This was a long and productive trip, mainly dedicated to taking aerial photos of the zone and filming places which, for various reasons, didn't appear in the first part of Alone in the Zone. Either we didn't have permission, the material was blurry, it was raining or we were just out of luck. This time, thanks to this last factor, we managed to film the abandoned vehicle storage yard in Rossoha. It is a storage yard by name only. Of the over 1500 vehicles that were once there, now only several dozen remain. So why do I keep coming back here every time?
For the helicopters that are located here.
The helicopters which, despite multiple attempts, I have so far only been able to see from afar, from the road running alongside the storage yard. This time I was able to enter the terrain of the storage yard and have a look at them from up close. Once there were 10 of them, but now only 4 remain. Mi-6r helicopters
Surely you're asking – what's so interesting about these helicopters? Stripped of their most valuable components, as donors of replacement parts or a source of original souvenirs. Most of them have already long since landed in the scrap heap. Or, if not for the vigilance of the police, would land on a certain Ukrainian entrepreneur's garden and serve as an original-looking café
Today all that remains are metal shells, stripped of their insides. Fortunately it's much harder to strip them of their history. From the history of the events that they took part in. The history of the pilots and crews, people who took part in extinguishing the fire, preventing the radiation from spreading or, generally speaking, participated in eliminating the effects of the Chernobyl disaster. Heroes of a non-existent country. This report is dedicated to them.
26 years later, with this same task, but now without the risk of radiation, we board an Mi-2. We know that this won't bring us even one millimetre closer to these events, the views of the pretty, modern city, the snow-white buildings, the well-tended squares and evenly mowed lawns. Instead of this we see a real fight between nature and history. In Pripyat nature is the undisputed ruler, with its vastness it is encroaching ever closer on the complete destruction of the building, school and kindergarten. Turning the once wide asphalt streets into a maze of narrow paths. It undermines foundations, destroys vaulting. The once strong concrete walls are starting to burst, crumble and collapse. What man didn't manage to destroy, nature has finished off. Like a Ukrainian Angkor Wat.
The weather is nice and sunny with good visibility. From a height of several hundred metres you can see the whole city crystal clear. I can finally take the pictures I've needed for so long. Pictures presenting the panorama of Pripyat with the nuclear power plant in the background. The last time my plans were scuppered by bad weather. The power plant and the DUGA-3 antenna complex were shrouded in fog. This time we were lucky with the weather and extending the flight to 2 hours allowed for not just taking the planned photos but also filming some material for the second part of Alone in the Zone. And I got to see from the air several places that I didn't already know about, which I will definitely visit on my next visit to the zone in May 2013.
This is a shortened version of the report.
And report from reactor #4 in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant