Children of Chernobyl

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The explosion at Chernobyl released a hundred times the radioactive fallout of a nuclear bomb. Even today, no one knows how many people have been affected. One of the few things scientists agree is that children were and continue to be its primary victims. But while thousands of children have become ill, older residents are defiantly returning to their homes in the exclusion zone. They eat home grown vegetables planted in radioactive soil and wander around a ghost town that died twenty years ago. Still no one knows exactly how many people have been affected by the disaster at Chernobyl. Even those born decades later have radiation symptoms. There are thousands of cases of cancer. Every year children are sent to Cuba for treatment. Vladimir was one of at least 18,000 children affected; “he could not sit up, lay down or eat on his own”, his mother said. Of the 350,000 people displaced, only 400 have returned to the ghost town.

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