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Chornobyl Frozen In 1986: Ex-Kyiv Post photographer Alina Rudya publishes ‘Prypyat Mon Amour’

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Alina Rudya has no memories of living in Prypyat, Ukraine, but the experience has stayed with her to this day.

Born in 1985, she and her mother, Marina Rudya, were evacuated after the April 26, 1986, explosion at the nearby Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s reactor No. 4.

Her father kept working at the plant for 18 months afterwards and made frequent visits there for many years as part of scientific research missions. He died in 2006 at age 47 of radiation-related cancer and the book is dedicated to him. Her mother lives in Kyiv, while Rudya lives in Berlin, Germany.

She raised $12,000 on Kickstarter to pursue her dream of publishing a photo-essay book on her hometown that went from 50,000 residents to ghost town overnight.

Former Prypyat residents recall lives divided into two parts: before the disaster and after. Rudya is happy with the book. “I made it,” she told the Kyiv Post. “It was stressful, but it’s going to be delivered (on April 20), so I cannot wait.”

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