Sunday, 1 June 2008

Prypiat, Ukraine




I was playing a computer game, Call of Duty 4, when I noticed references to an ex-Soviet, now Ukrainian, town called Prypiat. In the game you play a British soldier on a mission in the 1980s, and it is mentioned that before the Chernobly disaster 50,000 people lived in the abandoned city. I was 13 when the disaster happened, and apart from concerns
about whether the radiation was powerful enough to affect our lives, it hadn't occured to me at the time that Ukrainian lives, especially in the area immediately surrounding Chernobyl, were completely ruined. Of course we saw images on TV of children affected by radiation, but the extent had never really hit home. Until now. You see, in the game Prypiat is depicted as a ghost city, a place of desolation which makes your heart sink, much like Druids Heath but without humans. So I wondered whether the city in the game was real. I went to uncle Google and typed 'Pripiat' and, lo and behold, the hits were in their millions. Apparently, the city was built for workers of the nuclear station and is now included into the 'Zone of Alienation', a 30km zone around Chernobyl which is heavily contaminated and whose population was evacuated after the 1986 disaster. The following videos are a harrowing account of the aftermath, and a warning to our 'enlightened' leaders who insist on switching to nuclear power as a source of energy. The third video is a comparison of real photos of Prypiat and the computer game.





4 comments:

MarkR said...

I personally visited the Chernobyl area for two days in June 2006 with a friend and former resident of Pripyat. We toured the Chernobyl Plant (including the Reactor 4 control room), several of the abandoned villages, and Pripyat. I have posted a photo journal of my trip at:

My Journey to Chernobyl: 20 Years After the Disaster

You can also find some updated information about the Chernobyl Zone and Pripyat in my blog on the same site.

Biluś said...

It's almost fitting that the spur for this posting was a computer game - the Chernoble disaster is so beyond understanding that it is almost unreal. Well done on keeping this in view - and I can also recommend a visit to MarkR's site and blog (see above comment).

Vedran said...

MarkR,
I always wanted to go there, it seems interesting. But I never had the chance. Maybe once I sit in the car and go there. I am from Croatia. Have you had any problems with the border or similar?

mare pula said...

If you want to know more about Pripiat, you have to play STALKER...