MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is receiving trustworthy information regarding the aftermath of the accident at a military test site near Severodvinsk, a city in Russia’s northwestern Arkhangelsk Region, so any sort of misleading information falling into the president’s hands is impossible, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured reporters on Friday.
"I can tell you in a responsible manner that nowadays this is out of the question. [There are] numerous sources, from which the president receives information," he emphasized.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev earlier told the Diletant magazine that during the first 24 hours after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, his entourage kept him in the dark about the possible aftermath of the accident. Peskov replied to that by noting that he couldn’t comment on how and through what channels the Soviet leadership had received its information at that time.
‘[Now] the speed of communication, both domestically and from abroad, is so swift that a situation similar to what happened at Chernobyl is actually impossible," he pointed out.
The accident at a military test site near Severodvinsk, a city located in Russia’s northwestern Arkhangelsk Region, occurred on August 8. The Russian Defense Ministry said back then that two people had died in an accident while testing a liquid propellant jet engine but provided no further details. However, Russia’s State Atomic energy Corporation said on August 10 that five of its employees had died in a fire and a subsequent explosion during an offshore platform missile test. Three more employees had been taken to the hospital.
The Russian Defense Ministry vowed that there had been "no hazardous emissions into the atmosphere and that radiation levels are within the norm."