Чорнобиль – April 26th, 1986

Today is the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.


Two workers from the reactor four. Valery Ilyich Khodemchuk died immediately after the explosion. Body never found, likely buried under the wreckage of the steam separator drums. The other. Vladimir Nikolaevich Shashenok. Found unconscious and pinned down under a fallen beam, with broken spine, broken ribs, deep thermal and radiation burns. He died in the hospital without regaining consciousness. Compounded by a lethal dose of radiation.

Twenty nine fire fighters. They were called to the Chernobyl reactor no 4. They were not told how dangerously radioactive the smoke and the debris were, and may not even have known that the accident was anything more than a regular electrical fire: “We didn’t know it was the reactor. No one had told us.” They all died soon after.

Three divers. Valeri Bezpalov, Alexie Ananenko and Boris Baranov. The Chernobyl divers had the task of draining the pool of water that was located beneath the reactor. The only way of opening the pool and draining it was to dive into the radioactive water and open the gates.

8,328 liquidators were sent onto the roof of reactor four to remove highly radio active graphite and debris. Also the liquidators did a lot of cleaning up after the disaster, including the towns in the exclusion zone.


Soviet military badge and medal awarded to liquidators.

Four died in a single helicopter accident. Nikolai Aleksandrovich Hanzhuk, Leonid Ivanovych Khrystych, Volodymyr Kostyantynovych Vorobyov and Oleksandr Yevhenovych Yunhkind.

Looters moved in as soon as the residents of Pripyat (and other towns in the exclusion zone) had moved out. They heavily looted the city.

It’s actually quite difficult to get accurate information, due to the constant suppression of information. i.e. one article said that liquid nitrogen was pumped into tunnel underneath the reactor. This never happened, even though it was planned.
Cement ended up being what was pumped in the tunnel to stop the reactor core from burning through to the underground water system. This was done to prevent a catastrophic explosion what would have killed tens of millions of people.

I’ve spent tens of hours sifting through information and video footage trying to get the facts. The numbers of people who died have been suppressed to this day, so it’s difficult to get accurate data.