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Valeri Legasov (Top 10 Scientists who Suicide)

Valeri Legasov

Valeri Legasov

Valeri Alekseevich Legasov was a prominent Soviet scientist in the field of inorganic chemistry, a member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He is most famous for his work as the chief of the investigation committee of the Chernobyl disaster on April 26th 1986.

After the Chernobyl disaster, Legasov became a key member of the government commission formed to investigate the causes of the catastrophe and to plan the liquidation of its consequences. In August, 1986 he presented the report of the Soviet delegation at the special meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. His report struck the Western colleagues with the depth of analysis and full honesty in discussing the extent and consequences of the tragedy.
Legasov’s open and firm stance, however, caused a lot of trouble for him at home: the Soviet government was very uncomfortable with the frankness and rigor of his position. As a result, when in 1986-1987 his name was twice entered into the list for those to be awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor in recognition for his work, both times it was rejected: the second time his name was crossed out by Gorbachev himself.
Having exposed himself to the radiation on the ground of Chernobyl, Legasov’s health began to rapidly deteriorate, which coupled with his depression over his lack of recognition, led him to take his own life on April 27th 1988.

On September 20, 1996 Russian President Boris Yeltsin conferred to Legasov the honorary title of Hero of the Russian Federation (posthumously) for his “courage and heroism” shown in the course of the liquidation of the after-effects of Chernobyl disaster.