Chernobyl's anniversary marked

26 April 2006

It is 20 years to the day since the blasts at unit 4 of the Chernobyl plant. The worst ever nuclear accident was marked in Slavutych, the city built to house the displaced workers of the plant, by a procession of mourners bearing candles and red carnations.

The results of the accident's airborne contamination were measured across the length and breadth of Europe, but the hardest hit were Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians, and especially those that were forced to leave their homes and restart under the spectre of the radiation they were exposed to.

At the exact time of the accident, 1.23am, a minute's silence was observed as bells tolled in Slavutych, across Ukraine and all affected territories alike.

In Kiev President Viktor Yuschenko laid a wreath in honour of the brave workers who risked and lost their lives battling the toxic fires in the bottom of the reactor building. While at a special session devoted to the anniversary, parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said "Today's ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the accident do not, unfortunately, mean we can say farewell to Chernobyl."

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