The Liquidators were men from all over the former Soviet Union employed in different groups to shut down and stem the damage caused by the explosion of the reactor.
In practice, they were called to “liquidate” the consequences of the accident: clean up the power plant, villages and roads with water jets, move tons of waste and radioactive materials with their arms.
The first who intervened in the plant alternated in shifts of a few seconds, without suitable protections and equipment, to move pieces of contaminated graphite with shovels or hands.
The Liquidators were about 800,000 military and civilian volunteers.
Many of them died immediately, others later in atrocious suffering, but some are still alive.