Sunday, June 5, 2016

Photos: Chernobyl and Kiev

Fields of rapeseed or canola seed along the highway.

Fields of rapeseed or canola seed along the highway.

The Maidan (Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square), in Kiev.

Entrance to the village of Chernobyl.

"Bon Voyage!"  Kiev 131 km...

Ukrainian spelling of Chernobyl.

Eerie monument in the village of Chernobyl, sometimes called "The Angel of Death."

The Third Trumpeter of the Revelation monument in the village of Chernobyl.

Site commemorating the 96 Ukrainian villages which were evacuated and abandoned.

Site commemorating the 96 Ukrainian villages which were evacuated and abandoned.

The statue/monument is made of wrought iron.

Entrance to a village kindergarten.  You can see the colorful tires in the background, which was the playground.

One of the classrooms.

Instructional poster for kids teaching the Cyrillic alphabet.

Probably put in place by previous tourist.  It's unlikely this has been sitting like this, just so, since 1986.

The sleeping quarters in the kindergarten.

An office or perhaps a library.

The children's toilet.

Entrance to the kindergarten.

Memorial outside the kindergarten to those heroes who died in the wake of the disaster.

The new containment dome, scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Reactor #4 and the sarcophagus.

Memorial just outside reactor #4.

Memorial just outside reactor #4 (in the background).

Marking the more contaminated areas where soil may not have been removed previously.

Pripyat was built specifically for the workers at the power plant.

The sign reads "Danger!"
Police headquarters, Pripyat.

Police headquarters, Pripyat.

Old memo from "the boss."
Old police station headquarters, Pripyat.

Hallway in the old police station headquarters, Pripyat.

The view of an old apartment building from the police station headquarters building, Pripyat.

Gas mask in the police station headquarters, Pripyat.
Likely this was placed here by a previous tourist for dramatic effect.
It worked.

Old police station headquarters office with gas mask,

Memorial to grandpa.  The large black script reads:
"We love you grandpa!  And will remember you always!  Your grandsons Vova, Slava, Dima. May 9, 2011"
Police headquarters, Pripyat.

Personal journal entry?  Office diary?  Left in an office in the police headquarters in Pripyat.

Office or perhaps meeting area.
Police headquarters, Pripyat.

Main entry to the police headquarters, Pripyat.

Playground.  School in Pripyat.

Playground. School in Pripyat.

Basketball court.  School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

School book on the floor.  School in Pripyat.

Informational bulletin board with instructions for using gas masks as well as for interpreting various warning signals.
School in Pripyat.

Entry to the library.
School in Pripyat. 
Library sign.
School in Pripyat.

Library.  The books and papers are nearly knee deep on the floor.
School in Pripyat.

Pravda, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of the USSR, 10 October 1983 edition.
School in Pripyat.

Library collection.
School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

"Teachers in school must teach children the rules for using personal protective equipment and
actions by the signals of Civil Defense."
School in Pripyat.

Left panel:  "Before school - it's obligatory to have a hot breakfast."
School in Pripyat.

Music room.
School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

Gymnasium and basketball court.
School in Pripyat.

Athletics sign.
School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

Lower box:  Hymn of the USSR.
School in Pripyat.

"October - Future Pioneers."
School in Pripyat.

"Today we are children...and tomorrow - Soviet people."
Banner on the floor.
School in Pripyat.

School in Pripyat.

Nature taking over.
School in Pripyat.

Soviet red star on a light pole.

Grocery store, which was evidently a new standard at the time for Soviet cities.

"Woodlands Hotel" in Ukrainian.  Little did they know at the time...

Grocery store, Pripyat.

Grocery store, Pripyat.

Restaurant, Pripyat.

The famous amusement park and Ferris wheel, Pripyat.

Bumper cars at the amusement park in Pripyat.

Bumper cars at the amusement park in Pripyat.

The famous Ferris wheel in the amusement park, Pripyat.

Nelson is looking for a partner for his ride.
Ferris wheel, Pripyat. 
Not sure why this ride was spared by the looters and vandals.
Ferris wheel, 

Ferris wheel, Pripyat. 

Walking along the paths in Pripyat.

Palace of CulturePripyat. 

Open square in Pripyat slowly being reclaimed by nature.

Palace of Culture - Energy

Woodlands Hotel being taken over by the woodlands.  Should have named it Irony.

Open square with walking paths and benches, now overgrown and largely inaccessible.
Not that you'd really want to have a seat, mind you.

Apartment complex, now abandoned.

Reactors #5 and #6, never completed as a result of the disaster.

Handheld dosimeter keeping tabs for us.

Radiation detector in the canteen used by today's worker.
And us, of course, before we had our "ecologically friendly" lunch.
We also passed through two more as we exited the Exclusion Zone.

"Johnny" and Nelson, outside the canteen.

Dogs of Chernobyl.  Well, some of them.
Outside the canteen looking for snacks.

Reactors #5 and 6, across from the cooling pond.

The cranes have been in place since 1986, as construction stopped after the disaster.

Duga-1, the previous secret Soviet military installation for early-detection of incoming US ballistic missiles.

Now abandoned, Chernobyl-2 was the small village built for the soldiers, their families and support staff of Duga-1.


The radar installation in the near distance dwarfs this dormitory.

Salvaging contaminated metal.

Yikes.  Don't even want to know...


Compare the Duga-1 radar array to the size of the people in the foreground.

More than 100 meters tall and more than 400 meters wide.

It operated for just under 20 years, and it's signal was broadcast on shortwave
radio frequencies in repeated, sharp "tap-tap-taps," earning it the nickname "The Russian Woodpecker."

Outside the Duga-1 installation.

Young soldiers at the Motherland Monument outside Kiev on Victory Day.

The Motherland Monument stands more than 200 feet tall.

Her base holds a museum to the Great Patriotic War, known in the West as World War II.

The grounds below the museum and the statue.

To the right is a ceremony about to be held honoring women heroes of modern Ukraine.

Young soldier.

Veteran of the Great Patriotic War.

The Motherland Monument.

She wears a crown of poppies.

The plaza below the statue.

Her sword needed trimming so as to not be taller than the cross
on a local Orthodox church, and on her shield is the emblem of the USSR.

In the shadow of the statue is a small military park with planes, tanks and other memorabilia.

Mobile missile.

The fields of rapeseed or canola along the Kiev-Odessa Highway.

A beautiful contrast which mimics the Ukrainian flag.

Waiting to cross from Ukraine into Transnistria.

The border crossing into Transnistria.

This is Transnistria.  Looks different from Ukraine, doesn't it?

Back in Moldova.

Panorama of Duga-1.

"STOP!  Forbidden Zone"
Inside the Exclusion Zone.

Nelson and Andrei.

Small shrine near the entrance to the Exclusion Zone.


Independence Monument in Maidan Square, Kiev.

Four founders of the city of Kiev:  Kie, Schek, Horiv and their sister Libed.

Sweet ride.

More canola flowers, this time in panorama.

My nifty certificate proving I was there.
As if the photos weren't enough.

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