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Petro Konovalenko, head of the village council in Sukachi, helps neighbors load hay into their barn. Half the people of Sukachi are Chernobyl evacuees, relocated here from the village of Ladizhichi. For many, the displacement and loss of community was as traumatic as the accident itself. It’s a problem Petro has spent his career trying to address.<br />
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In the eleven days after the accident, everyone within 19 miles of the plant was evacuated. People in Sukachi remember bus convoys speeding by all night long. The Soviet government did not admit to the accident until a week later, after reports appeared in international media.<br />
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This photograph is part the book of Would You Stay?, by Michael Forster Rothbart, published by TED Books in 2013. The photos come from Forster Rothbart’s two long-term documentary photography projects, After Chernobyl and After Fukushima.<br />
© Michael Forster Rothbart 2007-2013.<br />
www.afterchernobyl.com<br />
www.mfrphoto.com • 607-267-4893 • 607-436-2856 <br />
34 Spruce St, Oneonta, NY 13820<br />
86 Three Mile Pond Rd, Vassalboro, ME 04989<br />
info@mfrphoto.com<br />
Photo by: Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
Date:  7/2009    File#:  Canon 5D digital camera frame 69980 <br />
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Petro Konovalenko, head of the village council in Sukachi, helps neighbors load hay into their barn. Half the people of Sukachi are Chernobyl evacuees, relocated here from the village of Ladizhichi. For many, the displacement and loss of community was as traumatic as the accident itself. It’s a problem Petro has spent his career trying to address.

In the eleven days after the accident, everyone within 19 miles of the plant was evacuated. People in Sukachi remember bus...
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