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Ukraine > Pictures and travelogues > Chernobyl Firefighter Memorial and Robot Memorial

Chernobyl in Ukraine: pictures from the Firefighter Memorial, the Robot Memorial, and how to bury a city.

Chernobyl in Ukraine: Firefighter memorial
Chernobyl in Ukraine: Firefighter Memorial.

When the explosion first took place on Saturday, 26 April 1986, 28 firefighters responded. This was the first nuclear disaster on this level and the firefighters had no idea what they were up against. Over the next month, all of the firefighters died from radiation sickness. This memorial was built in their honor and sits next to the fire station they were dispatched from.

Chernobyl in Ukraine: The Robot Memorial
Chernobyl in Ukraine: the Robot Memorial.

Before the exploded reactor could be sealed, debris and rubble had to be removed from the roof of the nearby reactor. The radiation levels were so intense that they used robots instead. Anything that could be remote-controlled was used. After several days the robots malfunctioned and started driving themselves off the roof. Some were recovered and painted. The robots are some of the actual robots that were used to clear off the roof.

Chernobyl in Ukraine: How to Bury a city
Chernobyl in Ukraine: How to Bury a city.                                                                             All pictures above ©

Numerous small cities and towns were evacuated after the disaster. Cities that were made out of wood were knocked down and buried. Cities made out of cement and stone were abandoned. At the first major intersection in the exclusion zone are numerous cross-shaped signs. Each sign has the name of a city on it that will never be built again. The back of each sign is black with white lettering and a line through it. 


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Chernobyl in Ukraine: pictures from the Firefighter Memorial, the Robot Memorial, and How to bury a city. Selected pictures from Kiev and Chernobyl.