‘Talking about nuclear weapons is not enough, we must shout’, ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Kuyukov tells Euractiv

April 24, 2018

The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov

The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov

Karipbek Kuyukov was born without arms, as one of the many victims of nuclear radiation in Kazakhstan. He paints holding the brush in his mouth. He has devoted his life and art to making sure that no one else suffers the devastating effects of nuclear weapons testing. Kuyukov is Honorary Ambassador to The ATOM Project. 

He spoke to EURACTIV’s Senior Editor Georgi Gotev.

Tell us about your life. You were born close to Semipalatinsk, which was used by the Soviet Union to test nuclear weapons…

I was born in 1968 in the village of Yeghindybulak, which is a 100 kilometres from the former Semipalatinsk test site. Before my birth, my mother had children who did not live to their first year, there was a boy who lived only 6 months, then a girl was born who did not live up to 8 months.

And when, after them, I was born without arms, my mother suffered a shock, she could not come to me for three days, and the doctors seeing her condition, offered my father [that they kill me with] an injection so that there would be no problems either for the parents or the child …

As my father told me later, when he saw me for the first time, I was lying and looking at him, he made a decision thanks to which I am alive and was able to do a number of things in my life…

To read the full Euractiv interview, click here.