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核爆都不割──來自切爾諾貝爾核爆倖存者的聲音

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30多年前,切爾諾貝爾核電站發生嚴重核子意外,事件震動全世界,災難過後蘇聯不惜代價動員全國力量進行救災和清理工作,大量蘇聯人在參與行動中死亡,又或在期間吸入過量輻射導致他們在日後患上不同疾病,更多人因此走上了截然不同的人生道路。面對這場重大國家危機,蘇聯政府利用國內媒體營造正面輿論,借表揚前線人員的無私奉獻來掩飾這場災難背後所付出的沈重代價;另一方面政府亦借助無孔不入的監控來消弭民間那微弱的異議聲音。慶幸作者Svetlana Alexievich在發生核爆後的十年間訪問了500多位核爆倖存者,並將他們的經歷結集成《Voices from Chernobyl》一書,讓我們重新聽到他們的切身故事。

書內記截了很多令人悲傷的故事,但來自Lyudmilla Ignatenko的故事更是令人心碎。核爆當晚她的消防員丈夫(Vasily Ignatenko)被緊急派往核電站參與救火工作,之後便徹夜未歸。第二天Ignatenko輾轉向其他人打探(因為核爆消息已被封鎖),好不容易才知道丈夫早已被送院,不久更被轉送往莫斯科醫院。懷著身孕的她匆忙趕到莫斯科,發現那是一間戒備深嚴、專治輻射中毒的醫院。當她要求探望丈夫時,醫生和護士都紛紛勸阻她︰她丈夫已如核反應堆般散發著強烈輻射,和他見面不但會令她吸入大量輻射,更會拖累她肚中的胎兒(後來該胎兒出世不久後便告夭折,Ignatenko再婚後的第二胎雖然順利出世但也有先天缺陷)。深情的她不顧一切繼續陪伴丈夫,卻看著丈夫逐漸凋零︰他的皮膚和肌肉一塊塊地掉落,連床單上的摺痕也可以造成傷口;他的口腔咽喉先是發炎、然後潰爛;內臟不停山血甚至碎掉… … 這種慢性死亡的殘酷程度大概連古代的凌遲處死也要比下去。他死後,由於他的遺體含有強烈輻射,政府規定只能埋葬在指定的墓地裏,而且作為國家英雄,她丈夫的遺體早已歸於國家,任憑Ignatenko如何傷心斷腸,她再也無法為她丈夫打點身後事。這是Ignatenko與她丈夫的故事,卻也是她們一對在世與不在世孩子的故事,更是無數個為了挽救災難而付出生命的故事。他們的聲音又何曾出現在國家的官方報導之中?

流逝的生命固然令人神傷,但是倖存下來的人同樣因為輻射而要面臨沈重的生理和心理傷害。就如一位曾參與阿富汗戰爭的士兵所說︰當他離開阿富汗後,他可肯定自己已安全了;但在這場災難中卻是相反,因為輻射只會在你回家後才慢慢將你殺死,即使你僥倖沒有吸入致命的輻射,但過量的輻射亦會影響人體器宮造成突變,其負作用甚至可能延續至下一代。他們沒法清除身上的輻射、更沒法預測突變會否或何時發生,在餘下的人生中他們無時無刻都要面對這不確定的威脅,情況彷如在他們身上扣上一道沈重的無形枷鎖。

更不幸的是,當時不少人對輻射只有一枝半解的認識,外界往往將他們對於輻射的恐懼投放在這批倖存者身上,久而久之甚至變成排擠或歧視倖存者的現象。一位兒時居住於核電站附近、在核爆意外後被撤離的女孩雖然沒有因為輻射而產生突變病患,但日後當她和男友交往到談婚論嫁之際,對方母親知道她是「核難民」後便擔心她日後不能生育、又或會懷有畸胎,最後雙方只有分手收場。對於該名倖存者來說,這場發生於她孩童時代的意外將成為她一生的陰影,而這一場意外令她覺得︰原來懷孕也可以是一種罪。

同樣受到影響的還有很多在核爆禁區土地上生活了一輩子的農民。發生核爆後,當政府派遣士兵封鎖週邊區域及執行撤離令時,他們可是對現況完全摸不著頭腦。他們固然對輻射沒有概念,更不明白為何政府勒令他們埋掉新鮮摘下的蔬果、倒掉剛榨出來的鮮奶、甚至要丟掉在戶外掠曬的衣服。他們看不到、聞不著那無色無味的輻射,但這刻卻感受到家財盡失的痛。對於他們來說,「減少吸收輻射」是種他們沒法承擔的奢侈,而儘快回到家園可能就是他們最大的心願,那怕這意味著他們畢生將背負一顆不知何時會引爆的輻射炸彈。

