Photos Of Chernobyl First Responders

April 30, 2014 | Marina Galperina

These old photos posted by Alexander Strannik on his LiveJournal were taken in 1986 in Chernobyl, a few months after the infamous catastrophic nuclear incident. He was part of one of the first major clean up/reconstruction crews, but not one of the “heroes” who “by bravery or ignorance” were working directly at the site of the reactor, building a barrier (“a sarcophagus”) to prevent further explosions from releasing more radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

There were also research scientists, medical teams and rotating crews to help with decontamination of the responders’ clothes and equipment, though it’s questionable just how effective this was, considering that area is still quarantined today and the unfortunate people employed there are only allowed 15 minute shifts due to continuing radiation exposure. In 1986, Strannik says their work was limited to hour long shifts. See the intimate documentation above. (Photos: @Александр Странник)