Chernobyl (Чернобыль)



Location: Kiev oblast

Most Haunted Places in the World

Chernobyl founded: 1193

Pripyat founded: 4 February 1970


Description of Chernobyl

Chernobyl is an old Medieval Russian/ Ukrainian town in modern day north Ukraine. However it is most famous for its Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that became a witness of the Chernobyl disaster on the afternoon of April 27, 1986. While the city itself is fairly modest, its neigbour, Pripyat, became the face of the tragedy. Founded just few years before the disaster, Pripyat was the face of progress in urban architecture and engineering of the future.


Chernobyl and Book of Revelations (Apocalypses)

Revelation 8:11 "And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became bitter; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."


Now it might seem like a long shot to tie events on the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant to some man who was imprisoned on a island in the Aegean Sea centuries before the event have occurred. However John of Patmos might have predicted this event long time ago. The key is in the name of Chernobyl (Чернобыль). This is a derivative of a Russian word "chernobylnik" (чернобыльник). This term describes a plant that is commonly found in the area. Its English equivalent is (surprise, surprise) "wormwood".


Chernobyl - a Soviet ghost town, which was abandoned after the worst nuclear accident that occurred early in the morning of April 26, 1986. On this tragic date one of the four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded. Plant leaked radioactive material into an atmosphere. Moscow initially was slow to acknowledge what happened, but after high radiation detected in Sweden, and later in other countries of Western Europe it became clear that something extraordinary occurred in Soviet Union. However in the city of Pripyat near Chernobyl nuclear plant no one sounded emergency in the first hours after the tragedy struck. Residents of Pripyat have been taken out only days after the accident. They were initially promised to return home in two to three days. Thus most left their things at place.


Now, after more than 20 years, Chernobyl became alive again. But few people live in the vicinity of Chernobil. Instead of people this region was overtaken by European bison (known locally as zubr), wolves, deer and other animals that were not seen in these parts for centuries. Ironically, the Chernobyl accident has this city return to nature.




The first mention of Chernobyl refers to the events of 1193. It is listed in the annalistic "List of Russian cities near and far" (end of the 14th century).

In 1541, when these lands were controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a castle was built in the vicinity of Chernobyl by Prince Friedrich Pronsky, separated from the settlement by a deep moat that has survived to this day. At the beginning of the XVII century, the castle was reconstructed and turned into a well-fortified and inaccessible fortress, and the city of Chernobyl became a district center.

In 1793 it became part of the Russian Empire. In 1898, the population of Chernobyl was 10,800, of which 7,200 were Jews.

Jews were resettled in Chernobyl by Philo Kmita as part of Polish colonization. After joining the Kingdom of Poland in 1596, the traditional Orthodox peasantry was forced to convert to Catholicism. Orthodoxy was restored only after the conquest of the Russian kingdom.

In the second half of the 18th century, Chernobyl became one of the main centers of Hasidism. The Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty was formed by Rabbi Menachem Nakhum of Tver.

Until the end of the XIX century. Chernobyl was a privately owned city that belonged to the counts of Khodkevich. In 1896, they sold the city to the state, but until 1910 they owned a castle and a house in the city.

The Jewish population was severely affected by the pogroms in October 1905 and March-April 1919, when many Jews were robbed and killed by the Black Hundreds and Petliurists. In 1920, the Tver dynasty left the city and Chernobyl ceased to be an important center of Hasidism.

During World War I was occupied. During the Civil War, the city and county were controlled by the "green" chieftain Struk, whom the Reds repeatedly tried to expel, but he invariably returned with the detachment. During the Soviet-Polish war, Chernobyl was first occupied by the Polish army (in fact, the same Struk, which this time offered its services to Pilsudski), and then was recaptured by the cavalry of the Red Army. In 1921 it was included in the Ukrainian SSR. The last Jewish pogrom in the vicinity of the city of Struck was organized in 1922.


The Polish Chernobyl community was deported to Kazakhstan in 1936. The small Jewish community remaining in the city after 1919 was completely destroyed during the German occupation in 1941-1944. Liberation Day - November 17, 1943.

In the 1970s, the first nuclear power plant in Ukraine was built 10 km from Chernobyl.

In 1985, the over-the-horizon Duga radar, the Chernobyl-2 object, was put into operation.

On April 26, 1986, an accident occurred at the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which became the largest disaster in the history of nuclear energy. All residents of the city were then evacuated, but some subsequently returned to their homes and now live in the infected area.

In 2006, the Blacksmith Institute, an American non-profit research organization, published a list of the most polluted cities in the world, in which Chernobyl was in the top ten.

The Hero of the Soviet Union was born in the city, the head of the guard of HPV-2 for the protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and the lieutenant of the internal service, Vladimir Pavlovich Pravik (1962-1986).

In the center of Chernobyl in 2010-2011 a memorial complex was built to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. The author of the project is the People's Artist of Ukraine, Honored Art Worker Anatoly Gaydamak. The presidents of Russia and Ukraine came to the opening of the complex in April 2011.

In November 2014, a monument to the Chernobyl partisan Pasha Osidach, who was killed by the Nazis in 1943, was moved to the complex and solemnly opened. The monument was planned to be installed back in 1986, but the accident prevented it. In the post-accident years, the sculpture was stored on the territory of the complex of construction and repair works (courtyard of secondary school No. 2).

The complex also includes a museum opened in the former cinema "Ukraine" (until 2011, this building housed a grocery store and cafe-bar). The museum has collected things of residents of evacuated villages, street signs and house numbers, children's toys, household items, etc.

In spring 2011, the first stone of the future monument to the liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident was laid next to the museum.