Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

As you probably know, the Chernobyl NPP is surrounded by a 30-kilometer exclusion zone. To enter it you must have a special permission. But do you actually want it? If you do, see how to enter there after the jump.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

If you are coming from Kiev you must pass through the “Dityatki” checkpoint where your passport and all other documents will be carefully checked.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Not far away from the plant there is a fire department and a monument to those who extinguished a fire during the first hours and days after the accident.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Another tragedy occurred at Chernobyl in the fall of 1986. The helicopter flying above the plant accidentally caught on a cable and crashed. The whole crew consisted of 4 people died. This is their memorial.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Such roadsigns are everywhere throughout an exclusion zone. It gives the information about evicted settlements: their name, the number of people living there, the date and place of their relocation.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The monument near the entrance to Pripyat. The background radiation on the road exceeds the natural one.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Before entering Pripyat your documents and a permission paper are checked one more time. If you are in Pripyat for the first time, you would probably feel ill at ease while walking down its empty streets, passing by the houses with broken windows… NO ONE has lived here for a quarter of a century and no one will EVER live here again. It’s a ghost town reminding us of impermanent and transitory nature of all things.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The recreation center called “Power Engineer”. Graffiti on its walls depict the silhouettes of people. Actually, you can see graffiti everywhere – on walls and roofs, landings and in a pool. They are like ghosts that settled in a ghost town. They play, climb stairs, fish, cry and scream in terror. They were painted by some artists from Moscow, Kiev and Berlin who are now forbidden to enter Pripyat again. Though their graffiti was decided not to wash off.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore but its emblem still adorns the house.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

A square before the recreation center.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The helicopter pilots who took part in liquidation.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

A small birch sprouted through the floor on the top of the “Pripyat” Hotel.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

View of the park from its roof. This ferris wheel should have been opened in May 1, 1986.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

On the roof of the hotel.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The distance from the city to the nearest station is about 3 km. The next morning after the accident people were sunbathing on the roofs and balconies of their houses knowing nothing about what had happened…

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Cars in a park don’t wait for their young drivers anymore.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Trees make their way through asphalt. Some more decades and the city will be overgrown.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The city pool. They say Pripyat was a very comfortable city with many schools, kindergartens, sports facilities and shops.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

And now it’s dangerous not only to live here but stay for a short period of time.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

A school.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Ruined classrooms.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The notebooks haven’t yet got rotten.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

On the blackboard are the conditions of the problem in physics written 25 years ago. On the bottom right is a more recent inscription: “05.09.2008. Tanya Vladimirova studied here. Our first loss. We remember her. “Apparently written by her classmates.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

An empty school corridor. A quarter of a century without laughter and scurry.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Pilots-liquidators. In May-June of 1986 they made hundreds of flights over the plant. Aerial surveys, air sampling, visual observations. Both of them are awarded with the Order of the Red Star. 93 rubles (at that time it was about $3,1) were added to their military pension. The problem is that not all of their companions lived till retirement.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

The monument to liquidators standing before the sarcophagus of the NPP. Not exactly the cleanest place in the zone.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Leaving the zone, all cars must pass the radiometric control.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

As well as its passengers must pass through detectors.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Radiation has different effects on people. Someone dies at once, someone suffers from a heap of diseases and dies slowly, and someone continues to live no matter what. Meet, Hanna Zavorotnya, 78 years old, a resident of the 30-kilometer exclusion zone of Chernobyl.

In 1986, all residents in the area were evacuated, but Hanna, as well as hundreds of other people came back shortly and continued to live at home. Now there are about 200 of them. The government prefers not to notice their presence.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

This aged woman takes care of her paralyzed sister. Her son and husband died long ago.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

25 years in the exclusion zone means a lot! Grandma got used to the intrusive journalists and behaves like a true star when meeting with them. She says that the worst thing is not radiation but hunger…

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

She lives quietly, keeps chickens, pigs and grows vegetables. She often asks God to help her to live without medicine.

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Thank you for your incredible courage, granny Ganya! God Bless you with strength and many more years of life!

Coming Back to Chernobyl

Location: Chernobyl

via gp-russia

21 thoughts on “Coming Back to Chernobyl”

  1. I wish someone would take more photos of all the residents of the exclusion zone and tell us more about them and how they live.

    I’m fascinated by the fact they haven’t gotten ill and died already. No doubt there are medical people following and studying them to try to find out why they aren’t dead yet.

    Great Post.

    • I understand that it depends on where they live in the exclusion zone and what levels or radiation they are exposed to.

      Some photographs of them and their homes, gardens and livestock would be great.

  2. Small doses of radiation can be beneficial since it kills disease and bacteria as well. I’ve heard reports of people who lived just outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki living healthy lives well into their 90’s.

  3. my respects to all the people who struggled to repair the damage after the explosion

    maybe they didn’t know what they were getting into, but i doubt they would have refused to go even if they knew the danger

  4. Detector shows natural level of “radio emission” 3~30 micro zv/h. But such devices cannot show radio-nuclied’s contamination – it cannot be detected by devices which shows e/m emission.

  5. I have been to Pripyat/Chernobyl a few times. What still cracks me up is that lots of people think that, for example in the classroom, there are notebooks left. Or dolls (I see quite a few pictures where there are dolls with burned out eyes laying around). EVERYTHING was looted in the early 90’s. NOTHING was spared. They even took the doors to elevators in the buildings. Every memorabilia that you see in pictures taken today has been put there by the guides of the city, or similar. To keep tourists happy. I find that rather repulsive…

  6. That is one interesting concept Bill
    I wonder if in 10 years rich people will knock each other over to purchase property in the 30 mile radius.
    Hope I didn’t start a multi billion idea that I’ll never get to cash in for myself.

  7. My family foster kids etc and when the disaster happened we had 2 young boys who’s family were affected by the disaster come and live with us in the uk for several months. Dima and seniya r there names, hearing there stories of their situations back home was really touching. Still to this day am in touch with them and we write to eachother every week.

  8. My family foster kids etc and when the disaster happened we had 2 young boys who’s family were affected by the disaster come and live with us in the uk for several months. Dima and seniya r there names, hearing there stories of their situations back home was really touching. Still to this day am in touch with them and we write to eachother every week. I was able to learn a lot from them and their lives.

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