Posts Tagged ‘1986’

It’s mildly possible you’ll get quite a few updates about Ukraine or Chernobyl, not because of a recent drama show but because I visited Kyiv and Chernobyl. I’ve taken a lot of photos and notes but here is another dive into some interesting history around there.

The Chernobyl Disaster (1986) is still a major talking point even this far on, maybe I should do a deeper dive into it all, but that’s something you write books on, and I have read a few. I did Soviet history so you probably notice I pick up these things here and there in my blogs, it is actually very tempting to go down these rabbit holes more and more but there is a whole world for us to look into and so I may point some here and there but forgive me if that does happen. It is important as a point in modern history, when reactor 4 exploded it caused international concerns and the subject looks to have been added to our school curriculum (I believe).

The actual name of the, now decommissioned, nuclear power plant is V I Lenin Nuclear Power Station (чернобыльская АЕС ИМ. В.И.Ленина) and it had suffered an incident before in 1981, a partial core meltdown had occurred in Reactor 1 but was operational again within a few months and was not revealed until several years later.

At this stage both Kopachi and Poliske were normal functioning areas, the incident in 1986 left both of them abandoned, Kopachi is now abandoned entirely and Poliske has been taken from the registry but there are around 20 known settlers there.

Kopachi (Колачи/Колачi) was a village, located just south-west of the Pripyat River Basin, after it was evacuated in 1986 the authorities had houses torn down and buried as an experiment. The village was the only one that suffered from his fate and now lonely two brick buildings, a series of mounds and some trees are the original remnants of the place.

Each mound has a sign which has the international symbol for radiation on it, it points to the fact there is a house beneath it. The kindergarten and one other building is still there and the local soil is contaminated with plutonium, strontium-90 and caesium-137.

Kopachi’s geography lies within the Kyiv reg, in ion, Ivankiv district and is 4km away from Chernobyl. It’s first mention as a village appears to have been in 1685, in 1886 it was listed with 774 orthodox residents and 92 Jews as its Parish. In 1900 the owner of the village, Sergey Chelytshev listed 334 inhabitants, there were 56 households and a church made from wood named Great Martyr Paraskeva which burnt down in 1927, the church in the name of the Great Martyr Paraskei, was described as dilapidated and built in 1742 and that prior churches stood higher on Kariplouka and the church served 65 tithes. The villages under the Kopachevsky parish were made up of Nagoretsy, Semihody, Krivaya Gora and Starosel’ye.

In 1927, Father Peter , the rector, was arrested and taken off to Kyiv, his fate was not reacted in anything I could find. The church was ravaged, the Holy icons and church plates were burnt in the churchyard and as this happened the anecdote states that the residents there wept. Before the disaster it was a well established village with around 114 inhabitants and the residents were relocated to Lehnvika, Boryshiv district.

If ( like me) you played Stalker, Call of Pripyat, you can go to their interpretation of the village on the level “Neighbourhood of Jupiter”, the area is known to have zombies, the hills and old buildings also emit a lot of radiation.

Poliske or Polesskoye (Поліське / Полесское) is part of the Kyiv oblast region and can be found listed in the Exclusion Zone area. The areas has about 20 samosely, the region has about 197 people, they are returning people to the area of those considered self-settlers. Samosely are informally allowed to stay there.

I’m going to put down the number of people as a sub-paragraph because its really not that identifiable. April 2013 saw an estimate of illegal settlers being anything from 200-2000. Refugees, re-settlers and other migrations most likely mean no true number could be stated. One official birth is known, 25th August 1999 a 46 year-old woman called Lydia Sovenko gave birth to Maria Sovenko, Maria lived in Chernobyl with her parents until 2006 and goes back to the area at the weekend and visits her mother there.

So back to Poliske – it was originally called Khabnaye or Khabne’, it was renamed Kaganovichi Pervye/ Kahanovychi Pershi in 1934. It was renamed to Poliske in 1957. Poliske was founded in the 15th Century, the home of a Polish family, the Howatt’s from 1850 to 1918. It was known for it’s weaving and textile industry, and the area got official status as a city in 1938. The population dwindled after the disaster and in 1999 the remaining population was evacuated, as of 2005 around 1,000 people remained and were mostly senior citizens.

