A Christmas tree was installed in Ukraine’s city of Pripyat for the first time since the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant almost 33 years ago, national news portal ZIK reported. Pripyat is located within 30 km of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone that was established around the plant following the nuclear disaster. The zone is still restricted to free public access, but short tours for tourists to certain areas are now permitted by authorities and are becoming more widespread.
The tree was installed near Pripyat’s “Energetik” Cultural Palace, according to the outlet. The city’s former residents arrived in the abandoned city to attend the event and decorate the tree with toys and childhood photos.
The restricted 30-km exclusion zone that was established around the plant due to its extremely high levels of radioactive contamination from nuclear fallout still remains uninhabited and closed to free public access. Interest in the zone where Pripyat is located has recently been boosted by HBO’s Chernobyl mini-series.