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Totskoye nuclear exercise

The Totskoye nuclear exercise was a Totskoye village in Orenburg Oblast, Russia, in the South Ural Military District.[3]


  • History 1
  • Consequences 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


In mid-September 1954, Tu-4 bomber dropped a 40-kilotonne (170 TJ) atomic weapon - RDS-4 bomb - from 8,000 metres (26,000 ft). The bomb exploded 350 metres (1,150 ft) above Totskoye range, 13 kilometres (8 mi) from Totskoye.[4][5]

During the exercise more than 45,000 were

  • "Nuclear Testing in the USSR. Volume 2. Soviet Nuclear Testing Technologies. Environmental Effects. Safety Provisions. Nuclear Test Sites", Begell-House, Inc., New York, 1998
  • A.A. Romanyukha, E.A. Ignatiev, D.V. Ivanov and A.G. Vasilyev, "The Distance Effect on the Individual Exposures Evaluated from the Soviet Nuclear Bomb Test in 1954 at Totskoye Test Site in 1954", Radiation Protection Dosimetry 86:53-58 (1999) online abstract
  • Генерал-лейтенант С.А. Зеленцов. Тоцкое войсковое учение (научно-публицистическая монография) [Totskoye Military Exercise] (in Russian). Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  • Wm. Robert Johnston (2005-05-05). "Totsk nuclear test, 1954". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  • In the zone of nuclear blast (Russian) by General of Aviation Ostroumov
  • Truth about the testing site of death (Russian), a publication by Moskovskii Komsomolets
  1. ^ Totskyoe exercise. Measures of safety (Russian) by Sergei Markov
  2. ^ Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), an official newspaper of Russian Ministry of Defense, and Literaturnaya Gazeta
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Fifty five years ago Zhokov tested nuclear weapons on people (Russian) This link provides old video records of the actual nuclear exercise." (in Russian). 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  4. ^ a b c "Fifty years ago USSR accomplished the operation "Snowball": forty three thousand Soviet soldiers died. (Russian)" (in Russian). 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  5. ^ a b Dietrich Tissen. "Nuclear Test in Totskoye in 1954". Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  6. ^ "Human Nuclear Experiments". Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  7. ^ V.I. Feskov et al., "The Soviet Army in the Cold War 1945–90", Tomsk, 2004, p. 94
  8. ^ Paul Goble (2014-09-15). "60 Years Ago, Moscow Tested a Nuclear Weapon on Its Own Citizens". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 


See also

September 14 is considered in Russia a day of creation of the state's nuclear shield.

Over half a century later, this matter is still under strict control of the federal government. The local law enforcement personnel continue to harass the journalists who try to obtain footage from the range.[3] The exercise became widely known only in 1993.[3] Even the soldiers who participated in the exercise did not know that they had taken part.[3] The government congratulated the local population for their heroism in providing the nuclear shield for their Motherland.

Thousands who are believed to have sought help in local hospitals would later be surprised to find that their medical cards, containing their histories of sickness, had disappeared from the regional hospital. That fact was confirmed by a former soldier who participated in the exercise, Alexey Petrovich Vavilov, in his interview[3] with the television news broadcasting program Podrobnosti (Telechannel INTER) more than 50 years later.[3]

As Malenkov fell from favour, Zhukov, Minister of Defence Nikolai Bulganin and head of the Central Committee Nikita Khrushchev plotted a coup d'état, expelling him from the Politburo in 1957, and from the party as a whole in 1961. Khrushchev became the General Secretary while Malenkov retained the largely ceremonial position of Premier. In 1955 Khrushchev removed Malenkov from the position of Premier, giving that title to Bulganin, and Zhukov took over the position of Minister of Defence.

When Stalin died in 1953, Malenkov took control of the party apparatus. This led to continued infighting among the other claimants to the position, especially the "anti-stalinites". Totskoye was, to some degree, an attempt to make Malenkov and Stalin look foolish by demonstrating that nuclear weapons could be used on the battlefield, and thus that they could play a part in a winnable nuclear war.

Malenkov had made many enemies during Stalin's time in power. These included Marshal Dwight D. Eisenhower to visit the Soviet Union after the war. Zhukov was demoted and sent to Odessa where he soon suffered a heart attack and was no longer considered a threat.

nuclear war could not be won by any of its participants.


The residents of selected villages (Bogdanovka and Fedorovka) that were situated around 6 km (4 mi) from the epicenter of the future explosion were offered temporary evacuation outside the 50 km (31 mi) radius.[4] Most of the local population was never warned, however.[8]


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