Last Days of Pripyat by Oleksandr Syrota

A special opportunity to walk by the streets of а dead city of Pripyat with its legendary former inhabitant.


A story by a witness of Chernobyl events brings more than few thousands pictures.
It opens a drastically different level of understanding of what exactly happened on April 26, 1986 — not only through a language of historical facts, but close and personal experience.

This is what normally hidden from regular visitors, simply because you had to be there back in 1986 to know it. So now, we give you a chance to open a very special page of Chernobyl history.

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About Oleksandr Syrota

Back in 1986 Oleksandr lived in Pripyat with his mother, Lyubov Syrota, who was the head of the cultural department of the Palace of Culture «Energetik». He was a 10-year-old boy when an accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant happened. Like other residents of Pripyat, on April 27, 1986, the next day after the explosion, they boarded the bus and went in evacuation.

In April 1986 I was not yet 10 years old. For me, then a care-free little boy, and for my age group the cozy little streets of our town, all its yards and back alleys, and also the nearby wood and the Pripyat River, were the scenes of our childish play and "war games".

That fatal Saturday, 26 April, was no exception. I remember how my friends and I, after school, ran down to the stream and played on its banks almost until nightfall, building fortresses and dugouts. ... ...the evacuation itself then also seemed like an exciting game, only now with real camouflaged military helicopters flying low over the roofs, with real armored troop-carriers, with militiamen in flak jackets and gas masks standing along the road, with an endless line of buses taking us and all the town's population "for three days" to an unknown destination.

We did not know and did not understand then that we were leaving our town forever...

First time after the evacuation Alexander came to Pripyat in winter 1992. That moment an irrational hope has crushed — he realized they do not have where to return any more. Probably, that very visit defined all his future life, making it connected with the city and Chernobyl Zone. He found his way to return. He became a legend of the Zone — and a person who protects the dead city.

I still feel, that it is exactly my home, and these feelings do not disappear. Probably, it is one of the reasons why I cannot turn my powers into something else. I so or so return to this place. Whatever I do, in the end, I appear here.

He works with media, moviemakers, television, creates various projects about the Zone, works with visitors and delegations. But besides this, he better than anybody tells a terrific story of the real Pripyat, making it — once more — alive.

Oleksandr Syrota

Program description

You can extend any of our private tours to Chernobyl with a sub-tour "The Last Day of Pripyat" by Oleksandr Syrota. This program is a special opportunity to learn from the first hand about daily life in Pripyat, events of 26-27 April 1986 and following life. It is not a classical guided narration; more opposite — it is a walk together with an inhabitant, discussing and talking, with wide use of our own archive materials and videos. As Alexander does not speak English, this program being conducted with translation (works like a charm, though).

Duration: 2-3 hours.

How to book

  • Booking is possible as an extension of any of our tour itineraries.
  • The best it works as a part of multi-day tour (so you can get a general feeling of Pripyat before), although we successfully tested it also in one-day programs.

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