當然不是所有人都對共產黨的救災手法都感到不滿。就如Svetlana Alexievich在她的另一本著作《二手時代──追求自由的烏托邦之路》中指出,社會內不乏仍對共產主義、對祖國興盛深信不疑的國民,他們打從心底裏熱愛蘇聯,亦覺得共產社會是全世界最優秀的制度,蘇聯自立國以來的種種事蹟與成就更加強了他們對蘇聯的民族認同。在這危急關頭,他們願意為祖國獻出一分力量,而這份信念也是他們的價值觀中不可或缺的組成部份。當一些蘇聯人批評政府在救災行動中妄顧人命安危、並將他們如炮灰般投入核爆現場時,另一些蘇聯人可是對國家的號召甘之如飴,畢竟對於他們來說為國效力可能就是身為蘇聯人所能獲得的最大意義。曾經是Stavgorod區黨委書記的Vladimir Matveevich Ivanov便十分認同這種想法︰

We believed in the high ideals, in victory! We’ll defeat Chernobyl! We read about the heroic battle to put down the reactor that had gotten out from under man’s control. A Russian without a high ideal? Without a great dream? That’s also scary.

類似的想法不獨限於政府官員。Sergei Vasilyevich Sobolev是位專門收集、記錄是次核爆資料的蘇聯人,他在書中分享了一次訪談的內容︰

I met this one man, he was saying that this is because we place a low value on human life. That it’s an Asiatic fatalism. A person who sacrifices himself doesn’t feel himself to be a unique individual. He experiences a longing for his role in life. Earlier he was a person without a text, a statistic. He had no theme, he served as the background. And now suddenly he’s the main protagonist. It’s a longing for meaning. What does our propaganda consist of? Our ideology? You’re offered a chance to die so that you can gain meaning, and be raised up. They’ll give you a role! That’s the high value of death, because death is eternal.

對於不少蘇聯人來說,「國難當前,匹夫有責」就是他們其中一種核心價值,他們或許不清楚災場中那無色無味的輻射可能比槍林彈雨更具殺傷力(至少中了槍的人不會再禍及他人),但他們心中的愛國情懷卻令他們願意赴湯蹈火參與拯救工作,只是這一次他們拯救的不單只是蘇聯,更可能是歐洲以至全地球。身為鐵幕外的我們或許無法理解他們對共產主義的忠誠、甚至厭惡他們對專制政府的擁護,但在這次災難中他們卻為人類的延續付出了汗和血,他們的犧牲值得我們銘記於心。這場規模空前、危險度破表的救災行動大概足已成為人類歷史長河中一個詭異的小曲折吧。


如果要用一個詞語來連結書中不同受訪者的故事,我相信就是「謊言」。在災難發生後,共產黨就用盡一切方法來掩飾意外的嚴重程度,所以在書中我們反覆看到不同形式的隱瞞與欺騙︰軍方為了讓直升機機師多執行幾趟飛行任務,在機師執勤期間一直評估他吸收的輻射量低於容許界線的上限,但事後檢查卻發現他的輻射水平超出規定上限近一百倍;政府限制專家們使用輻射測量儀器,以防止有人測出真實的輻射水平;儘管某些地區儲有足夠防護裝備供給當地居民使用,不過政府擔心這會引起恐慌與猜疑故拒絕發放;一位士兵在蘇聯二戰勝利日巡遊(5月9日)前詢問長官市內的輻射水平,卻被軍官喝叱為製造恐慌;一位自出世時已有缺陷的孩子一直得不到應有的治療,只因她不獲官方發出文件証明她是核爆意外的受害者;有記者看到一眾高官偷偷享用來自核爆區以外的食物和水源,但記者在文章內只能報導當地的輻射仍維持正常水平;民眾害怕購買來自災區的罐頭,官方於是不再為罐頭貼上招紙以圖矇混過關…. … 當蘇聯媒體不斷高唱救災工作如何成功、人民如何無私奉獻,同時又忽視人民對真實狀況所提出的質疑時,人們開始懷疑這些美好願景只是空中樓閣,但現實生活中的種種枷鎖也令他們沒法揭穿謊言,最終只能任由掌權者用更多謊言來支撐起這個早已傾軋的社會現實。

這些無處不在的隱瞞與謊言自然需要無數人的配合才能建構出來。在極權體制下,不論是出於對體制的服從還是對自身利益的保護,上至蘇聯領導人下至前線官員都有「合法」理由來協助織起這個綿密的謊言網。曾經任職白俄羅斯科學院核能源學院總工程師的Marat Filippovich Kokhanov認為這些曾參與隱瞞真相的共產黨黨員不一定為了自保而執行有關任務,相反他們可能為了更宏大的共產信仰而選擇忽視眼前的「小惡」︰

