Atom test used 45,000 people

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A film of a 1954 Soviet atomic blast was recently obtained from secret Soviet military archives, and parts of it were shown in France last month, the New York Times said, Reuter reports from New York. The Soviet armed forces exploded the bomb near 45,000 Red Army troops and thousands of civilians, using them as human guinea pigs, the paper said.

A Finnish film company was said to have bought the film from Russians who got it from military archives that have not been made public.

The bomb was detonated in the air in the Ural Mountains 600 miles south-east of Moscow on 14 September 1954, the Times reported. How many people it killed or maimed was unknown. The point was to test whether troops could fight in an area immediately after it was hit by a nuclear bomb. The film shows soldiers staging mock battles on the test site, a smoky, dusty plain, an hour after the explosion.