A couple of notable people are mentioned from the place, Iser Kuperman was born there in 1922 and he was the seven-times world champion of draughts. Lazar Kaganovich, one of the leaders of the Soviet Union, was born there in 1893. He was a Soviet politician and was known to have helped Stalin seize power. He died in 1991 and in 1987 an American journalist (Stuart Kahan) published “The Wolf of the Kremlin” which was a biography about Kaganovich. It is worth another side not here that some contact the books validity.

So have you been? Did you visit the area on a tour OR were you once a resident with a story to share?

Sources:

Pohilevich Lawrence Ivanovich – Ukrainian ethnographer, ‘Tales of populated areas of the Kiev province’;

Chernobylpeople.ucoz.ua ;

forgottenisland.net ;

wikipedia ;

earthtimes.org ;

Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin ;

Chernobyl & Nuclear Power in the USSR – David R Marples; Dazv.gov.ua – visiting the zone (English version);

Stalker game – GSC Game World.

SoloEast Travel and going on the tour.

The formulated list of the settlements that were taken from the Exclusion zone and where people were resettled too (Ukraine forum on the subject).

Much like Jack The Ripper he remains a focal point for armchair detectives and those who want to try to be the one that guesses right. The ONS is the name given to a serial killer and rapist who was active between 1979 and 1986.

He may have started out as a burglar and then the crimes escalated, the areas he stalked ere middle-class and he started out with single-women. Most of his victims had seen or heard a prowler on their property, so police believe he would do reconnaissance on the matter.

After initially targeting women he moved on to couples, this seems that it could be in response to the press goading him with the fact it was always single-women and seemingly a need to prove otherwise. Perhaps he felt they were issuing some sort of challenge.

Initially the Southern Californian murders were not thought to be connected, but later DNA testing linked the cases together. If you want to investigate the victims in detail it could be quite difficult to do due to the sheer number, but there are characteristics and there was a psychological profile put together. For the purposes of my writings I have not gone into the victims details.

A summary of the profile is that the suspect is, or was, white and would likely have lived near the area in 1980. Given his lack of identification he was not likely to stand out as an individual, he was in good physical shape because he evaded witnesses and law officials either by using a bicycle or by running. It was determined he would likely have engaged in sex with prostitutes and would be able to function sexually with either consenting or non-consenting individuals.

The last known contact was seemingly in 1991 when the Original Night Stalker made a call to the police to taunt one of his victims. There is a chance that he committed suicide or has been incarcerated for some other crime, putting an end to it.

Arts and Entertainments Channel’s ‘Cold Case Files’ aired and episode on the ONS and there is a good site if you want to read up: https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/home

EDIT: When I originally wrote this in 2017 as a draft I wrote it with the view of being unsolved, now it seems that things really can move on and new developments in the case came forwards.

The Golden State Killer is the other name that you may know this case as, or even East Area Rapist. but effectively it would appear all could be tied up into this case.  What might once of been a series of cases has slowly tied itself into one operation and someone has been arrested and charged in connection with eight counts of first-degree murder alongside attempts to press charges related to cases that have not been lost due the statute of limitations.

On the 24th April, 2016 following decades of police work, FBI, a crime writer’s book (Michelle McNamara, Golden State Killer was termed by her) and a continued public involvement, a man named Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested. the 72-year-old Navy Veteran was arrested and charged with 8 counts of first-degree murder and it was linked to DNA evidence. California’s statute of limitations means that whilst they could press charges on the rape charges they could continue to press charges for crimes that were still possible to work with. The work undertaken would simply take far more in depth writing than my simple blog could cover but it is a testament to the dedication of people seeking justice that movement on these victim’s cases are still paying off now.

As a small side note – it has been 8 years since my morgue doors open and I thank everyone that keeps commenting, sharing and correcting anything I get wrong. I genuinely love writing and researching these things and hope you enjoy reading them.

