Chernobyl

Chernobyl

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Chernobyl or Chornobyl ' onMouseout='HidePop("23602")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Polish">Polish
Polish
Polish may refer to:* Anything from or related to Poland, a country in Europe* Polish language* Poles, people from Poland* Polish * Polish cuisinePolish may refer to:...

 Czarnobyl) is an abandoned city
Ghost town
A ghost town is an abandoned town or city. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, or nuclear disasters...

 in northern Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, in Kiev Oblast
Kiev Oblast
Kyiv Oblast, sometimes written as Kiev Oblast is an oblast in central Ukraine.The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Kyiv , also being the capital of Ukraine...

, near the border with Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

. The city had been the administrative centre of the Chernobyl Raion
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

 since 1932.

The city was evacuated in 1986 due to the Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant or Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a decommissioned nuclear power station near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, northwest of the city of Chernobyl, from the Ukraine–Belarus border, and about north of Kiev. Reactor 4 was the site of the Chernobyl disaster in...

, located 14.5 kilometres (9 mi) north-northwest. The power plant was within Chernobyl Raion
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

 (District), but the city was not the residence of the power plant workers. When the power plant was under construction, Prypiat, a city larger and closer to the power plant, had been built as home for the power plant workers. After the accident the Chernobyl Raion administration was transferred to the neighboring Kiev Raion.

Though the city today is mostly uninhabited, a small number of people reside in houses marked with signs stating that the "Owner of this house lives here". Workers on watch and administrative personnel of the Zone of Alienation are stationed in the city on a long term basis. Prior to its evacuation, the city was inhabited by about 14,000 residents. The city of Slavutych
Slavutych
Slavutych is a new city in northern Ukraine, named after the Old Slavic name of the nearby Dnieper River. As of 2007, its population was 24,549.-Geography:...

 was built specifically for the evacuated population of Chernobyl.

Name origin


The city name is the same as a local Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 name for Artemisia vulgaris
Artemisia vulgaris
Artemisia vulgaris is one of several species in the genus Artemisia which have common names that include the word mugwort. This species is also occasionally known as Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood, Old uncle Henry, Sailor's Tobacco, Naughty Man, Old Man or St...

(mugwort or common wormwood), which is also чорнобиль "chornobyl". An alternative etymology holds that it is a combination of the words chornyi (чорний, black) and byllia (билля, grass blades or stalks), hence it would literally mean black grass or black stalks.

After the Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

, some remarked upon partial similarities between the disaster and the tale of the 'star called Wormwood'
Wormwood (star)
Wormwood, αψίνθιον or άψινθος in Greek, is a star, or angel, that appears in the Biblical New Testament Book of Revelation.-Wormwood in the Bible:...

 in the Book of Revelation, which killed many people by making the water bitter.

History


Chernobyl first appeared in a charter of 1193, described as a hunting-lodge of Knyaz
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

 Rostislavich
Rostislavich
Knyaz Rostislavich or Knyaz Rostislavovich may refer to one of the following persons....

. It was a crown village of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 in the 13th century. The village was granted as a fiefdom
Fiefdom
A fee was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable lands granted under one of several varieties of feudal tenure by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the...

 to Filon Kmita
Filon Kmita
Filon Kmita was a noble in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Voivode of Smolensk , rotmistrz in the army and starost of Orsha .Fought in the Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars and the Livonian War....

, a captain of the royal cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

, in 1566. The province containing Chernobyl was transferred to the Kingdom of Poland
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

 in 1569, and then annexed by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 in 1793. Prior to the 20th century, Chernobyl was inhabited by Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 and some Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s, and a relatively large number of Jews.

Chernobyl had a rich religious history. The Jews were brought by Filon Kmita
Filon Kmita
Filon Kmita was a noble in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Voivode of Smolensk , rotmistrz in the army and starost of Orsha .Fought in the Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars and the Livonian War....

, during the Polish campaign of colonization. The traditionally Christian Eastern Orthodox Ukrainian peasantry of the district was largely forced, by Poland, to convert to the Greek Catholic Uniate religion after 1596, and then forceably returned to Eastern Orthodoxy by the Tsar only after the Partitions of Poland.
The Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 church and monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 were founded in 1626 by Lukasz Sapieha, at the height of the Counter-reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

. There was a group of Old Catholics, who opposed the decrees of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

. The Dominican monastery was sequestrated in 1832, following the failed Polish November Uprising, and the church of the Old Catholics was disbanded in 1852.

In the second half of the 18th century, Chernobyl became one of the major centers of Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

. The Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty
Chernobyl (Hasidic dynasty)
Chernobyl is a Hasidic dynasty that was founded by Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky, known by the name of his work as the "Meor Einayim Chernobyl is a Hasidic dynasty that was founded by Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky, known by the name of his work as the "Meor Einayim Chernobyl is a...

 had been founded by Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky
Menachem Nachum Twersky
Rabbi Menachem Nochum Twerski of Chernobyl was the founder of the Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty. He was a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezritch, and published one of the first works of Hasidic thought...

