Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Chernobyl was left behind and now we are coming to another checkpoint. This is Lelyov – once it was a village with the popultaion of 1 000 people lying on the bank of the Chernobyl cooling pond, now it is the boundary of the 10 km exclusion zone, the territory that suffered from the accident most.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

They do not like tourists here because they often bring problems. Many of visitors think it’s a cool adventure to be here, sometimes they get into troubles which can end rather tragically.

One girl from Moscow became a real queen of stupidity – she came to Pripyat to sunbathe. She underessed to a bikini and lay on the moss, right at the place of the highest background radiation. She was refusing to leave cause her friends allegedly had told her that Chernobyl tan would not be lost for a whole year, especially if she lies on the moss.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

In the background is “Chernobyl-2”, “Duga” or Russian Woodpecker (called so because of the sound produced while working).

Shadows of the Dead City

The radar station “Duga” is higher than 100 meters. It was intended for detection of ballistic missile launches and put into service not much earlier than the catastrophe happened. The complex was very expensive but worked only for a year, being abandoned and partially dismantled after the accident. Local workers rumour that one of the power units of the Chernobyl NPP worked exceptionally for powering of “Duga”.

Shadows of the Dead City

Wildlife of the zone.

Shadows of the Dead City

The area is really rich in animals. One can see huge herds of wild boars, sheatfish have become very big not because of radiation but because nobody goes fishing here and tourists feed it up. Roes, deer, hares and wolves roam freely in the zone.

However some change gives reasons for anxiety – insects have become much bigger, some beatles are half palm-sized.

Shadows of the Dead City

The station itself – the source of life for some workers and the cause of death for others. The fourth power unit where the accident happened.

Shadows of the Dead City

The construction that began in 1967 used to be called an “all-union”, “Komsomol”, “progressive” one.

Shadows of the Dead City

However there were some delays in the process of the construction. By the moment of the catastrophe the Chernobyl NPP was the largest one in the Soviet Union, its total capacity was 4000 MW, the fifth and sixth power units were being actively built. At the moment of the accident it was ready for 80%. They still look they way they did in April 26th, 1986.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

There is an observation point usually visited by all tourists here. They can see the fourth exploded power unit which was covered by the sarcophagus seven months later after the accident, and the monument to the victims of Chernobyl.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

This object called “Shelter” is turning twenty seven this year. The huge structure which required 400,000 cubic meters of concrete is decaying today.

Shadows of the Dead City

An interesting time-lapse video of the new sarcophagus arch lifting.

The international project should provide safety for the local population, personnel and environment and optimal functioning of the “Shelter” object for the next 100 years. The work is planned to have been finished by 2015, according to some data its cost is almost one billion euros.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Not far from the Chernobyl NPP is a railway station Yanov. It’s the very place from where many citizens of Pripyat were evacuated in April, 27-28th, 1986. Since then the station had not been used for a long time and the railway equipment affected by radiation was left there too.

Yanov is a dangerous place, tourists are rare here, they usually observe it from the nearest bridge.

Shadows of the Dead City

Here lives a man who has been here since the very explosion but he refuses to talk.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

The station is slowly reviving. Some part of the railway was reconstructed, cargoes needed for the sarcophagus construction are regularly transported here.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

This bridge is called “the bridge of death” and is associated with different legends.

Shadows of the Dead City

People rumour that after the explosion in April, 26th, there was an amazing light over the station, and many people came here to see it closer: mainly women and children – they all received a lethal dose of radiation.

Shadows of the Dead City

Pripyat of today is a favourite place of stalkers.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

This is the picture of the city before the accident.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Today it’s all like this…

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

“Kvass”.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

“Hello, the city of nuclear power plant builders!”

Shadows of the Dead City

The new city for those who worked at the station was started to be built in February, 4th, 1970. It was growing rather fast. In 1972 it was called “Pripyat”.

Shadows of the Dead City

They planned to build such a sports complex and call it “Uranium”.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Like any other Soviet city, Pripyat represented one huge dwelling area built up with 5-16 storey houses.

Shadows of the Dead City

The city of the wonderful socialistic future.

Shadows of the Dead City

Today this place looks like this…

Shadows of the Dead City

It took only fifteen years to build a full-fledged city for 50 thousand people with everything they needed for comfortable life.

Shadows of the Dead City

While the construction they tried to preserve the forests growing on the territory of Pripyat, decorated houses and streets with mosaic, stained-glass windows, sculptures. On the 1st of May they wanted to open a new amusement park which didn’t have a chance to start working.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

The city was young as well as its population. Workers of the NPP had good salaries by Soviet standards. On the old pictures streets of Pripyat were full of children.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Where are these little football players today?

Shadows of the Dead City

For those who knew the city before the accident it’s hard to see what it has turned into…

Shadows of the Dead City

“The House of Books”.

Shadows of the Dead City

The same building twenty seven years later.

Shadows of the Dead City

“Peoples Friendship Monument” then…

Shadows of the Dead City

And now…

Shadows of the Dead City

Another checkpoint is guarded by two persons in uniform.