 

Previous blog about the site.

1986 saw one of the worst nuclear disasters to date, the Chernobyl reactor disaster, 31 died on the day but over 500,000 people were involved and the long-term effects continue to be recorded and monitored. Witnesses who have visited the area believe that the spirits of those who died there still roam the area.

1986 is within living history for me, I was 6 but it wasn’t until I grew older I recognised the historical importance of this event. The tragedy is fascinating on both a historical and scientific level, but are also quite terrifying.

At the start of April 1986 people living and working at the power plant began to witness strange events. Sightings of a large black bird, or bird-like creature, and even a headless man with large black wings and red eyes began to be reported. It was later given the name ‘The Blackbird of Chernobyl’.

Witnesses had nightmares, threatening calls and some claimed first hand encounters with the creature. The strange happenings were reported and increased until the morning of 26th April, 1986, when reactor number four exploded.

The explosion sent a nuclear fall out of frightening proportions that drifted over the Western Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, Ireland, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and even eastern North America. All of this took a scarily short period of 48 hours. It was 400 times the level of Hiroshima and the meltdown left fires and further explosions at the direct sight. After the awful events, and further deaths of those trying to stop the radiating fall-outs, there were no further sightings of the Blackbird.

It has been likened to the Mothman, a West Virginian phenomena linked to the collapse of the Silver Bridge, previously this had occurred in 1968 and after no sightings of the creature were made either.

Pripyat town is now abandoned by living human residents but its regarded as haunted, people have reported that they have seen apparitions and shadows at the windows of the city hospital.

Andrei Kharsukhov, a nuclear physicist from the university of Bufffalo visited the site in 1997. He was at reactor fours sarcophagus but was unable to enter thanks to the radiation. Even though no one was inside he could hear the sounds of someone screaming for help, they were shouting about a fire inside. He rushed to inform someone only to be told that he was the first person into the control room for three years, if someone had gone inside before that an alarm would have been tripped.

Later in the evening they were eating dinner outside an old building, a flood light turned on in the room of the installation but no one was inside. It was like a power surge and just as someone went to say it, the light switched itself back off.

The stories of the paranormal at Chernobyl will not be ones that are easy to investigate, the continuous risks of the environment and the need for constant assessment should outweigh any ghost hunting trips. It is also worth considering that respect should be given to those are living victims of this terrible occurrence.

This is a city in the area, which is part of the Exclusion Zone. It was the administrative centre of Chernobyl Raion since 1932. I’m going to go over the details only briefly but it’s certainly one for the pages as it’s another abandoned place of interest.

In 1986 the city was evacuated due to a disaster at it’s Nuclear Power Plant 14.5km to it’s north-northwest. The city was not the residence of the of the power plant workers but nearby Pripyat was built for them. After the accident the Chernobyl Raion administration was moved to nearby Ivankiv Raion.

The city is mostly inhabited, but a small number of people reside there with homes that state “Owner of this house lives here”. Workers on watch and administrations personnel are the only things close to long term residents outside of that. The city housed 14000 residents before the evacuation; nearly Slavutych was the specifically built area for
those evacuated.

First mentioned in 1193 Chernobyl has lain in the hands of Lithuania (13th Century), Polen (1569) The Russian Empire (1793) and has had a long history of border changes  mostly due to the political climate of its geography. Since the 1880’s it has seen many changed and in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union it remained part of the
Ukraine, now an independent nation. As of 2012 a small number of people remain in the area refusing to leave their native city.

April 26th 1986 Reactor #4 exploded, it happened at 1.23am and nearby  residents in Pripyat were asleep. Two workers were instantly killed and 40 hours later the residents of Pripyat were told to evacuate. Many never returned, many of the residents had already suffered varying degrees of radiation poisoning.

(CRDP) Chernobyl Recovery and Development Project was launched in 2003 by the United Nations Development Program. The program was based on the report initiated in Feb 2002. CRDP work s in the four most affected areas.

Photo’s Link here