. The Jewish population suffered greatly from pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s in October 1905 and in March–April 1919, when many Jews were killed and others were robbed, at the instigation of the Russian nationalist Black Hundreds. In 1920, the Twersky dynasty left Chernobyl, and it ceased to exist as a Hasidic centre.

Since the 1880s, Chernobyl has seen many changes of fortune. In 1898 Chernobyl had a population of 10,800, including 7,200 Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. In World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the village was occupied, and in the ensuing Civil War
Ukraine after the Russian Revolution
Ukrainian territory was fought over by various factions after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the First World War, which added the collapse of Austria-Hungary to that of the Imperial Russia. The crumbling of the empires had a great effect on the Ukrainian nationalist movement and in the short...

, Chernobyl was fought over by Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s and Ukrainians. In the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

 of 1919–20, it was taken first by the Polish Army and then by cavalry of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. From 1921, it was incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

.

During the period 1929–33, Chernobyl suffered greatly from mass killings during Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's collectivization campaign, and in the Holodomor
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

 (famine) that followed. The Polish community of Chernobyl was deported to Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 in 1936 during the Frontier Clearances. The Jewish community was murdered during the German occupation of 1941–44
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine , literally "Reich Commissariat of Ukraine", was the civilian occupation regime of much of German-occupied Ukraine during World War II. Between September 1941 and March 1944, the Reichskommissariat was administered by Reichskommissar Erich Koch as a colony...

. Twenty years later, the area was chosen as the site of the first nuclear power station on Ukrainian soil.

The Duga-3 over-the-horizon radar
Over-the-horizon radar
Over-the-horizon radar, or OTH , is a design concept for radar systems to allow them to detect targets at very long ranges, typically up to thousands of kilometers...

 array several miles out of Chernobyl was the origin of the infamous Russian Woodpecker
Russian Woodpecker
The Russian Woodpecker was a notorious Soviet signal that could be heard on the shortwave radio bands worldwide between July 1976 and December 1989. It sounded like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise, at 10 Hz, giving rise to the "Woodpecker" name...

, designed as part of Russia's anti-ballistic missile
Anti-ballistic missile
An anti-ballistic missile is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles .A ballistic missile is used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" describes any antimissile system designed to counter...

 early warning radar
Early warning radar
An early warning radar is any radar system used primarily for the long-range detection of its targets, i.e., allowing defences to be alerted as early as possible before the intruder reaches its target, giving the defences the maximum time in which to operate...

 network.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 in 1991, Chernobyl remained part of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, now an independent nation.

However, in 2011 there continue to live a small number of people; those who refused to leave their native city after the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986.

Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster


On April 26, 1986, Reactor #4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant or Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a decommissioned nuclear power station near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, northwest of the city of Chernobyl, from the Ukraine–Belarus border, and about north of Kiev. Reactor 4 was the site of the Chernobyl disaster in...

 near the town of Pripyat, Ukraine, exploded. The explosion took place at 1:23am while the neighboring town of Pripyat slept. Two workers were killed instantly. 40 hours later, the residents of Pripyat were ordered to evacuate, and most never returned; by that time, many of the residents had suffered varying degrees of radiation poisoning
Radiation poisoning
Acute radiation syndrome also known as radiation poisoning, radiation sickness or radiation toxicity, is a constellation of health effects which occur within several months of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation...

.

In 2003, the United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

 launched a project called the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme (CRDP)
Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme (CRDP)
The Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme is developed by the United Nations Development Programme and aims at ensuring return to normal life as a realistic prospect for people living in regions affected by Chernobyl disaster...

 for the recovery of the affected areas. The program launched its activities based on the Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident report recommendations and was initiated in February 2002. The main goal of the CRDP's activities is supporting the Government of Ukraine
Government of Ukraine
Government of Ukraine is often associated with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. However it should be considered that Ukraine is a country under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government...

 to mitigate long-term social, economic and ecological consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe, among others. CRDP works in the four most Chernobyl-affected areas in Ukraine: Kiev Oblast
Kiev Oblast
Kyiv Oblast, sometimes written as Kiev Oblast is an oblast in central Ukraine.The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Kyiv , also being the capital of Ukraine...

, Zhytomyrska Oblast, partially Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Chernihivska Oblast and Rivne Oblast
Rivne Oblast
Rivne Oblast is an oblast of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Rivne. The area of the region is 20,100 km²; its population is 1.2 million...

.

Chernobylite



Chernobylite is the name cited by two media sources for highly radioactive, unusual and potentially novel crystalline formations found at the Chernobyl power-plant after the explosion. These formations were found in the basement below Reactor #4 during an investigation into missing reactor fuel.

See also


External links