Shadows of the Dead City

Welcome to the dead city!

Shadows of the Dead City

The central street of the city then…

Shadows of the Dead City

And now…

Shadows of the Dead City

Local “White House” and the shop “Raduga” (“Rainbow”) next to it.

Shadows of the Dead City

Inside the shop today.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Palace of Culture “Energetic” in the mid-1980s.

Shadows of the Dead City

And today.

Shadows of the Dead City

The hotel “Polesye” then…

Shadows of the Dead City

…and now.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

“The people and the party are a single whole!”

Do you see those fir trees atthe entry of the administrative building?

Shadows of the Dead City

27 years after…

Shadows of the Dead City

The school of arts then…

Shadows of the Dead City

… and now.

Shadows of the Dead City

“Prometheus” cinema then…

Shadows of the Dead City

… and now.

Shadows of the Dead City

Service centre then…

Shadows of the Dead City

… and these days.

Shadows of the Dead City

“Svetlyachok” shop and dormitories then…

Shadows of the Dead City

… and today.

Shadows of the Dead City

“Lazurny” swimming pool…

Shadows of the Dead City

And today.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

So called Shadows of Hiroshima have become the attractions of the dead city.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

They planned to build more cinemas, hotels, palace of arts etc. and the population of the city was supposed to grow up to eigthy thousand people.

Shadows of the Dead City

But this happened and all the plans were scattered.

Shadows of the Dead City

Only 24 hours after the accident they realized the extent of the catastrophe and decided to evacuate the city. At that very moment there were fourty seven thousand people in Pripyat, including seventeen thousand of children. 1200 buses took them all away. People were told that the evacuation was a temporary measure, that they didn’t have to take all their belongings with them. But the absolute majority of those who left, never came back.

Shadows of the Dead City

Two years later, the families of Pripyat started to settle down in the new city called Slavutich while Pripyat itself turned for someone into a nightmarish present, for others – into a cool location of the computer game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. so popular in Russia. But for many thousands of its former citizens it became the light past that remained in their memories and on old Soviet pictures.

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

Shadows of the Dead City

We are going to show you Slavutich soon…

via onliner.by

13 thoughts on “Shadows of the Dead City”

  1. Its not so much the now and then, as to the then, and now of people of those times.

    Young Moscow westernised
    brats of “then”, is certainty not the same but Russian hospitably remain the wherever you are.
    I simply love this country because is it as far as you can get from MCDonalds&Co. Wonderful people and real raw power against western zionazi hegemony….

  2. yes, the before and after make it a great article. it is very sad and even more sad that it did not have to happen, but did through stupidity and ignoring the great danger of running ‘tests’ on an active reactor. there were many more safe and reasonable ways to get the answers they wanted, but to do so was just so foolish.

  3. ‘So called Shadows of Hiroshima’

    i remember seeing the shadows of people on a bridge, bleached in concrete by the brightness of the blast.

  4. Awesome collection of pictures, it’s really amazing to see such huge contrasts between the vintage and recent photos.

  5. The city is no more than a tourist attraction. There’s no actual reason not to populate this area beside some myths about high radiation levels remain, which is totally untrue nowdays. Only idiots with no knowledge of radiation fear nuclear energy.

    • For the most part, the background radiation is a non-issue, except for young people. The problem is the presence of highly radioactive particles which may become ingested or inhaled, to deliver their deadly dose of radiation over a long period. Such particles cause the cancer, not the radiation sickness. You are 20 and want to die of cancer? Go live in Chernobyl. Tourists have a low risk only because of where they are allowed to go and the short duration of their visit.

      • yup. Uranium oxide is some nasty shit. It’s absorbed the same way air is in the body and is nearly impossible to get rid of. Added to that, irradiation damage is cumulative, so having it in your body makes the risk of cancer exponential.

    • yes, it is really quite safe now, YOU go live there. Radiation will stay in the Chernobyl area for the next 48,000 years but humans may begin repopulating the area in the next 600 years or so. The experts predict that by than the most dangerous levels of radiation will have disappeared or been sufficiently diluted into the air, soil, and water.

        • Yes, people have been able to rebuild Hiroshima and Nagasaki… but, the radiation emitted from the atomic bombs is entirely different than that which was released from the CNPP. The half-life is entirely different, and also must be taken into account: reactor 4’s radioactivity is still active. If the sarcophagus were to crack, or fail, right now and started pouring out radiation again – the whole area, in terms of radiation levels, would be back to how things were only a month after the explosion happened, hence the need for a new sarcophagus or containment structure.
          Chernobyl simply CAN NOT be compared to the atomic bombings of WW2. They’re drastically different disasters.

  6. These photos are very interesting to see the “before and after” of this region. We should all look at the “after” photos and realize this is what the world will look like after a global nuclear confrontation. Well, that is what is not destroyed by the nuclear blasts.

  7. totally agree the plant keep emitin radiation and nonone will able to stop it…thats why suck nuclear energy sometimes….so sad…what they planned was amazin…maybe one day ill be able to go visit this place =)

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