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“Those who want work can get it, but pay is very low. People live on potatoes and cheese. My salary is 800 hryvnia [$105] per month. When you have kids it goes very quickly.” <br />
— Viktoria Ignatyuk, dosimetrist, Ivankiv sanitation department<br />
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Tania Ignatyuk, age 8, likes to draw and play with her dolls and stuffed animals. Her mom Viktoria is a radiation dosimetrist and father, Vlodya, is an auto mechanic. The family lives more comfortably than many neighbors, largely because they’ve bought their major home purchases on credit. In the past two years, they’ve borrowed for a new refrigerator, a home computer and a car. Inflation has made it hard to keep up with payments. With 10% interest, they are now paying $220 per month for just the car and wonder if they’ll be able to keep it. “If we sold the car now after two years, we’d get less than what we owe the bank,” Viktoria says.<br />
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Every summer, Tania and her sister Anya go on a respite summer program to Spain. Such programs were designed to give children from the Chernobyl region a reprieve from ingesting radiation, to detoxify their bodies. Today, there is debate about whether these programs have significant medical value, but the value as a cultural exchange is clear. Both girls now speak Spanish. <br />
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This photograph is part of Michael Forster Rothbart’s After Chernobyl documentary photography project.<br />
© Michael Forster Rothbart 2007-2011.<br />
www.afterchernobyl.com<br />
www.mfrphoto.com • 607-267-4893 • 607-432-5984<br />
5 Draper 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 69248<br />
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“Those who want work can get it, but pay is very low. People live on potatoes and cheese. My salary is 800 hryvnia [$105] per month. When you have kids it goes very quickly.”
— Viktoria Ignatyuk, dosimetrist, Ivankiv sanitation department

Tania Ignatyuk, age 8, likes to draw and play with her dolls and stuffed animals. Her mom Viktoria is a radiation dosimetrist and father, Vlodya, is an auto mechanic. The family lives more comfortably than many...
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