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Haunting yet beautiful – infrared photography of Chernobyl exclusion zone (PHOTOS)

Vladimir Migutin captures a radioactive ghost city lost in Soviet stasis

Of all the haunting places in the world, across the Pinsk marshes lies Chernobyl stark, and further still shrill Pripyat, and the nuclear reactor lying dormant and dark.

Over 50,000 people lived in Pripyat, the town ruined by fallout far worse than Chernobyl itself, due to its proximity to the Chernobyl reactor, now the entire town is completely abandoned, yet it can be shockingly beautiful in its desolation, hauntingly calm in the solace of its emptiness. This is what photographer Vladimir Migutin captured with his amazing infrared work. To see more of his work, check out his Instagram page.

The Chernobyl reactor covered with the new sarcofogus

The remains of the No.4 reactor building were enclosed in a large cover which was named the “Object Shelter”. It is often known as the sarcophagus, with the purpose of reducing the spread of the remaining radioactive dust and debris from the wreckage and the protection of the wreckage from further weathering. It took 7,000 tons of metal structures and 400,000 meters of cubic mixtures of concrete. And in order for the territory to be completely disinfected, more than 90,000 cubic meters of soil were removed. Source: Slavorum

the site in 2013 with the old sarcophagus covering the reactor while the new is constructed in the background

“We always hear praises of the might of Mother Nature, how it renders useless mans’ creations, and bears life above the ruins. Well, it’s something that is always felt, but never on such a huge scale. This place IS the place for these contrasts. It’s pretty hard to describe the overall atmosphere I experienced during this trip. Despite the events of 1986, the ruins, and the rust, I didn’t have grim feelings while traveling there. On the contrary, it felt like I was in a “kind of” paradise on a different planet,” says Vladimir.

One thing many people don’t realize is that not only Pripyat, but southern Belarus was devastated far more than the actual village of Chernobyl, as the reactor was to the north of both sites and the wind blew much of the fallout northward.

The disaster was considered the worst of its sort in human history, and while it’s truly tragic what happened to these peoples lives, and distasteful to turn it into a sideshow for horror films, there is a strange beauty in the photos captured.

As we share them with you, please remember this was once a beautiful region of the Pripyat Marshes, as part of the broader Pinsk marshes, one of Europe’s most ancient and largest wetlands; it should not be turned into a lowbrow tourist attraction. Apparently, Chernobyl is home to human friendly foxes who approach visitors for food.

In the Chernobyl exclusion zone, one can find an arch dedicated to the 1654 reunification of Ukraine with Russia, lead by Cossack Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky.

It is also important to understand, however, that Pripyat itself lies over 300 kilometers to the south-east from the geographical center of the marshes, centered around Pinsk, Mogilev, and Brest in the far west.

Above all, don’t forget that these were people’s homes, and they’re gone now.

Below, please find the rest of the pictures, and be sure to check out his Instagram for even more:

i глас в Раме слышен, плач и рыдание и вопль великий; Рахиль плачет о детях своих и не хочет утешиться, ибо их нет Мф. 2:18 Translation: A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

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