Wednesday, 23 September

Pripyat. The ghost town through the eyes of the stalker.

Pripyat is a city founded in 1970, it was the 9th atomic city of the Soviet Union. It is one of the largest abandoned cities in the world. It was devastated as the result of the disaster at Chernobyl nuclear power plant.  The entire population of the city and nearest villages were evacuated on April 27, 1986. The city is located in 30-kilometer Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), free access to which is prohibited.

In recent years, Pripyat has become a popular object of industrial tourism. Because of the landscapes, Pripyat resembles scenery for fantastic films about Apocalypse. Now you can get here as part of an organized tour. However official visits to Pripyat do not suit all, it is simply impossible to feel the spirit of the “Zone” during a one-day excursion. In Ukraine, one of the types of such extreme industrial tourism is steadily gaining momentum. “Stalkering” is just visits and research of hard-to-reach abandoned objects, often it’s associated with illegal penetration. A trip to the Zone in stalkers community is considered as a unique standard of his skill. It is not available to everyone, because it requires certain knowledge and good physically fit. Also, you’ll need proper equipment and tools to overcome numerous hazards that Zone is rich in. Those dangers include wildlife, poisonous insects and chemical contamination to the raids that occur in the case of “fires”(stalker’s slang) arrange guard on illegal tourists. But the main thing is to have an inexhaustible source of adventurism!

Photo & Text by Yulia Kryzhevska

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