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Haunting Chernobyl: Day of Remembrance of Nuclear Catastrophe

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April 26 is an international day of remembrance to mark the memory of victims of radiation accidents and disasters, declared by UN General Assembly following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

April 26, marks the 32nd anniversary since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant took place in northern Ukraine. What followed was a cataclysmic event which turned the once-busy city of Pripyat into a ghost town.

The explosions nearly destroyed the reactor core of the plant, igniting a fire that continued to burn for nine days. 

Areas estimated at 50,000 square kilometers, mainly in the three then-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were contaminated, as the giant radioactive cloud moved toward European countries.

READ MORE: Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster 32 Years Ago: What You Need to Know

About 8.4 million citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine were exposed to radiation. According to the Union Chernobyl of Ukraine, about 9,000 Russian liquidators died and over 55,000 were disabled as a result of the Chernobyl tragedy.

To this day, the area of Chernobyl is unfit for living.

CC BY 2.0 / Vadim Mouchkin / IAEA / Chernobyl nuclear power plant Aerial view of Chernobyl nuclear power plant with sarcophagus. (Chernobyl, Ukraine).
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Aerial view of Chernobyl nuclear power plant with sarcophagus. (Chernobyl, Ukraine).
© Photo : Public domain/ Porco RossoGraffiti on a building in the Chernobyl zone, Ukraine.
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Graffiti on a building in the Chernobyl zone, Ukraine.
© Sputnik / Igor KostinHelicopters decontaminating the buildings of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the accident.
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Helicopters decontaminating the buildings of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the accident.
© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyA worker checks the radiation level in the 3rd reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2018. April 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.
Haunting Chernobyl: Day of Remembrance of Nuclear Catastrophe - Sputnik International
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A worker checks the radiation level in the 3rd reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2018. April 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.
© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the photo bankView of the new safe confinement (NSC) and sarcophagus at the 4th power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from the city of Pripyat.
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View of the new safe confinement (NSC) and sarcophagus at the 4th power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from the city of Pripyat.
© Sputnik / Andrei Aleksandrov / Go to the photo bankA dog in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant at the Teshkov checkpoint.
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A dog in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant at the Teshkov checkpoint.
© Sputnik / Alexey Vovk / Go to the photo bankThe city of Pripyat, which was evacuated after the Chernobyl accident in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
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The city of Pripyat, which was evacuated after the Chernobyl accident in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyIn this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, journalists take a selfie in front of a monument of the founder of the Soviet state Vladimir Lenin in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.
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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, journalists take a selfie in front of a monument of the founder of the Soviet state Vladimir Lenin in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.
© Sputnik / Maxim Polyshuk / Go to the photo bankShield of the third power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
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Shield of the third power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
© Sputnik / Igor Kostin / Go to the photo bankDumping point for radioactive equipment used during the liquidation of the fallout of the Chernobyl accident.
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Dumping point for radioactive equipment used during the liquidation of the fallout of the Chernobyl accident.
© Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov / Go to the photo bankCovering of the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with a decontaminating solution.
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Covering of the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with a decontaminating solution.
© AFP 2021 / Sergei SupinskyA picture taken on April 23, 2018 in the ghost village of Kopachi near the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant shows an abandoned kindergarten visited by tourists during their tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
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A picture taken on April 23, 2018 in the ghost village of Kopachi near the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant shows an abandoned kindergarten visited by tourists during their tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
© AFP 2021 / Genya SavilovA photo taken on January 22, 2016 shows the snow covered ghost city Pripyat, near to Chernobyl Power Plant.
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A photo taken on January 22, 2016 shows the snow covered ghost city Pripyat, near to Chernobyl Power Plant.
© Sputnik / Igor Kostin / Go to the photo bankDecontamination work to reduce the levels of radioactive contamination in the 30-kilometer zone after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
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Decontamination work to reduce the levels of radioactive contamination in the 30-kilometer zone after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
© Sputnik / Aleksey Vovk / Go to the photo bankMonument to the liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
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Monument to the liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
CC0 / Pixabay / In one of the buildings in Pripyat, Ukraine.
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In one of the buildings in Pripyat, Ukraine.
© REUTERS / Gleb GaranichJournalists take a selfie in a corridor of the closed third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine April 20, 2018.
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Journalists take a selfie in a corridor of the closed third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine April 20, 2018.
CC0 / Pixabay / The abandoned territory in the zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
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The abandoned territory in the zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
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