Lost Places - Chornobyl Zone

Pripyat, Chornobyl area and other abandoned places

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Radioactive enclave

Chornobyl's villages

Zhitomir area.
Ovruch district.

Lypski Romany, Zhurba, Budoliubivka, Stara Radcha, Dovgy Lis.

August, 25th 2006. Kyiv - Korosten - Ovruch. We move to Belarus border. Short of Rudnya we are turned off from the road in the right in a direction of Berezhest.

We move through railway tracks, asphalt comes to an end and the path from gravel begins.
Chornobyl's villages
There was again an asphalt, but... Gravel would be better. To say that the road is broken – means to say nothing. Among deep holes, asphalt remains no more than 20 percent (Even in "30 km Zone" roads in better condition).
Chornobyl's villages

From both sides of road is a half-dead wood. In Magdyn we are turned off to the right and at last we crawled to Lichmany. Here a check point with a barrier.

We go to write out the admission.

"How in the Zone with road?" - I ask the sergeant, being under impression of our acrobatic tricks on asphalt fragments. If outside of the Zone such roads what will be in the Zone? The militiaman sceptically and somehow plaintive looks at ours VW Polo: "Well if you have reached here, so there you will also pass. There only in one place a deep pool - you wil need to go round it on an edge. Happy journey!"

We drive to the Zone (road more or less in normal condition) - the First stop - village Lypski Romany.

  • Lypski Romany

I have noticed before that on all houses in evacuee villages on walls the white paint numbers written. They do not correspond to street numbering and I don’t know that they means for a while. I get a radiometer from a pocket – by gamma all within the mark: 10-30 mcR/h.

Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages

We in the village centre. Club: enough big, two- storey. Nearby whether the village council without a roof, or the post office, its hard to say - any tablets does not remain. Near club there is a memorable sign: "Люди добрі! Поклоніться тим, хто в радості і горі жив тут і більше ніколи сюди не повернеться" ("Kind people! Bow to those who lived here in a joy and a grief and who will never return here")

Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
In the village centre we are turned off on the left and we go to Zhurba. The stone blocks road has ended, and we drive in to wood. The road is strewed by gravel, and strongly broken by timber lorrys. We leave the car to walk a little in wood.
Chornobyl's villages

The sea of mushrooms. Gamma background practically within the mark, here and there to 40 mcR/h. Pools, deep and very deep, on this road were through each 5 meters and before each we thought - whether that "this one" about which we were warned by the militiaman on a check point... We have chosen from two tens this one. In any case we went round it longer then others :)



  • Zhurba
Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
Chornobyl's villages
Looking at the thrown houses, I have thought that the name of village after spring 1986 (especially for its inhabitants) have taken on special significance - "Zhurba" (in a translation from Ukrainian - "Grief")... Otherwise you will not tell. The strange name - as a sentence. But bright summer greens and the thickets of the dogrose which has almost absorbed village, do not allow me to run into grief and a melancholy. We leave Zhurba and by a stone blocks road we move in a direction of Budoliubivka and a railway crossing. Here a check point - we have passed through "an enclave". We return the admission, we are talk over by pair words with the militiaman "about a life", we say goodbye and go to highway Ovruch - Polisske.


  • Radcha

The village has not been evacuated, but the shade of "Chornobyl" has left on it the original print. We cross the rusty tracks, became unnecessary after 1986, of the branch line Vilcha - Ovruch and we go on a stone blocks road, and then by wood road on the West. That’s all, further we will not pass... We come back.

Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages

We pass Nova Radcha, Stara Radcha and... We stop infront of a barrier near which there is a small carriage-cabin house and a flagstaff with a national flag of Ukraine. From carriage to us go out the surprised guys in a camouflage - frontier guards. I do not find anything clever then to ask "an original" question: "And what, there, behind a barrier, already Belarus?" Guys confirm my "courageous" assumption, but suspiciousness in eyes does not disappear... I understand - active service... Have little by little got to talking and I ask how to get in Dovgy Lis (guys are local - from Ovruch. Their dialect is unique with the rhythmic and sounding unusual to the Kiev ear, I listen as music, and periodically I ask again unfamiliar words). To Dovgy Lis needs to be turned on the left (there there is one more barrier). One of them undertakes to show the way. And here we three together drive on Zone territory.

Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages

Dovgy Lis. We leave the car and we climb in a high grass. "Careful there! Look under your feet – here full of "gadost” (vermin)", - the frontier guard shouts to us. On Woodland any grass-snake (in Ukrainian language grass-snake – “gaduka”) and any vipers names the same – “gadost” (vermin). I look at radiometer – sometimes up to 80 mcR/h.

Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages Chornobyl's villages
Chornobyl's villages

We pass on village street with the picturesque name "Partizanskaya" (Guerrilla, partisan). We come into collapsed club and we pass on the ruined houses. Especially I was hooked here by this pine directly on a porch of an old hut. The tree, which age is easy for defining even without the account of rings on felling, - 20 years...

That’s all... There is no place to go from here - roads on Sytivka and Omelnyki, according to the frontier guard, not for our car. And we come back. We say goodbye on border to guys and we go home, to Kyiv. We pass two check points on entrance and departure from Polisske and here we are already on road R-27 Kyiv – Dityatki, which I, it seem, know by heart.


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Die Sperrzone von Tschornobyl

By Yevgen KRANZ Goncharenko

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