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Ukraine commemorates 30th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster


Residents in Chernobyl have held a commemorative service for those who died in the nuclear disaster 30 years ago.

A candle-lit vigil, one of many commemorative events, was held at a church built in memory of the victims of the catastrophe, as a bell tolled 30 times in Kyiv.

In the early hours of April 26, 1986, a test went horribly wrong at the nuclear plant in the then Soviet Ukraine.

There were many victims, but there were also some lucky ones.

Gheorgy Ladatko, a former Electrician at Chernobyl was working when the accident happened.

“I was told by the officials that those exposed to radiation within the first five days would only live three and a half years. We didn’t take it seriously. Then five years passed, then 15. Now, after 30 years, thank God, my friends and I are still alive,” he told Euronews

But there were many others who did not survive.

Families of such people also came out for the commemoration.

Natalya, also another former staff member at Chernobyl told euronews: “I’m here to commemorate all of those people who used to work with me. I commemorate my son, (and) my husband, who are no longer with me.”

Official figures show at least 30 workers and firefighters were killed in the immediate aftermath of the meltdown at the plant.

But since then, radiation-related illnesses have claimed the lives of thousands.

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