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‘Babushkas Of Chernobyl’: stubborn sisterhood thriving in radioactive zone

Neighbors and their husbands have gradually died off but they are hanging on

Photo © Rena Effendi

Chernobyl, Ukraine – Can you imagine life in Cherobyl’s radioactive Dead Zone? It is probably a very scary thought for many, this is why we have a special story for you here. It’s a story about community of several defiant elderly women existing on the most toxic part of our planet. They share their radioactive village life with daily visitors – soldiers, scientists, adventurers, ‘stalkers’ (yeah that post-apocalyptic video game) and similar adrenaline seekers.

In the core of the documentary there are three women, Hanna, Valentyna and Maria and they chose to get back home and defy all government authority and dangers for their health – the remarkable story about being home sick and the amazing power of ones will to forge it’s destiny against risks. More info: Directed by Holly Morris [h/t: thebabushkasofchernobyl]

Documentary “Babushkas Of Chernobyl”

These brave Babushkas have survived an incredible journey in their life, from Stalin’s famines in 1930’s to Nazi invasion and on end the horrifying nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.

Hanna Zavorotnya (78 y.o), helped to scrub and gut a pig that was butchered by her visiting son for the New Year holidays. Kapavati village, Chernobyl, Ukraine. December 2010
Photo © Rena Effendi

At their village they lead normal life, Hanna Zavorotyna slices chunks of pig ‘salo’ (raw fat), she brews her homemade moonshine – even tho it’s forbidden to eat any local food, plants or anything similar.

“Starvation is what scares me, not radiation,” she says.

babushkas_geiger-counter-and-nuclear-reactor
Photo © Rena Effendi

Animals are also slowly returning to the Exclusion Zone, this is why you can see wolves, wild boars, moose and other wildlife that are coming back home just like these brave Babushkas. This is the real post-apocalypse life that these women live through, while others just play it in video games.

babushkas_group-in-front-of-fence
Photo © Rena Effendi

Their husbands have also lived with them but they all gradually died off from age. 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, they decided just to come back and live in their ancestral home inside the radioactive “Exclusion Zone.”

babushkas_hanna-maria-and-friend
Photo © Rena Effendi

They share this story with us, because it’s a story of loving your home more than anything else and a story about risks that people do to protect what they care for.

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source: Ziher.hr / Eleonora Glišić

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