Chernobyl Was a Wildlife Haven. Then Russian Troops Arrived


GERMÁN ORIZAOLA WAS standing in the shadow of Chernobyl Power Plant’s reactor Number Four—the epicenter of the worst nuclear accident ever. It was the spring of 2016 and the giant dome of steel and plastic that now covers the destroyed reactor was not yet in place. From 400 meters away, he could see the decaying concrete sarcophagus that had been hastily constructed over the ruined building in the months after the 1986 disaster. In the middle of the night, the somber edifice glittered with lights.

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