Pripyat is an abandoned city in the Zone of alienation in northern Ukraine near the border with Belarus. Once the city population had been around 50,000 and Pripyat had been home to most of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers. But in 1986 the Chornobyl disaster struck and the place was abandoned due to threat of radiation. After that Pripyat acted like a museum for a long time, perfectly showing a slice of Soviet life. Nevertheless at some time at the beginning of the 21st century the place was looted heavily, nothing was left behind - even toilet seats were stolen.
This town will not be safe for human habitation for several years to come, and even then it will be a long time before people consider it healthy to develop once again. Prior to the power plant was built, concerns were voiced at its planned closeness to the city of Kiev. It was planned to build it only 25 km away, placing the capital at risk from pollution amongst other things. But luckily after a long debate they decided to build Chornobyl along with Pripyat 100 km away from Kiev. This choice would in the end prove to be a wise one.
Pripyat has been abandoned since May 1986, when its residents were hastily evacuated in the days following the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. It is located 20 kilometers from the plant, and once this town was home to Chornobyl workers and popularly known as the "city of roses." About 20 years after the world's worst nuclear accident, Pripyat's only residents are dogs and wild animals.
Once a flourishing Soviet town, now a silent, empty place haunted by Chornobyl's nuclear legacy.
Now Pripyat is a ghost town with a gloomy atmosphere hanging over the abandoned amusement park, grass growing through cracks in the asphalt.
The visitors should take no souvenirs, as everything here is radioactive. Though contamination levels vary from place to place, it will be hundreds of years before Pripyat is safe to live in.
On 26 April, once a year, onetime Pripyat residents return to the town. It is a chance for many to remember what their lives were like before the accident.