where were you 33 years ago?

Kindergarten classroom in Chernobyl – Gleb Garanich

Toronto. I was living here in Toronto on April 26, 1986 when I heard the ghastly news that a cataclysmic explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant threatened to end life on earth as we knew it. The plant was in Pripyat, a city in the Ukraine area of the Soviet Union, about 90km north of Kiev. News of the disaster was kept silent until two days later when Swedish monitors detected a sudden burst of air borne radiation. Within days the radioactive air spread around the world.

Even today, Pripyat is abandoned, too radioactive to support human life. Guided tours are allowed in the evacuated area now that short term radioactive isotopes have decreased in half-life enough to permit such short visits – just don’t dig in the soil.

The Globe announced the 33rd year anniversary of the disaster this month on its page A2 feature “Moment in Time” with a brief article by Massimo Comanducci featuring a photograph by Gleb Garanich of child-size reminders found in an abandoned kindergarten classroom.

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