Tour to Chernobyl (Ukraine). 3 months before the war

in Team Ukrainelast month (edited)

In November 2021, my friend and I went to Chernobyl. It was an organized tour. Before the war, several buses with people who are not afraid to receive a dose of radiation drove from Kyiv to the Exclusion Zone (Ukrainian name for the area of ​​radiation contamination) on weekends.
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General features of organizing tours to Chernobyl before the war:

  1. Tourists pay the full cost of the tour in advance.
  2. The organizers of the tour collect the passport data of tourists in order to issue permission to enter the Zone.
  3. The Organizers conduct a safety briefing before visiting the Zone.
  4. The Organizers conduct a safety briefing before visiting the Zone.
  5. Each tourist receives a dosimeter.
  6. The organizers offer tourists protective clothing and footwear. Eating outside is prohibited. Tourists eat on the bus.
  7. Visitors are prohibited from walking around the Zone on their own. People are not allowed to leave the group. Radiation is manifested by "spots", so the routes of movement of tourists are determined in advance by experts with dosimeters.

Our trip to Chernobyl in November 2021

Kyiv. At 7 am, my friend and I came to the office of the organizers. They once again checked our documents, conducted a briefing. My friend and I got on the bus.
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At 8 am we drove north. The distance from Kyiv to Chernobyl in a straight line is 83 km. The distance from Kyiv to Chernobyl along the highway is 115 km.
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At 10 am we arrived at the Dityatki checkpoint. The police checked our documents and the license of the organizers to conduct the tour. We spent about 50 minutes at the Dityatki checkpoint. The peculiarity of the checkpoint is fat dogs and stalls with paraphernalia - gas masks, chemical protection suits, first aid kits with antidotes from the USSR period.
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The second stop on our route is the Chernobyl road sign, which marks the border of the city. Stella "Chernobyl" is a popular place for a photo shoot.
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At 11.43 we arrived in the center of Chernobyl. Now in the center of the city there is a canteen for the employees of the Zone, an office of the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Reserve, a museum in memory of Zirka Polin and a monument to the Angel of Chernobyl.
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Chernobyl is an ancient city. It has been known since 1193. In 1541 Chernobyl belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1596, Chernobyl became part of the Polish kingdom. In 1793 the city became part of the Russian Empire. In 1898, 10,800 people lived in Chernobyl, of which 7,200 were Jews. In the second half of the 18th century, Chernobyl became one of the main centers of Hasidism in Europe. Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Tver Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty.
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The Jewish population suffered greatly from the pogroms in October 1905 and March-April 1919, when many Jews were robbed and killed by the Black Hundreds and Petliurists. In 1920, the Tverskoy dynasty left the city. Chernobyl has ceased to be the center of Hasidism in Ukraine.
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The first nuclear power plant in Ukraine was built 12 km from Chernobyl in the 70s of the last century. The nuclear power plant became known as Chernobyl.

On April 26, 1986, an accident occurred at the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It became a major disaster in the history of nuclear energy.

The 4th power unit of the station became the site of a dangerous experiment. A design flaw caused an uncontrolled atomic reaction. The fire "ate" the 4th power unit. The building was destroyed. The radiation has gone into space. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has become a man-made disaster on a global scale.

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Since 1986, Chernobyl has become the administrative center for managing radiation hazardous areas.
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13 thousand people lived in Chernobyl before the accident. As of January 2022, 1575 people lived in Chernobyl: employees of the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve, employees of the enterprise that monitors the radiation state of the 30-kilometer exclusion zone and the content of radionuclides in the water of the Pripyat River, nuclear power plant personnel, paramilitary security, infrastructure workers.

Civilians of Chernobyl work in the city for 4 days. After work, they must leave the Zone for three days.

The Zone Security guards the perimeter and prevents the entry of persons without permission - stalkers, independent tourists, photographers, marauders.
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The next point of our tour to Chernobyl is Duga radar
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Duga was an over-the-horizon radar system used in the Soviet Union as part of its early-warning radar network for missile defense.
It operated from July 1976 to December 1989.
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The city of Pripyat is another point on the route of our tour to Chernobyl.
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Nobody lives in this city. People left their homes and jobs 36 years ago.
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There are many famous tourist sites in Pripyat.
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Canonical "abandons" - an amusement park, a stadium, 2 hotels, a supermarket, a cinema, a cafe Pripyat on the banks of the river.
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Chernobyl is a tragic page in world history. In addition, this is a story about the heroism of Ukrainians who extinguished a fire at a nuclear power plant and minimized the consequences of the accident.
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In February 2022, the Zone became the site of the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine. For 36 days, Russian troops held the station personnel hostage. In addition, Russian troops dug trenches in the Red Forest - the dirtiest part of the Zone, and also raised clouds of radiation dust into the air with tanks. The station's personnel retained control of the nuclear facility.
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Tomorrow I'll show you something else!
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Сумна і страшна подія Чернобиль...

Так, погоджуюся. Давно збиралися подивитися це місце й випадково, дуже експромтом, зібралися у листопаді. Розумію, що наразі туди не скоро знову поїдуть туристичні групи. Особливо псля того, як у Рудому лісі все переворушили й підняли радіаційний фон.