The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The blogger Maxim is a pretty frequent visitor in the Chernobyl exclusion area. “The looters have been there always. First wave was right after the explosion. This first wave was stealing everything – home appliances, carpets, etc etc. Everything people have left in rush of urgent evacuation. The authorities tried to fight those. They have put alarms on all the apartment building lobby doors across Pripyat. Then the armed BRDM (army fighting vehicle) was moving around the city and reacted on the alarm cases. Then the second wave has began in 2000s…”.

Let’s read more:

The Looters of Chernobyl

According to Maxim, the next wave of looters started appearing in Chernobyl neighborhoods in 2000s. Those were the metal scrapers mostly. Hunted for steel, copper, aluminum etc. Once the TV episode were aired in 2000s as large trucks were getting loaded with old heating system elements directly from Pripyat. So today Maxim shares his photos which shows the aftermath of the looting in the area. For example on the first picture above its a biggest city’s supermarket. Of course this was looted one of the first, right after the event happened.

The Looters of Chernobyl

And this was a bank branch. Inside of the bank tellers room there are lying two safes, opened.

The Looters of Chernobyl

Another shop – nothing left here. The Looters of Chernobyl

And one more shop – Maxim says that this is in worst condition – literary nothing left.

The Looters of Chernobyl

And this was a warehouse. The authorities have brought lot of the appliances from the private apartments from around the city. And it was protected till the end of 1990s. Then it was left unguarded but people didn’t want any more such things like those stoves.

The Looters of Chernobyl

And now the apartment buildings. All mailbox are open. All electrical equipment was stolen. Even in late 90s it was like this already.

The Looters of Chernobyl

Maxim says that often you can see near the houses pieces and debris of different things that looters took and were carrying somewhere but later dropped.

The Looters of Chernobyl

If ceilings are burned then it means that looters were waging fire to burn off the plastic covers off the electric wires to get copper filling.

The Looters of Chernobyl

Lobbies are filled with furniture that was carried out of the apartments but later dropped because it was probably to heavy to carry. The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

At this place you can see that a few square feet of ceramic tiles were stolen.

The Looters of Chernobyl

The elevator equipment inside of the elevator shaft is pretty intact. Maxim says that’s probably because its hard to get it out of the shaft.

The Looters of Chernobyl

And here were the motors for the elevator – all broken in search of copper.

The Looters of Chernobyl

“Most of the apartments were searched for valuables first by the soldiers who worked in the region, later by marauders”, says the blogger.

The Looters of Chernobyl

“Most of the apartments look like this.”

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

“Interesting, that some houses have the TV antennas still intact”.

The Looters of Chernobyl

“One switch is stolen another has been left intact”.

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

Near the scientific center you can see tens of empty racks of old Soviet electronics.

The Looters of Chernobyl

Inside there are tens of such disassembled in search of the elements containing gold and other precious metals.

The Looters of Chernobyl

Empty old Soviet computer racks.

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

The Looters of Chernobyl

Maxim says that the main problem with this looting was not even the fact of unlawful ownership of the things, but rather that the radioactively polluted stuff went into common use around the country and in Russia.

Thanks a lot Maxim for the photos!

via

12 thoughts on “The Looters of Chernobyl”

  1. I could POSSIBLY understand right after it happened, since it was still the USSR, but even in the 2000’s, these people don’t know about radiation and metals?…

    Reply
  2. I mean, I would LOVE to visit the place, but the only thing I’d be leaving with is pictures and what I came with. That is insane, taking stuff from that place, especially metals!!

    Reply
  3. i dont know u ppl but many of this pictures i saw years ago in another post, like the ones from the elevator hall and shaft and on the top of the building or the one hall that look like burned, its from the 12 floor buildin or that one tallest, that say now is above to collapse any moment, but beside that it still nice pictures =)

    Reply
  4. Hi,
    Would it be possible to get in touch with the photographer? I’m working on an art project based on the Elephant’s Foot, and I think I’d like to expand my scope and make comparisons with other abandoned things in the area. I don’t think I’ll myself go to pripyat anytime soon, so if Tim or someone else (the photographer) would like to allow permission to use portions of the photos above, we would draft up some kind of a collaborative agreement.

    Reply

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