In 1986, the residents of Pripyat and other cities close to Chernobyl were shaken by an event that would change their lives forever.
When the tragedy happened at Reactor 4 at Chernobyl, the residents in the affected areas were eventually forced to leave their homes and all of their belongings behind.
Tourism and television shows have spotlighted the abandonment of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Pripyat but nothing has truly ever shed light on where the people fleeing had to go and what became of their lives after the notable event.
Slavutych was a purpose-built city that ended up being the last city the Soviet Union built and it was constructed for those that were left displaced and without homes after Chernobyl.
In October 1988, the new residents of Slavutych began moving into their new, beautifully constructed city. Slavutych was a city of the future. It was built around children and families and there were plenty of parks, cultural centers, sports facilities, and more.
One interesting thing to note about Slavutych is its unique construction, something that has been honored and marveled by many for years. The USSR brought in architects from the different republics and allowed them to design different quarters of the city. Each quarter in Slavutych is named after the capital city of the country the respective architects hailed from and each quarter possesses architectural characteristics from each country.
In the Tallinn quarter, you will find quaint wooden homes with the same typography that you’d find in Estonia. In the Yerevan quarter, you will notice that all buildings are constructed with pink tuff and emblems that you’d see on residential buildings in the Armenian capital. There is even a memorial to Armenian Genocide victims in the Yerevan quarter.
Slavutych today is an interesting place. The youth that the city was built for and around have all grown up and many have children of their own. There are still a few trains daily taking around 2,000 Slavutych residents to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to work (yes, people still work there). And the city is impeccably clean and like no other city on the planet in regards to its history and construction.
To fully understand what happened at Chernobyl, you need to understand and know about all- from the tragedy in April 1986 to where the people of Chernobyl are today. While the abandoned buildings of Pripyat can tell one chapter of the disaster’s story, the people of Slavutych can read the entire book to you.
Gallery of photos of Slavutych
(Museum, memorial, stari Tallinn, firefighters monument, Yerevan district, Tallinn district, Tbilisi building, railway station, main square, sports stadium, afghan war monument, church, soviet mosaic at hospital, main big park with skateboard area)