The history of Ukraine is and ever will be affected by Chernobyl disaster, that happened on April 26th in 1986. This disaster shocked the whole world and made a lot of people thinking about the safety of nuclear energy. This disaster is the most horrible nuclear disaster that ever happened. How is the Ukraine dealing with this burden now, almost thirty years after?
During the testing the new security system, it was overheating and subsequent explosion of the reactor happened and released a huge radioactive cloud into the air that progressed through the western part of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. With radioactivity were also affected large parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and more than two hundred thousand people were evacuated. The accident raised concerns about the safety of the nuclear power industry, slowing its progress and forced the Soviet government to become less secretive in giving out information and facts. After the collapse of the Soviet Union – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus still bear a heavy burden of costs for decontamination and treatment of diseases caused by the explosion of the reactor. It is almost impossible to determine the number of deaths caused by this horrible accident, but estimates range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of victims. The problem is still widely debated and long-term effects are still not completely understood. (SOURCE)
During my stay in Kiev we could not miss this museum which is here to remind people what happened. As we could get used to is in Ukraine, to find this place was not so simple. Before our visit, we sat in small cafe approximately 200 meters away from the museum. We tried to ask a the waiter how to find this place, but he did not get us. He probably did not even knew, what Chernobyl was. We asked all people walking around and then finally we found the entrance. It is a renovated building from 20.century and it was a fire station originally. You can get here very easily, just board a subway and get off on „Kontraktova Plosha“. The museum is on „provulok Khorvya 1“ street. You can use tram as well, numbers 13, 19, 14 and bus service with number 62.
After the entering this place, your eyes will stuck on black boards over the stair case. They are symbols of towns that have stayed left after this disaster, and in my opinion, this is the most heart touching part of exhibition. The atmosphere in museum is kinda scary, you can hear screaming sounds in the background and desperate whispers from every corner. There are many original artifacts from the power plant, lists declaring inspections, entrance cards of employees or the counter of actual radiation in the air. The center of museum consist from large place that symbolizes exploded reactor. Life-size figurines with masks on their faces will scare you as hell. You can stop by by any monitor you will see here and watch interviews with people that were somehow connected or involved to this disaster. I was not scared at this place, but felt really sorry for the victims. Scary music and whispers will make you really think about what happened in Chernobyl in 1986 and it will not keep you calm. And I think, that is the point of this museum, not only remind, but try to make you think little bit about nuclear energy.
You can stop by to visit this museum from Monday 10 am till 6 pm. The museum is closed each last Monday in month and for free, you can get here on April 26th and May 18th. The entrance fee for children is 5 UAH and for adults 10 UAH. Fro the most actual information visit official page of museum Chernobyl museum. Those, who want to visit Chernobyl and town Pripiat called as ghost town, it is possible. The entrance is limited and you need to ask for a permission for 200 Eur. You will also need valid passport. The whole area is protected with guards and military and mind, the radiation in this area is still unhealthy.
Milan Bardún 2014
(1) Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum