Before it became an open-air museum and a post-apocalyptic landscape, the now abandoned ghost town Pripyat was a land of milk and honey. Pripyat had everything to offer its residents of just under 50,000.
Well-equipped hospitals, public parks, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a modern shopping mall, everything you expect from a well-established modern city.
The dwellers were mostly city builders, military personal working in the Duga military radar, and people working in the Chernobyl nuclear facility.
Standing tall near the city was a 300-meter steel structure called Duga. It was an over-the-horizon strategic radar, also known at the time as the “Moscow Eye”. The North Pole, all of Europe, and even parts of America were within its range.
Duga was erected to detect US ballistic missiles in case of a possible nuclear war.
Related: 2020, A Year of Disasters: What Happened Each Month?
The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
The Chernobyl nuclear plant was the third biggest of its kind in the USSR. It produced over 4000 MW of electric power, over 10% of the total consumption of the Ukrainian Territory.
On April 26, 1986, disaster hit. A massive explosion in one of the reactor’s blocks rocked the city. The 50,000 residents were caught off-guard overnight.
While only 50 people died as a direct result of the explosion, over 4000 people are thought to have died over years due to radiation exposure.
Amid fears of a nuclear meltdown, Pripyat residents were evacuated within hours of the accident.
Today, Pripyat is an abandoned ghost town. Together with the destructed Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the rusting Duga radar, Pripyat is living proof of how nuclear accidents can be extremely deadly.
But the good news is, nature as already reclaimed its lost territory. It’s worth mentioning here that if you want to pay a visit to the city, no special safety measures are needed to take.