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You're reading: Years after Chornobyl disaster, its photographer lives in obscurity in Kyiv
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After the April 26 nuclear explosion, taking hazardous-materials protective clothing off near Chornobyl meant sure death.

Salmygin was one of the photographers documenting the aftermath of the world’s biggest industrial nuclear accident at the fourth reactor of the now-closed Chornobyl nuclear power plant. His photos depicted the life of the nearby town of Prypyat, where workers lived, as well as people fleeing the exclusion zone at the order of the Communist Party. The 30 square kilometer zone has remained a wildlife area ever since.

Salmygin says that he has taken pictures of the Chornobyl power plant since 1971, when its first reactor was built, and knows the area intimately.

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