacrifice!

But the "nuclear" sun could not impair my heart. I did not lose my love for nature, my love for people, and I believe in [a] better tomorrow. These things keep me going in life.

I will be an optimistic no matter what the problem, because I know there will always be an answer.

I feel pain in my heart every time I learn about terrorism or war taking place somewhere in the world, every time [t seems likely that nuclear weapons will be used]to settle conflicts.

The victims of atomic bombs and nuclear tests continue their fight against the existence of nuclear weapons on this earth.

I call on you to strengthen your activities hand in hand with the radiation victims so that nuclear weapons will be eliminated as soon as possible.

I represent a new generation, a generation of the 21st century. I also represent the victims of nuclear weapons test. We young people in the 21st century must take the leader in eliminating nuclear weapons. They imperil the world, crush people with fear and fill their victims' minds with pain.

Friends, I wish you good health and peace. I wish the real sun to shine upon us all.

Thank you very much.