"In matters nuclear one thing is certain: there is no protection in an iron curtain." A letter in The Times May 3rd, 1986. On the 26th of April 1986 shortly after midnight, to be precise, at 1:23 GMT, there occurred near the Ukrainian town of Chornobyl a tremendous explosion at a huge nuclear power plant, followed by a gradual meltdown of the reactor No. 4. Chornobyl is situated 80 miles north-west of Kiev, the ancient capital of Ukraine and the Soviet Union's third largest city. It was by far the worst nuclear reactor accident ever, which immediately sent a radioactive cloud across neighbouring Byelorussia, Poland and the Baltic Republics towards Scandinavia. Within days, borne by shifting winds, radioactive mists wafted beyond Soviet borders and spread across most of Europe causing anxiety, apprehension and fear. The most badly affected
were the Republics of Ukraine and Byelorussia. They suffered large scale involuntary irradiation, due to extensive secrecy, and great economic damage. Furthermore the contaminated air mass passed over large areas of Poland and also over parts of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia and a number of West European countries. Till now the land is abandoned, thousands of houses, thousands acres of the land, everything is now stays almost the same as it was 20 years ago. Nowadays there guided tours are being conducted to this area. These photos are made by Alexandr Vikulov, [email protected]
while participating in such a trip. This Soviet Era sign indicates the entrance to Chernobyl county. Many of the things there stand unchanged since Soviet union times.