The “Stronger Than Death” memorial in Semipalatinsk, northern Kazakhstan.
The Semipalatinsk Test Site, about 100km west of the city, was established by Beria in 1947 as a test site for nuclear weapons. Tests were conducted from 1949 and 1989, the number of explosions totalling over 450. Unlike other Russian cold-war era nuclear testing sites, however, the site near Semipalatinsk was in close proximity to human settlements. The area held approximately 200,000 residents, who were not evacuated during the tests.
This sculpture is a memorial to the victims of radiation poisoning from these explosions, the approximate equivalent of 2,500 Hiroshima bombs.