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Pictures | Thu Apr 22, 2021 | 4:01pm EDT

Ukraine eyes UNESCO status for abandoned Chernobyl wasteland

Children's beds are seen in a kindergarten near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine, April 12. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Children's beds are seen in a kindergarten near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine, April 12. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Children's beds are seen in a kindergarten near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine, April 12. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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The abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. A mothballed nuclear power station surrounded by wasteland, rubble and abandoned buildings is not what most people associate with a UNESCO World Heritage site. But that is exactly what Ukraine has in mind for Chernobyl.   

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. A mothballed nuclear power station surrounded by wasteland, rubble and abandoned buildings is not what most people associate with a UNESCO World Heritage site. But that is exactly...more

The abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. A mothballed nuclear power station surrounded by wasteland, rubble and abandoned buildings is not what most people associate with a UNESCO World Heritage site. But that is exactly what Ukraine has in mind for Chernobyl. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Hoping that such an assignation could mean more funding and more tourists, the government has begun a process that could eventually allow it to apply to the United Nations' cultural, scientific and education body for protection.    REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Hoping that such an assignation could mean more funding and more tourists, the government has begun a process that could eventually allow it to apply to the United Nations' cultural, scientific and education body for protection. REUTERS/Gleb...more

Hoping that such an assignation could mean more funding and more tourists, the government has begun a process that could eventually allow it to apply to the United Nations' cultural, scientific and education body for protection. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A Soviet made over-the-horizon (OTH) radar system "Duga" near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.   



REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A Soviet made over-the-horizon (OTH) radar system "Duga" near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A Soviet made over-the-horizon (OTH) radar system "Duga" near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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An elk on an empty road in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An elk on an empty road in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An elk on an empty road in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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On April 26, 1986 a reactor at the plant, located some 108 km (67 miles) north of the capital Kyiv, exploded during a botched safety test. The result was the world's worst nuclear accident that sent clouds of radiation across much of Europe and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.   





REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

On April 26, 1986 a reactor at the plant, located some 108 km (67 miles) north of the capital Kyiv, exploded during a botched safety test. The result was the world's worst nuclear accident that sent clouds of radiation across much of Europe and...more

On April 26, 1986 a reactor at the plant, located some 108 km (67 miles) north of the capital Kyiv, exploded during a botched safety test. The result was the world's worst nuclear accident that sent clouds of radiation across much of Europe and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya, near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya, near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya, near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A house is seen in the abandoned village of Poliske near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Thousands later succumbed to radiation-related illnesses such as cancer, although the total death toll and long-term health effects remain a subject of intense debate.    

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A house is seen in the abandoned village of Poliske near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Thousands later succumbed to radiation-related illnesses such as cancer, although the total death toll and long-term health effects remain a subject of...more

A house is seen in the abandoned village of Poliske near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Thousands later succumbed to radiation-related illnesses such as cancer, although the total death toll and long-term health effects remain a subject of intense debate. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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"We believe that putting Chernobyl on the UNESCO heritage list is a first and important step towards having this great place as a unique destination of interest for the whole of mankind," said Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"We believe that putting Chernobyl on the UNESCO heritage list is a first and important step towards having this great place as a unique destination of interest for the whole of mankind," said Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko. ...more

"We believe that putting Chernobyl on the UNESCO heritage list is a first and important step towards having this great place as a unique destination of interest for the whole of mankind," said Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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"The importance of the Chernobyl zone lays far beyond Ukraine's borders ... It is not only about commemoration, but also history and people's rights," says Tkachenko. 

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"The importance of the Chernobyl zone lays far beyond Ukraine's borders ... It is not only about commemoration, but also history and people's rights," says Tkachenko. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"The importance of the Chernobyl zone lays far beyond Ukraine's borders ... It is not only about commemoration, but also history and people's rights," says Tkachenko. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Before sending an application to the UN, locations seeking UNESCO protection had to be included on a national cultural and historic heritage list, according to the minister. Tkachenko said his ministry recently decided to include a huge military radar built near the city of Chernobyl in the 1970s in the list. It is also discussing expanding that to the whole of the 30km Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Before sending an application to the UN, locations seeking UNESCO protection had to be included on a national cultural and historic heritage list, according to the minister. Tkachenko said his ministry recently decided to include a huge military...more

Before sending an application to the UN, locations seeking UNESCO protection had to be included on a national cultural and historic heritage list, according to the minister. Tkachenko said his ministry recently decided to include a huge military radar built near the city of Chernobyl in the 1970s in the list. It is also discussing expanding that to the whole of the 30km Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Tkachenko said he hoped that Chernobyl, which had already become a popular site for adventure tourists before the coronavirus pandemic prevented most international travel, would bounce back and begin to lure visitors again.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Tkachenko said he hoped that Chernobyl, which had already become a popular site for adventure tourists before the coronavirus pandemic prevented most international travel, would bounce back and begin to lure visitors again.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Tkachenko said he hoped that Chernobyl, which had already become a popular site for adventure tourists before the coronavirus pandemic prevented most international travel, would bounce back and begin to lure visitors again.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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The coat of arms of the Soviet Union on the roof of a building in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The coat of arms of the Soviet Union on the roof of a building in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The coat of arms of the Soviet Union on the roof of a building in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Most of the area around the abandoned nuclear plant is a wilderness of empty buildings, scrubland and rubble. All of the buildings in Pripyat, a ghost town that was once home to 50,000 people mostly working at the plant, are in need of repair.    REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Most of the area around the abandoned nuclear plant is a wilderness of empty buildings, scrubland and rubble. All of the buildings in Pripyat, a ghost town that was once home to 50,000 people mostly working at the plant, are in need of repair. ...more

Most of the area around the abandoned nuclear plant is a wilderness of empty buildings, scrubland and rubble. All of the buildings in Pripyat, a ghost town that was once home to 50,000 people mostly working at the plant, are in need of repair. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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The reactor hall of the stopped third bloc at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The reactor hall of the stopped third bloc at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The reactor hall of the stopped third bloc at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A calendar on the wall of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A calendar on the wall of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A calendar on the wall of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A vintage doll, which was placed by a visitor, is seen on a bed at a kindergarten in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A vintage doll, which was placed by a visitor, is seen on a bed at a kindergarten in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A vintage doll, which was placed by a visitor, is seen on a bed at a kindergarten in the abandoned city of Pripyat. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Remains of burnt houses in the abandoned village of Poliske in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Remains of burnt houses in the abandoned village of Poliske in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Remains of burnt houses in the abandoned village of Poliske in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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An elk is seen within a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An elk is seen within a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An elk is seen within a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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The control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An interior view of a house in the abandoned village of Zalissya. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A Przewalski's horse is seen in a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone, Ukraine April 12, 2021. Picture taken April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A Przewalski's horse is seen in a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone, Ukraine April 12, 2021. Picture taken April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A Przewalski's horse is seen in a burnt forest in the Chernobyl zone, Ukraine April 12, 2021. Picture taken April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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A New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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