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Sunday, 26 April, 1998, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Chernobyl anniversary marked

Special events have been held in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to mark the twelfth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

In an address, the Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, said the disaster had cost the nation dear, both financially and in continued suffering.

He again accused the international community of failing to honour pledges of financial aid to help close down the Chernobyl reactor.

In Belarus, the government said it would allocate nine per cent of this year's revenue to alleviate the consequences of the accident.

And in Moscow, a religious service was held in memory of the firefighters who died in the line of duty at Chernobyl.

According to official figures, more than three-and-a-half-thousand people died as a result of the disaster, but independent estimates put the figure higher.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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