As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus lies in the shadow of Chernobyl, the southern border being only 15 kilometers from the plant. The wind direction on the day of the disaster caused the majority of the fallout to be directed towards the Belarussian cities of Gomel and Mogilev. Of the radiation that was released by Chernobyl, over 70% fell onto the population of Belarus resulting in 800,000 children in Belarus and 380,000 in the Ukraine being at a high risk of contracting cancer or leukaemia.
It will be another 24,000 years before the land is safe to grow food free from contamination. The innocent children of Belarus are the victims of this nuclear catastrophe, which will leave a lasting legacy of radioactive contamination.