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The Week Unwrapped: Radiation, Rwanda and revisionism

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Why is radiation spiking near Chernobyl? How many bodies are yet to be found in Rwanda? And why has Prague removed a Soviet statue?

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 4:28am

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:


Two wildfires ignited this week in the highly radioactive Chernobyl exclusion zone, sending radiation levels soaring. As climate change makes the area more prone to drought and high temperatures, how worried should we be about long-buried radiation being released from the ground and spread across the world? 

Read our full briefing here.


Rwanda became famous for a post-genocide reconciliation process that was hailed as an African success story. This week, as the country remembers the start of the killing, a mass burial site that could contain up to 30,000 bodies was discovered. As the exhumation of the bodies begins, new questions have been thrown up about memory and how the nation’s dark history is reflected by contemporary Rwanda.  


A memorial in Prague to Soviet-era military commander Ivan Konev has been removed from its pedestal, drawing a rebuke from Moscow and from Czech President Milos Zeman. Konev is regarded as a hero in parts of Central and Eastern Europe due to his role in helping defeat the Nazis in WWII, but with many countries in the region now lurching to the far right, the popularity of communist figures is on the wane. 

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global PlayerApple podcastsSoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It is produced by Sarah Myles and the music is by Tom Mawby.

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