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Podcast: Escape From Kyiv -- Remembering The Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster 25 Years Later

Natalia Churikova (right) poses with her stepfather, Oleksander Pavlenko, and her mother, Valentyna Pavlenko, on holiday in Crimea in 1987 -- one year after the disaster at Chornobyl.
In this week's show, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, we listen as Natalia Churikova, a broadcaster with our Ukrainian Service, remembers what it was like as a schoolgirl in nearby Kyiv during those scary days in April 1986, when Ukraine -- and the world -- first learned of the explosion and fire at Reactor No. 4.

Pavel Butorin
In our regular "This Is My Story" segment, Natalia speaks of panic, fear, and disinformation as the radiation cloud spread across Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.

In an exclusive interview, Gary Samore, U.S. President Barack Obama's top adviser on arms control, talks about Washington's nuclear dialogue with Russia, and the Obama administration's efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Samore speaks with Irina Lagunina of our Russian Service and Hossein Aryan of our Persian service, Radio Farda.

And lastly, but not leastly, we chat with RFE/RL's chief Washington editor, Christian Caryl, to get the inside scoop on his new blog, "Outpost Washington."

This week's host is Pavel Butorin.

Both of the songs featured in this week's podcast are from the 2004 album "Bohuslav" by the Ukrainian folk rock band Haydamaky. The songs are "Sestry" and "Bohuslav."

Listen to or download the episode below or subscribe to "The Blender" on iTunes. For previous episodes, click here.

RFE/RL's The Blender -- 4/22/11
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