Pripyat was always a secret city, 3km from Chernobyl. It was built to house the workers at the nuclear power stations. Its existence was not publicised though it had a population of 50,000. It was a beautiful city, as is evident from the abandoned remains after twenty years. I have obtained the following illustration as a snapshot of Pripyat pre-evacation 1986. Thirty six hours after the explosion 1,200 buses removed the entire population. The people could take nothing but themselves. An entire life was left behind, everything was left behind, that is everything except the everlasting effect of radiation…

Today no one lives there and the embedded radiation is such that people are strictly restricted to visits of no more than two weeks.

Before the 'accident' life was good, vibrant, prosperous and happy:

According to official reports on April 27th the level of radiation in Pripyat was 1 Roentgen, which is 100,000 times greater than normal. Unofficial sources said that the level of radiation on the day of evacuation was 7 Roentgens, which makes a difference, because in the first case the population would die within two or three months, while in the second case, people would start to die in several days.

And now after twenty years, take a look at some stills:

…could thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the heart's desire!