Donald Weber Photographer

Chernobyl Riviera

When people think of Chernobyl, they conjure memories of the catastrophe that struck Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, wreaking havoc with the environment and killing thousands of people. Today, the sky is blue and the land lush with green. There is an odd little corner of this wasteland, a place reserved for the idle rich and adventurous. For years, hunters and fishermen have been plying the shores of Kiev Reservoir, just a few kilometers downwind from the ruined reactor. The locals call it the “Chernobyl Riviera,” a small settlement in the town of Strakholissya; Kievans call it an outdoorsman’s paradise.