Pioneer camp “Skazochny” (“Fairy Tale”) is located on the banks of the river Uzh, 30 km (18.5 mi) from Pripyat. According to the ChNPP civil defense plan, all personnel had to be evacuated to here in case of an emergency. Therefore, for the first few years after the accident, engineers and other staff who worked at the station lived here. One of the liquidators, the artist Peter Emets, drew sketches here. Later, he would publish an album, which included “Fairytale” landscapes and portraits of its residents.
Now there are no human voices in the camp, only bird chirps and wolf howls at night. It’s been left forever. There was a time when looters came here and dug trenches to get the non-ferrous metal cable. Now there are only tourists.
There is a broken pool, two-story dormitories, and sculpted images of fairy tale characters. A rusty soda machine, a stage. Broken windows, moss, and loose plaster in the rooms. A narrow-paved walkway with rotting benches on either side leads to the river, but it suddenly stops – the shore of the Uzh has washed away, and water flooded everything. Previously, there was a clean little beach with metal “umbrellas.” A swimming area for children was lined with special buoys so that no one swam in dangerous places. It was a happy childhood …
This article was published in the book Interesting Chernobyl.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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