Here are the pictures of Ed Ou from Kazakhstan. During the 20th century, Kazakhstan was the site of major Soviet projects, including Khrushchev's Virgin Lands campaign, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the Semipalatinsk "Polygon", the USSR's primary nuclear weapon testing site. For 60 years, Russians tested there its first nuclear weapon called "First Lightning". The Kazakh people living near by the nuclear site felt this testing through three generations. Now let’s see the radiation consequences.
Nurse Larissa Soboleva holds two-year-old Adil Zhilyaev in an orphanage in Semey, Kazakhstan November 24, 2008. Adil was born blind and afflicted with Infantile Cereberal Paralysis (ICP) and hydrocephalia, as a result of his mothers exposure to radiation during years of Soviet weapons testing during the Cold War. He was abandoned by his parents, and is now cared for in an orphanage.
The big dipper rises over the Nuclear Polygon with the lights of Kurchatov, Kazakhstan on the horizon on November 22, 2008. The Polygon was the site of almost 500 nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War. Villagers living close by were given virtually no protection or warning of the dangers of radiation. The United Nations Development Programme says that over one million people were exposed to nuclear radiation over the forty years of nuclear testing.
Mayra Zhumageldina bathes her daughter, Zhannoor, in Semey, Kazakhstan on March 2, 2009. Zhannoor, 16, was born with microcephalia and sixth-degree scoleosis - a twisted spine because of exposure to high levels of radiation. The defect harmed Zhannoor's brain development as if she were in a permanent vegetative state. She cannot think, speak or perform basic functions. Mayra must bathe her every day because she cannot afford diapers.
A woman at a Russian Orthodox church in Kurchatov, Kazakhstan rings bells for Christmas Eve services January 6, 2009. Kurchatov was was once the epicenter of Soviet nuclear weapons research and development during the cold war, housing scientists and nuclear technicians.
Berik Syzdykov, 29, sings and plays piano in an apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan November 19, 2008. Berik learned to play piano and fell in love with opera when he travelled to Italy for an operation on his face.
Nuclear scientists use geiger counters to test radiation levels at the site of the first surface atomic explosion at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon in Kazakhstan January 6, 2009. Over four hundred nuclear weapons were test detonated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, leaving the area highly radioactive and dangerous to visit.
Autistic 7-year-old Valeria Zholdina plays with fiber optic lights in a rehabilitation center in Semey, Kazakhstan January 15, 2009. She was born with a developmental problems, and only recently learned to walk. The lights are designed to develop motor control skills.
Nikita Bochkaryov uses his nose to tickle his younger brother Daniel in their apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan March. 3, 2009. Nikita can use only his nose when he and Daniel take turns pretending they are dogs wrestling each other.
Nikita Bochkaryov types with a stick attached to a helmet during a Russian grammar lesson with a teacher, in his apartment in Semey, Kazakhstan January 14, 2009. His life exists on the Internet, where his mind is liberated from his physical disability, enabling him to write stories, letters and poems, and communicate with his loved ones.
Starlight illuminates the abandoned military town of Chagan, next to the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon in Kazakhstan February 27, 2009. The city was once a military airbase during the Cold War, with planes ready to drop nuclear payloads. It was abandoned after nuclear tests ended following the fall of the Soviet Union, leaving a ghost town in the middle of the steppe.
Sergey Zubritsky exercises in a care facility for the elderly and disabled in Semey, Kazakhstan November 20, 2008. Sergey, whose parents worked in the Nuclear Polygon during the cold war, was born with deformed hands and osteochondrosis.