On February 4, 1970, the Soviet Union founded a new settlement for atomic scientists, workers, and their families commonly referred to as an atomograd. This town would, in time, become a successful model of a Soviet metropolis. It was a river-side utopia with a sandy bank that locals called “The Beach,” complete with various shops, entertainment, schools, hospitals, and residences.
Residents referred to their city as “The City of Roses,” named for the thirty-three thousand rose bushes planted throughout.
Its official moniker is Pripyat.
Seven years later, three kilometers away, construction began on the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant. Or, more famously known as, Chernobyl.
Early in the morning on April 26, 1986, reactor number four at Chernobyl exploded, starting a fire that would burn for nearly two weeks, all the while spewing radioactive material into the air. But what happened to the idyllic city of Pripyat, home to almost fifty-thousand people?
Photojournalists have returned. This is what they found…