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You're reading: Chornobyl Frozen In 1986: A life haunted by Lenin Street 17, Apartment 24 in Prypyat

On April 26, 1986, I was a baby living in the city of Prypyat, then part of the Soviet Union. The next day my mother and I were forced to evacuate the city following the explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. At the time, the city had nearly 50, 000 residents. Now it is a ghost town.
Five years ago, at the age of 26, I decided to revisit the town of my early childhood. Though it is a place I don’t remember well, the experience changed my life forever.

When we drove into the jungle that once was the main street – named after Vladimir Lenin, of course – I was hit by a mysterious wave of nostalgia. It was, I decided, nostalgia for the things that never happened to me here.

Lenin Street 17, Apartment 24, would haunt me throughout my life.

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