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Suicides in Yuzhnoukrainsk

Viktor Beloded, Yuzhnoukrainsk, the Nikolayev oblast
‘Last year nine suicidal attempts were registered among minors (1 in Voznesensk), three of them finished tragically. Why our children are so psychically unbalanced?’
An extract from the report of V. Sikirinskiy, the town prosecutor, at the interagency conference in February 2001.


On 11 January 2001 ‘Energetik’ (the newspaper of the Yuzhnoukrainsk atomic power station) printed an article about suicide containing the following statistical data.

During the first half of 2000 21 suicidal attempts were committed, among them 16 men; 12 persons aged under 30, 3 minors, 11 jobless. 10 cases out of 21 finished in death.

During the second half of the year 10 persons attempted suicides, including 9 people aged under 26, 5 minors and 6 jobless.

From 1997 to the first half of 2000 113 people attempted suicides, two thirds of them were men, 15 minors, 49 attempts finished in death.

During the same period in the town of Neteshin (the Kmelnitskiy atomic station) – 84 cases, 24 deaths; in Slavutich – 11 attempts. The number of suicidal attempts in Yuzhnoukrainsk is much larger than in other towns – satellites of atomic stations.

The article also contained analysis of the causes of such situation made by specialist from ‘Social-psychological center’.


During 4 years (1997 – first half of 2000): attempts 113, deaths 49.

During all the period (we multiply the data by two, since there is no complete data): attempts 226, deaths – 98.

The average values per year (are obtained by dividing by 4): attempts – 56.5, deaths 24.5.

In October 200 the population of Yuzhnoukrainsk equaled 41.7 thousand. Thus, per 100 thousand of the population we have attempts – 135 (135.4), deaths 59 (58.7).

According to the data given by the World health protection organization, the ‘critical’ level of suicides is 20 per 100 000 per year.

The conclusion: the number of suicidal attempts in Yuzhnoukrainsk exceeds the critical level by the factor of 6, and the number of ‘successful’ suicides is three times larger than the critical one.


It is fine that the newspaper ‘Energetik’ more and more frequently pay attention to really important problems. The defects of the society are necessarily influencing everyone of us, and, in the final count, the work of atomic stations. The fashionable motto ‘culture of safety’, in my opinion, must include before all such a factor as stable psychics of workers. But not everything is in order in this sphere.

The noticeable growth of the number of suicides is a serious indicator of very serious moral difficulties in our society. And the further growth of the number is a worrying factor. If to be realistic and include difficulties connected with alcoholism, drug taking, crime and uncertainty of the future, then it is high time today to think about what awaits us, to try to change the future to be better.

It is obvious that this phenomenon is based on the deep spiritual shock born by the seemingly hopeless life. The attempt top analyze this phenomenon in a newspaper, basing on the opinion of ‘competent professionals’, is rather strange, because the ‘professionals’ were bred in the Soviet times. The official Soviet science not only neglected the existence of the soul and the life after death, but also the existence of the Creator, reducing the man’s role as that of an animal originated from apes. A psychologist-atheist is nonsensical. How can one cure a soul without acknowledgement that it exists? Man is not an animal. So it is not wonderful that a psychologist cannot suggest anything except ‘merry, full life’: having parties, concerts and other recreations. But today only gay recreational music sounds on the air, is not it? And TV transmits shows, thrillers, lechery and violence for every taste round the clock. Our schoolchildren get acquainted with nicotine, alcohol and drugs while they loose baby-teeth. And what about rock-music? So why they strive to die in such a gay life? What do they lack? Consultations from telephone helplines?

No, my dearest countrymen, something is very wrong here. And we cannot neglect the question – we may not neglect the lot of our won children. What kind of problems have they? Do you believe that it does not concern your own children? Let us analyze this knot of problems, without giving away our children to school, street and factory education. Let us think about our future in the old age.

Suicides are indicators not only of economic collapse of Ukraine, but also of the spiritual one. They are fruits of the state atheism, which has lately been replaced by a decade of permissiveness, which in essence is a continuation of atheism. Instead of confession and return to God, our country is plunging deeper and deeper into darkness.

Along with the Social-psychological center expressing the official medical attitude, we have in Ukraine the Association of Christian-medics (‘Slovo very’, November 1995). This association grounds its approach to psychology on the Bible.

And what do the Holy Scriptures say? They render the laws of the common life of humans. The Good Book clearly tells about soul, life after death, the superior judge and the way to salvation. It shows the way to God and real spiritual equilibrium. What is a suicide according to the Bible? This is a violation of the commandment ‘Do not commit murder’, after which there is no time for repentance. So one, who commits suicide, is directed right away to the hell. That is why, in his great love to his own creatures, God gave people the fear of death, which atheists call ‘the instinct of self-preservation’, like that of animals.

In the modern world billions (!) of people live in poverty, suffer from starvation, wars, epidemics, and nevertheless they cling to life with all their forces. Why do they do this, if the atheism and oriental religions teach them not to be afraid of death? The Creator gave us a beautiful and comfortable planet, and he gave man the power over this world. His creatures feel the harmony of the nature and God, the harmony of the Cosmos, and strive unconsciously to this harmony.

Unfortunately, the humanity not always chooses the best ways and reap the consequences. The humanity not only forgets about God, but it turns to the forces of darkness – witches, fortune-tellers and extrasensory quacks. The latter often have not only diplomas of medical doctors, but also licenses of the Ministry of Health. There are many similar subjects, such as homeopathy and acupuncture, hypnosis and yoga, and valeology in secondary schools. And what are the results? The temporary improvement is replaced buy nervous breakdowns and depressions. In many cases a doctor’s assistance comes too late – the disease came too far. In any case the occult impacts leave a trace – dependence is formed. The Church knows thousands of such dependencies: turning to forces of darkness – depression – fixed ideas about suicide. We would never know about this, if the victims did not turn to God with their prayers of confession. This liberates them not only from the obsession, but also from the sin, they start a new sensible life full of God. What is the real sense of the new life? ‘The Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God’ (Micah 6,8).

If we are really disturbed with the suicide problem, then why should not we tell the potential 30-40 candidates of 2001 about the real hope and the way out of dead end?

PL commentary.
We are very thankful to our correspondent for the statistical data on suicides in Yuzhnoukrainsk and for his commentaries. In our opinion, it would be very instructive to obtain the data on suicides in different regions of our country, as well to collect the data on social and economic state in these regions, to compare them and to try to understand the causes of suicides. A priori, it does not seem correct that there is a direct relation between the growth of the number of suicides and the growth of poverty. The record of the number of suicides in Europe belongs to Hungary, a economically successful country, especially compared to Ukraine. Perhaps, the causes of suicides are more profound than merely economic and are related, as the author justly remarks, with the spiritual crisis, including the conscious or unconscious atheism of most people. The believing Christian may not commit suicide. At the same time, the causes of the atheism are more profound than the author believes. Seductions always existed, and always, in the epochs of spiritual crises, people turned to unorthodox religions. Besides, I believe that V. Beloded somewhat simplifies the problem referring homeopathy, hypnosis and yoga to the forces of darkness. It seems to me that our knowledge of man is so small and poor that we cannot explain yet many mysterious phenomena connected with man’s health and illnesses, his psyche. Moreover, our knowledge will always be limited, and the field of ignorance will always be endless. What is completely incomprehensible, why the author refers rock music to drugs. For me the rock opera ‘Jesus Christ – Super Star’ is one of the spiritual foundations.

The editorial board of ‘Prava ludyny’ would be pleased to obtain similar data and commentaries on suicides from other our correspondents.

Eugene Zakharov
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