The Town of Pripyat
Entering the abandoned town of Pripyat. The entire town of 50.000 inhabitants had to be evacuated here after the nuclear catastrophy in 1986. They were told that they would be gone only 3 days and then return to their homes. This way everybody left everything behind.
Ghostly empty apartment blocks where thousands of families once had their homes.
With these I could measure the radiation around me. Sometimes the radiation peaked as high as 15,4 Sieverts (a lot!).
Soviet symbol filled with hope and pride.
Many of the inhabitants in Pripyat worked at the nuclear powerplant only a few kilometres away.
Warning Radiation! There is a 30 km exlusion zone around Chernobyl where noone unauthorised is allowed to enter as the area is highly radio active. The official name is The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation.
A fairground was built to entertain the almost 50 000 inhabitants in Pripyat.
Nature is slowly taking over the area...
These were used for the 1st of May celebrations in Pripyat.
The local supermarket. The signs indicating where to find your frozen fish, meet and vegetables.
A gaping empty stairway once filled with busy people going about their daily business.
Kindergarten. Eerie feeling to walk through the abondoned playground where children once played.
The Dormitory where the children slept and dreamed.
You can almost hear the whispers and the giggling...
Even their dearest possessions where left behind in a rush.
Their school books still intact with their vivid illustrations.
Toys covered in leaves soon to be engulfed by the forest.
It is estimated that Chernobyl released 400 times more fission products into the atmosphere than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
Reactor 4. This is where it all happened.
A conctrete sarcophagus was rapidly constructed to keep the radiation from speading. A new one is under construction as this one is deteriorating in an alarming rate. The new one will keep out radiation for 100 years.

Pripyat is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine and built for the people who worked at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant only 3 km away. It was once a model city of the Soviet government and was erected in 1970. The average age of the city inhabitants was, by the time of the accident only 25 years old. Pripyat had all the luxuries of a modern city – a railway station, port, hospital and a fairground.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident occurred on April 26, 1986. It was the largest nuclear energy disaster in history. Radioactive pollution spread mostly to the nearby town of Pripyat. During the whole day after the accident, the state officials had not warned the 50.000 inhabitants about the threat of radioactive pollution. The power plant accident caused the level of radiation to exceed the natural levels by 1000 times. Evacuation of Pripyat took place the day after – on the afternoon of April 27, 1986. The inhabitants were allowed to take only necessary items with them, as they were to return in 3 days. This information was released to avoid panic and to stop people taking too much luggage with them. Later, the authorities decided that the city must remain empty forever. By the time they were evacuated, they were all exposed to large amounts of radiation. During the evacuation, the people of Pripyat were not allowed to take pets or cattle with them, this was due to the fact that these animals could have been contaminated with radioactive dust. To avoid contamination of the environment, special forces had to liquidate every animal in the Chernobyl zone.

The town as well as the whole 30-kilometer restricted zone is guarded by the Police and Army. Despite this non-stop duty, it did not prevent robbery and plunder, mostly in 1991 after the Soviet Union dissolution when the Chernobyl zone was unwatched. The whole city of Pripyat was plundered and there isn’t a single flat that has not been visited by thieves, taking away all precious items to be found.

Today Pripyat is a true ghost town and stands as chilling example showing the worst that can happen when man plays with nature.

  • Dimitar Nevenkin

    Stort tack Stefan!

    Det var mycket intressant å se vad som finns kvar i dagsläge i Chernobyl. Ganska skrämmande dock. Man kan verkligen inte ana sig att år 2016 som vi lever i finns fortfarande fara att vistas eller verka där.

    Jag kommer väl ihåg när jag var liten min mamma berättade för mig om det, och om ingen hade sagt varken på teven eller på radion för att varna folk om farorna som kan dölja sig om man äter eller dricker produkter som är radioaktiv förorenade.

    I en skrivuppsats som jag fick i skolan, och som handlade om att utreda vilka semesterresor finns, fick jag veta att det är ganska modernt att åka på kusliga semestrar de senaste åren.

  • Gustav Hellberg

    The damaged Chernobyl power plant is still leaking and spreading massive amounts of radioactive particles. Scarier, no one seems to bother. Who cares?

  • Åsa Backman

    Really nice pictures and strong story. The radioactive pollution quickly travelled to Sweden as well. In Trödje, a small village on the north coast of Gävle, a farmer was tested for Cesium 137 just weeks after the Chernobyl accident, and he had 400 times the normal levels in his body. He is still going strong, thirty years later – still with elevated levels of Cesium 137 – no injuries, no diseases. Nothing. What happened to the citizens of Pripyat? Do you know?

  • Christian Niemöller

    I do remember
    my kids don’t
    they will have to live with it
    to learn to live with it
    and their kids
    and their kids
    thx for the pictures

  • Nermin

    stefan nice picture and texxt can you put some picture from my country

  • Louise Cowley

    The objects you photographed seem to have their own ghostly life. They look sad as they have been abandoned. Great photos but the old soviet style gives me an eerie feeling!
    It makes me wonder if they will ever be able to clear the area…

  • Louise Cowley

    All your photos are amazing, Stefan! You’ve been to so many places! I love looking at the photographs of all the different people and imagining their lives. Well done!

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