Slavutych: the town born from the Chornobyl nuclear disaster

Ukraine

Ukraine’s youngest town appeared on the map only 30 years ago, just 50 kilometers from the site of the most catastrophic nuclear accident in history. UATV visited the town to found out how life flows in Slavutych.

Vilnius Quarter in the city of Slavutych. The Sulimov family has lived in this house for nearly 30 years.

Valerii Sulimov, Slavutych Resident

We were working as chemists at Chornobyl up to the moment the accident happened.

That accident was known around the world. And it led to the creation of Slavutych — a city built for those who evacuated Chornobyl. It’s one of the youngest cities in Ukraine — and a reminder of its Soviet past.

Thirty residential quarters, 4 schools, 6 kindergartens, 25 thousand residents, this is Slavutych, a city born of the Chornobyl catastrophe.

Construction began in 1986, using eight former Soviet republics as the model for the city. So districts were built using architecture from Yerevan, Vilnius, Riga, Tbilisi and others as inspiration. It’s even more authentic, as builders had to bring their own materials.

Halyna Sulimova, Slavutych Resident

The city was built by Soviet republics: our quarter was built by Lithuania. We like it here! Our children grew up here! I think that any Slavutych resident would say that you can’t find a better place to raise kids.

The Sumilov family are involved in sports in the city. Valerii organizes a city marathon in the memory of the Heroes of Chornobyl. Halyna is a fitness trainer. Even young people envy her energy and enthusiasm. Active people like her have re-invented Slavutych.

Yurii Fomichev, Mayor of Slavutych

We are energized! We generate this energy! Not just electric energy, but the energy of our souls.

One of the cities most active people is also its Mayor. He is helped to recreate a city, whose life is inseparably connected to the Chornobyl disaster.

Yurii Fomichev, Mayor of Slavutych

When they shut the final reactor, we all wore black bands. We saved the energy on Chornobyl station. We understand that this was a political decision. Nevertheless, the Chornobyl zone still has possibilities.

And the locals are the first recognize those possibilities, including the intellectual potential of former Chornobyl workers. And the city’s impressive infrastructure is ready to incorporate up to 10,000 new IT workers and their families.

Yurii Fomichev, Mayor of Slavutych

Schools, kindergartens, pools, sports complexes, a students activity center, everything is just around the corner. Our pride is youth football. They play well! A couple of guys made it to professional clubs, and we are trying to further develop this infrastructure. We have plans to put artificial grass in the stadium so that it can be used all year round.

Viktor Boiko, Children Sports School Trainer

Often Belarusians come here, as well as people from the Baltic countries, teams from Ukraine too, of course.

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