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Sukachi is a quiet village of 1,200. It has a school, 4 little shops to buy provisions, two liquor stores and two churches. There are two roads through Sukachi. One leads 12 miles north to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The other dead-ends at the Kyiv Sea. Half the people of Sukachi are Chernobyl evacuees, relocated here from the abandoned village Ladizhichi. <br />
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After midnight, Nina Dubrovskaya and Lena Priyenko walk two miles home to Sukachi from the nearest town, Ivankiv. The women, both divorcees, went out in search of company but found all four bars empty. “When the money gets short, people just get drunk at home,” says Nina.<br />
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What is it like to live near Chernobyl? It depends who you ask. “Is it even safe?” they ask in Kyiv. “Why would you want to live up there, in the middle of nowhere?!” <br />
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When people in Sukachi ask where I live, I tell them I rent a room from Nina. “Oh, how convenient,” they say. “That’s right in the middle of the village!”<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:  1/2009    File#:  Canon 5D digital camera frame 53114<br />
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Sukachi is a quiet village of 1,200. It has a school, 4 little shops to buy provisions, two liquor stores and two churches. There are two roads through Sukachi. One leads 12 miles north to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The other dead-ends at the Kyiv Sea. Half the people of Sukachi are Chernobyl evacuees, relocated here from the abandoned village Ladizhichi.

After midnight, Nina Dubrovskaya and Lena Priyenko walk two miles home to Sukachi from the nearest town, Ivankiv. The...
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