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Чорнобиль (Chernobyl) 21 November 2009

Yes, that says Chernobyl. The Chernobyl where the nuclear disaster of April 26th 1986 occurred. Actually, the power plant is located closer to the, then larger, town of Prypiat, now abandoned. At almost an hour and a half after midnight on the 26th, reactor #4 exploded. More explosions and fires sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and across a large geographical area: western Soviet Union, Europe, and acid rain in Ireland. According to Yuri, our guide, the radioactive cloud traveled around the earth at least twice. This disaster released four hundred times more fallout than the bomb at Hiroshima. Unfortunately, 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are now responsible with continuing the substantial decontamination of the Chernobyl accident, as well as for health care costs. If you wish to know more, check out the wikipedia article: chernobyl disaster, the intro of which I somewhat paraphrased. Although, our guide Yuri, says that there is no official record and story of what actually occurred that early morning in April and that we will not find the truth out for at least another 40 years. So read with a grain of salt, even though it is Wikipedia (the library of the truest truths, about most stuff). It’s true that our group’s only motivation for going to Kyiv was to visit Chernobyl. Falling in love with Kyiv was a lucky plus. Anyway, the morning of, we woke early to meet our bus/van driver in front of Kreshatik Hotel. Just before he arrived, the rest of the tourists arrived as well: 7 more. Then we left. Yuri isn’t really a tourguide. He studied history and joined the agency above, with the long name, to help decontaminate and study the exclusion area. He has a very long important title which I forgot. He’s head administrator of something. About 4000...