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.