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Boris Shcherbina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boris Shcherbina
Boris Shcherbina.jpeg
Shcherbina in 1985
Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers
In office
13 January 1984 – 7 June 1989 (1984-01-13 – 1989-06-07)
Minister of Construction of the Oil and Gas Industries
In office
11 December 1973 – 13 January 1984 (1973-12-11 – 1984-01-13)
Preceded byAleksei K. Kortunov [ru]
Succeeded byVladimir G. Chirskov [ru]
Personal details
Born(1919-10-05)5 October 1919
Debaltsevo, Ukrainian SSR (now Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
Died22 August 1990(1990-08-22) (aged 70)
Moscow, Russian SFSR
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union (1939–1990)
Spouse(s)Raisa Pavlovna Shcherbina
ChildrenYuri Borisovich Shcherbina
OccupationRailway engineer
Known forCrisis management of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and 1988 Armenian earthquake; Chairman of the Chernobyl Commission
AwardsHero of Socialist Labor
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service years1939–1942
ConflictRusso-Finnish War

Boris Yevdokimovich Shcherbina (Ukrainian: Борис Євдокимович Щербина, romanizedBorys Yevdokymovych Shcherbyna, Russian: Борис Евдокимович Щербина; 5 October 1919 – 22 August 1990) was a Ukrainian Soviet politician who served as a vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union from 1984 to 1989. During this period he supervised Soviet crisis management of two major catastrophes: the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 1988 Armenian earthquake.[1][2]


Shcherbina was born in Debaltsevo, Ukrainian SSR (now Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine) on October 5, 1919 to the family of a Ukrainian[3] railroad worker.[4] He joined the CPSU in 1939 and volunteered for army service during the Winter War with Finland.[5] He was married to Raisa Pavlovna and the two had one son, Yuri Borisovich.

Shcherbina is credited with co-founding the oil and gas industry in Western Siberia while serving as the CPSU first secretary in Tyumen Oblast and later as the Minister of Construction of Oil and Gas Industries (1973–1984).[6] In 1976, Shcherbina had become a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and kept the position until his death.[citation needed]

In 1984, he became a vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers and as such was in charge of dealing with the Chernobyl disaster outcome in 1986. Shcherbina served in a similar role after the catastrophic 1988 Armenian earthquake.[7] He proposed inviting international rescuers – from Austria and Czechoslovakia – who had thermal imagers and specially trained dogs at their disposal to search for living people.[citation needed]

In 1990, he opposed the election of Boris Yeltsin to the chairmanship of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, describing him as "a man of low moral qualities", whose election would "pave the way for the darkest period in our country's history".[8] However, Yeltsin was elected and became the first president of the Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union a year later.


Shcherbina died in Moscow in 1990, aged 70.[1][2] It is unclear if his death was related to radiation as a 1988 decree, drafted by himself, prevented Soviet doctors from citing radiation as a cause of death or illness.[9][10]

Honors and awards

In his position of Minister of Oil and Gas, he was awarded the honorary title of Hero of Socialist Labour for major contributions to the development of the country's oil and gas industry, which was the highest award for achievements within the national economy. During his life, he was also awarded four Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution and two Orders of the Red Banner of Labour.[11]

In Gyumri, Armenia, a street was named after him in his honour. On 10 November 2004, a bust of Shcherbina was erected in Nikolai Nemtsov Square in Tyumen, Tyumen Oblast.[11]

In popular culture

Shcherbina is portrayed by Vernon Dobtcheff in the BBC docudrama Surviving Disaster (2006) and by Stellan Skarsgård in the Sky/HBO miniseries Chernobyl (2019).


  1. ^ a b Hewitt, Ed A.; Winston, Victor H. (1 December 2010). Milestones in Glasnost and Perestroyka: Politics and People. Brookings Institution Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-0-8157-1914-4.
  2. ^ a b Plokhy, Serhii (15 May 2018). Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe. Basic Books. pp. 299–. ISBN 978-1-5416-1708-7.
  3. ^ Burke, Patrick (1988). The Nuclear Weapons World: Who, how & where. Greenwood Press. p. 163. ISBN 0313265909.
  4. ^ "Shcherbina, Boris Evdokimovich". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979).
  5. ^ "Boris Ščerbina: Profil muže, který řešil katastrofu v Černobylu".
  6. ^ Högselius, Per (2013). Red gas : Russia and the origins of European energy dependence. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-28614-7. OCLC 920335307.
  7. ^ Schmid, Sonja D. (6 February 2015). Producing Power: The Pre-Chernobyl History of the Soviet Nuclear Industry. MIT Press. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-0-262-02827-1.
  8. ^ "Борис Евдокимович ЩЕРБИНА". Губкинская неделя (in Russian). Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Boris Shcherbina". Yahoo UK. 29 April 2019. He died in 1990 at age 70, and it's not clear if he died of radiation or not, given that he ordered the construction of a new town in the highly contaminated area. In a secret 1988 decree that he helped form, Soviet doctors could not cite radiation as a cause of death or illness.
  10. ^ Dobbs, Michael (26 April 1991). "CHERNOBYL SYMBOL OF SOVIET FAILURE". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Щербина Борис Евдокимович".
This page was last edited on 19 July 2021, at 12:12
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