Visit to Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

October 12, 2014

Unlike all the other people in the group, this was not the first time I went to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. When exactly a year ago I was here for the last time, I did not even hope that one day I would get here legally and be able to walk along the streets of Pripyat without fear, without being afraid to stumble upon a patrol. But still, there was there was one place where I really wanted to get, and to do it differently, except with an excursion, it was unrealistic. This place – the Chernobyl nuclear power plant itself, the heart of the Zone, is protected so intensely that it was only necessary to admire the abandoned reactors on the horizon from the high-rises of the city. The passion was added by the fact that by 2017 the old sarcophagus will be hidden under the new Shelter-2 object and we will never see the very 4th power unit, which has become a symbol of a large-scale man-made disaster.

Go. Checkpoint “Dityatki”. I really hoped not to see familiar faces, because on the last trip on the way back we were given a little lift. 🙂

On the way to the city of Chernobyl, we stop at the village of Zalesye. It used to be quite rich, and almost 3,000 people lived here. After 28 years, the population has decreased by 99.96%: now only one old woman-self-settler lives here. Yes, and a village is already hard to call it, so everything is overgrown with greenery. Typical vidocq for these parts.

Further more interesting places went. Our first stop was “Duga”, or “Chernobyl-2”. It is noteworthy that this is the only surviving Soviet “over-the-horizon radar for the early detection of the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles.” The other two, in Nikolaev and Komsomolsk-on-Amur, have long been dismantled. And here the spirit of the Cold War is in the air. And although its equipment was removed back in 1986, the monumental structure itself remained and simply amazes the imagination with its scale.

Somewhere 700 meters in length and up to 150 meters in height. Due to such a grandiose size, the “Arc” is visible from a minimum elevation from any point in the Zone. The cost of construction is twice the cost of the entire complex of a nuclear power plant.

And we moved on to the City.


A sacred place for all stalkers, most often – the ultimate goal of hikes. Taking pictures against the background of the stele is already a tradition, but when you do not have to examine the area for 20 minutes for people, it is somehow terribly corny. Well, okay, tradition.

Let’s go straight to the center.

Somewhere at that moment, from my comments to a friend and jokes about the “old city”, the guide realized that he was not the only one here who once climbed these places up and down.

The rhetoric immediately changed, the harsh rules became much more democratic, the excursion was filled with personal impressions from numerous hikes.

Perhaps, thanks to this fracture, I relaxed and began to really get high.

Then we all went for a walk in the most atmospheric places.

To the dark amusement park

And my favorite forest-stadium “Avangard”.

We didn’t forget “Lazurny” with its sports complex.

Further, according to our plans, we were supposed to have a yacht club and after that immediately to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, but suddenly on Kurchatov street we turned to the west, and not east to the Pripyat River. Of course, I was the only one who noticed this turn. I asked the guide what was going on, why we were going towards the Jupiter plant, and not towards the embankment. You should have seen how his face shone from the fact that someone understands what a cool surprise has been prepared for us. Another 10 minutes of waiting and …

My personal joy was even higher. The fact is that this is the same sixteen-story building where I spent the first night in Pripyat. And no jogging 16 floors up without an elevator could stop my joy.) You can imagine what an awesome view here at night, taking into account the fact that not a single light bulb is lit in the city, while the station itself shines with hundreds & nbsp ; spotlights. It’s a pity, not a single night photo has survived.

Once one of the central streets of the city. Now it is more like an asphalt forest path. And skyscrapers in the middle of the forest. Dream Town. We stomp to the yacht club.

It’s cozy here.

I love the Pripyat embankment. It’s a shame that she glows so terribly.

A friend decided to check my words. The dosimeter says 3383 μR / h. Exceeding the norm by 110 times. Happenes. Some guys from the news come into a state of slight shock and panicky beg the guide to leave as soon as possible. Yeah, someone skipped the basics of radiation safety at school. As if from 5 minutes of radiation they will have cancer.

On the way, we are told how comparatively rich the city of Pripyat was before the accident, that nuclear engineers received enough money not to feel the Soviet shortage of goods, and the yacht club had not only state-owned, but also many private yachts. Well, everything is relative. The most important thing is that we are going to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

And we are all like: *_____________*

Then there was dinner in the city of Chernobyl, departure from the Zone and an hour’s drive back to Kyiv. A couple of days more, a feeling of the slight unreality of ordinary city life. A lot of food for the mind and memories of a lifetime for everyone who has been here.

PS Of course, such an outing cannot be compared with a full-fledged campaign. But this is an order of magnitude easier, safer and the only legal option for tourists. From what angle to look at everything is a private matter for everyone, but I am 100% sure that it is worth visiting here at least once. You will not regret.