Dead Zone (Spring 2017)

...watching natural and unnatural decay

Posted by elenafilatova 14. May 2017

99% of people who live in Kiev think that Chernobyl includes only city of Pripyat and two dozen dead villages. This is what government and nuclear industry want people to believe. We even can buy a guided tour to visit those places. People who go for such tours will have a chance to visit the same sites and see the same kindergartens with the same toys that everyone sees. Internet is full of such videos and photos where you can only see as much as they let you see. When I watch those videos I feel like we all together with their authors are watching a ball instead of a game. When government agencies provides such a guided tours for us they are rolling a ball that everyone will be watching... in this photo reportage we invite you for watching the game.

This is our road.

In area of Chernobyl, the people who live and work in one part do not have any idea of what goes on in the other. Guides in Pripyat do not know what goes on in Belorussia, the officials in Belorussia are without any idea of how things stand in Russian part of Chernobyl and so on. In this way Chernobyl presents itself as a dark and unexplored cave. Visitors of this cave are visiting just one grotto and they made believe that they have seen the whole Chernobyl. Meanwhile there are hundreds and hundreds dead towns and villages within radius of 250 kms (155 miles) around reactor.

It tells "Contaminated" - sign must be there since 1986.

Why people can not see the whole picture? The problem is that radiation has fallen unequally like on chess board and actual dead zone is split between different dead zones, closed by checkpoints, in three different countries- Ukraine, Belorus and Russia.

If you want to receive individual permission for many days staying in a zone you got to be paid writer for nuclear industry or some yes-man, some friend of politicians. From perspective of creativity you got to be completely useless because only fruitless eunuch has access to sultan wives and nuclear installations have always been sultans favorite...

Chernobyl was closed for serious researchers from the very beginning because no one really wants to see the light in this cave. Why no one want to see the light? Just imagine what goes in wasteland, some stealing radioactive metal and woods, others building billions of dollars arch which shall not cost more than two hundred millions. Others makes millions of dollars with burring radioactive materials from all around the world.... who would like to see the light at such place? And on the top of it Chernobyl is a graveyard for victims of nuclear industry. This is what keep mouth shut.

If you wonder how we travel. Let me just tell that we know roads.

This spring we have international team of nice and friendly people to travel through Chernobyl dead zone. This building looks like one of those buildings from war zone. I guess if it was machine gun trees would be shattered so it must be rain in winter that caused this damage on the bricks.

Old design insulators, I haven't seen them for ages.

This house is like from horror movie. It is hard to expect anything good coming out of this house... this Boogeyman (Photo by Katherine)


WW2 memorial with names of people from this village who died in battles. Nothing is forgotten and no one is forgotten written on this stone. Sounds like mockery because not only names of soldiers are forgotten but also forgotten is name of village where they buried.

Geiger counter audio is on. On new place you got to listen to it because so many interesting things to look at!

Here we send geiger counter fly with drone. Knowing rate with which air absorbs radiation it is easy to calculate level on the ground. You can find out levels 5 kms from you in minutes without moving from the spot. I only wish they would produce drones with geiger counters built in so we wouldn't have to fix them with wire which affects drones landing and do not look very hi-tech.

If you want to see video of this experiment here is:

Road sign telling us that we are on a slippery slope. To me it seems that this whole area has been on a slippery ground since they built atomic plant near by.

From first sight glass seems to be broke but it is roof that is broken.


On some houses windows still boarded, owners hoped to return after a while.

In first years houses were locked but time is a thief and now this lock is just guarding itself.


Quite a big house by Soviet standards. Someone important could be living here.

Like one of those people.


Try to imagine owners of this house sitting at their new summer kitchen terrace, reading 7 years old PRAVDA newspaper, not exactly fresh paper, but in Soviet Union freshness of a newspaper wasn't really a matter of importance. All papers were providing the same kind of information no matter what year they were published. Than at the end of April all of a sudden they got real news - one that now they have to leave their house immediately and forever...

We call it summer kitchen it is room for cooking and eating in summer time.

This probably was last dinner in that house.

Christmas tree decoration element. USSR written on it.
Videos from those houses are below:

(Photo by Katherine)


This is for cinema posters.

I guess not much has been shown in this cinema lately.. we not count this reality show which shows how nature reclaim the land together with this cinema.


In previous years when we travelled to Chernobyl area we have seen plenty of animals. It was like in a zoo, plenty of foxes and boars and deers. Now, on those trips we only saw one squirrel. No birds, no bees. At least in part where we travelled there was no life..., so finally dead zone live up it's name.



When I travel through Chernobyl area I can not get rid of a feeling as if I happen to witness very bad crime scene. Does anybody else has this feeling?




There are still two people living in this town!

When I go to some Chernobyl ghost town and I find one or two persons still living there I feel like coroner who came to pronounce someone dead and upon arrival finds weak pulse. I can't say this or that town is dead if smoke smells from at least one chimney in whole town.

I always was wondering what would be the end of those cities. Now we can see, they are given to army for testing new weapons.

Look like some bomb went off here.

This must be rocket propelled grenade.

Some holes are really big. Katherine, the video-blogger from our group, can easily fit in one of those holes.

What a sad and tragic fate awaits those cities! Thousand years old places are being shoot, smashed, grounded, trashed, crushed and no one gives a damn. There is no Taliban here, no Islamic State savages.., it just we new old barbarians from epoch of atomic middle ages.

Photos by Rolf Luettecke