So here’s the answer to your question: why did we keep silent knowing what we knew? Why didn’t we go out onto the square and yell the truth? We compiled our reports, we put together explanatory notes. But we kept quiet and carried out our orders without a murmur because of Party discipline. I was a Communist. I don’t remember that any of our colleagues refused work in the Zone. Not because they were afraid of losing their Party membership, but because they had faith. They had faith that we lived well and fairly, that for us man was the highest thing, the measure of all things. The collapse of this faith in a lot of people eventually led to heart attacks and suicides. A bullet to the heart, as in the case of Professor Legasov, because when you lose that faith, you are no longer a participant, you’re an also-ran, you have no reason to exist. That’s how I understood his suicide, as a sort of sign.

而來自政府的Vladimir Matveevich Ivanov對於這種「小惡」有更直白的說法︰

I’m a product of my time. I’m not a criminal.

當然不是所有人都能用這套信仰來說服自己參與這種系統性的隱瞞工作。本身是環境督察的Zoya Danilovna Bruk在災後曾參與檢查災區環境安全的工作,她目睹謊言一再發生,但同時也對自己有份參與其中而感到無力與內疚︰

And they (指居住於災場附近的農民) couldn’t understand what had happened, they wanted to believe scientists, or any educated person, like they would a priest. But they were told: “Everything’s fine. There’s nothing to fear. Just wash your hands before eating." I understood, not right away, but after a few years, that we all took part in that crime, in that conspiracy. (She is silent.)
You have no idea how much of what was sent into the Zone as aid came out of it as contraband: coffee, canned beef, ham, oranges. It was taken out in crates, in vans. Because no one had those products anywhere. The local produce salesmen, the Inspectors, all the minor and medium bureaucrats lived off this. People turned out to be worse than I thought. And me, too. I’m also worse. Now I know this about myself. [Stops.] Of course, I admit this, and for me that’s already important. But, again, an example. In one kolkhoz there are, say, five villages. Three Clean," two are “dirty." Between them there are maybe two to three kilometers. Two of them get “graveyard" money, the other three don’t. Now, the “clean" village is building a livestock complex and they need to get some clean feed. Where do they get it? The wind blows the dust from one field to the next, it’s all one land. In order to build the complex, though, they need some papers signed, and the commission that signs them, I’m on the commission. Everyone knows we can’t sign those papers. It’s a crime. But in the end I found a justification for myself, just like everyone else. I thought: the problem of clean feed is not a problem for an environmental inspector.
Everyone found a justification for themselves, an explanation. I experimented on myself. And basically I found out that the frightening things in life happen quickly and naturally.

這種平凡之惡自然不是在核爆後才開始發生,但當手握權力的領導人高奏維穩樂曲,當國家的福祉永遠被置於人民之前時,整個官僚制度便成為了平凡之惡的最大推手。曾擔任白俄羅斯核能源機構總監的Vasily Borisovich Nesterenko便指出,當時白俄羅斯已儲備有大量碘劑,本意是在發生核子攻擊後供市民服用以減低輻射吸入量,但當白俄羅斯境內部份地區的輻射水平已遠遠超出正常水平時,沒有任何官員指示向市民派發碘劑,因為他們寧願犧牲人民的健康來換取政權(和他們仕途)的穩定︰

But they’re worried about their authority, not about the people. It was a country of authority, not people. The state always come first, the value of a human life was zero. … … People feared their superiors more than they feared the atom. Everyone was waiting for the order, for a call, but no one did anything himself.

災難的發生故然有技術或其他不可抗力的運氣因素,但這場災難清楚反映意外背後更多的深層原因︰真相總被隱藏、權力缺乏制衡、機構不受監管… … 這些問題既源自於政治制度,但政治制度亦反過來被這些問題所鞏固,於是種種問題就在制度的掩飾下漸漸醞釀成為一場潛在危機,它的爆發自然揭露了千瘡百孔的政治制度。任憑共產黨的政治宣傳再舖天蓋地、領導人對救災英雄如何歌功頌德、救災的軍民如何奮不顧身,都沒法掩飾這個傾頹的政治制度和政權穩定高於一切的管治思維。

最後以一位災場清理者的說話來總結這場災難︰

Don’t write about the wonders of Soviet heroism. They existed and they really were wonders. But first there had to be incompetence, negligence, and only after those did you get wonders: covering the embrasure, throwing yourself in front of a machine gun. But that those orders should never have been given, that there shouldn’t have been any need, no one writes about that. They flung us there, like sand onto the reactor. Every day they’d put out a new “Action Update": “men are working courageously and selflessly," “we will survive and triumph."
They gave me a medal and one thousand rubles.


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Successful failure -《Midnight in Chernobyl》

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