Pripyat or Prypiat ( ; Ukrainian: При́п'ять, romanized: Pryp"jat', IPA: ]; Russian: При́пять, romanized: Prípjat') is a ghost city in northern Ukraine, near the Ukraine–Belarus border. Named after the nearby Pripyat River, the city was founded on February 4, 1970, as the ninth nuclear city (a type of closed city) in the Soviet Union, to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was officially proclaimed a city in 1979 and had grown to a population of 49,360 by the time it was evacuated on the afternoon of April 27, 1986, the day after the Chernobyl disaster.
Although Pripyat is located within the administrative district
of Ivankiv Raion, the abandoned municipality now has the status of
of oblast significance within the larger Kiev Oblast (province)
and is administered directly from Kiev. Pripyat is also supervised
by Ukraine's Ministry of Emergencies, which manages activities for
the entire Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Access to Pripyat, unlike cities of military importance, was not
restricted before the disaster, as the Soviet Union deemed nuclear
power stations safer than other types of power plants. Nuclear
power stations were presented as achievements of Soviet
engineering, harnessing nuclear power for peaceful projects. The
slogan "peaceful atom" (Russian: мирный
атом, romanized: mirnyy atom) was popular during
those times. The original plan had been to build the plant only
25 km (16 mi) from Kiev, but the Ukrainian Academy of
Sciences, among other bodies, expressed concern that would be too
close to the city. As a result, the power station and Pripyat were
built at their current locations, about 100 km (62 mi)
from Kiev. After the disaster, the city of Pripyat was evacuated in
In 1986, the city of Slavutych was constructed to replace
Pripyat. After the city of Chernobyl, this was the second-largest
city for accommodating power plant workers and scientists in the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
One notable landmark often featured in photographs of the city
and visible from aerial-imaging websites is the long-abandoned
Ferris wheel located in the Pripyat amusement park, which had been
scheduled to have its official opening five days after the
disaster, in time for May Day celebrations. The Azure Swimming Pool
and Avanhard Stadium are two other popular tourist sites.
The following statistics are from January 1, 1986.
- Population: 49,400 before the disaster. The average age was
about 26-years-old. Total living space was 658,700 m2
(7,090,000 sq ft): 13,414 apartments in 160 apartment
blocks, 18 halls of residence accommodating up to 7,621 single
males or females, and eight halls of residence for married or de
- Education: 15 kindergartens and elementary schools for 4980
children, and 5 secondary schools for 6786 students.
- Healthcare: One hospital that could accommodate up to 410
patients, and three clinics.
- Trade: 25 stores and malls; 27 cafes, cafeterias, and
restaurants that collectively could serve up to 5,535 customers
simultaneously. 10 warehouses that could hold 4,430 tons of
- Culture: Three facilities: a culture palace, the Palace of
Culture Energetik; a cinema; and a school of arts, with eight
- Sports: 10 gyms, 10 shooting galleries, three indoor
swimming-pools, two stadiums.
- Recreation: One park, 35 playgrounds, 18,136 trees, 33,000 rose
plants, 249,247 shrubs.
- Industry: Four factories with total annual turnover of
477,000,000 rubles. one nuclear power plant with four
- Transportation: Yanov railway station, 167 urban buses, plus
the nuclear power plant car park with 400 spaces.
- Telecommunication: 2,926 local phones managed by the Pripyat
Phone Company, plus 1,950 phones owned by Chernobyl power station's
administration, Jupiter plant, and Department of Architecture and
A natural concern is whether it is safe to visit Pripyat and the
surroundings. The Zone of Alienation is considered relatively safe
to visit, and several Ukrainian companies offer guided tours around
the area. In most places within the city, the level of radiation
does not exceed an equivalent dose of 1 μSv (one microsievert) per
The climate of Pripyat is designated as Dfb (Warm-summer humid
continental climate) on the Köppen Climate Classification
|Climate data for Pripyat, Ukraine (metric
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|Climate data for Pripyat, Ukraine (American
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(Alphabetical by title)
- The plot of the film A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) is
partly set in Pripyat.
- The horror movie Chernobyl Diaries (2012) was inspired
by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and takes place in Pripyat.
- The majority of the movie Land of Oblivion (2011) was
shot on location in Pripyat.
- Pripyat is featured in the History Channel documentary Life
- The drone manufacturer DJI produced Lost City of
Chernobyl (May 2015), a documentary film about the work of
photographer and cinematographer Philip Grossman and his five-year
project in Pripyat and the Zone of Exclusion.
- Filmmaker Danny Cooke used a drone to capture shots of the
abandoned amusement park, some residential shots of decaying walls,
children's toys, and gas masks, and collected them in a 3-minute
short film Postcards From Chernobyl (released in November
2014), while making footage for the CBS News 60 Minutes
episode "Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That Never Ended" (early
- With the help of drones, the film The Girl with All the
Gifts (2016) shot in Pripyat its aerial views of a deserted
- The film Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) shows a
brief mission to Pripyat wherein the Autobots are first attacked by
Shockwave while searching for a piece of alien technology which, in
universe, is explained as being the catalyst to the Chernobyl
- The documentary White Horse (2008) was filmed in
(Alphabetical by game title)
- A portion of the first-person shooter video game Call of
Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) takes place in Pripyat. It also
appears in the game's "Fifty-thousand people used to live here. Now
it's a ghost town" title sequence.
- The segment is also referenced in the game's sequel, Call of
Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011).
- In the videogame Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the
map named Cache sees the action in the Pripyat area, with the
Terrorist team trying to blow up a warehouse which could presumably
contain nuclear waste, while the Counter-Terrorist team tries to
- The Azure Swimming Pool in Pripyat is featured in the video
game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (2017).
- The city of Pripyat is the primary location used in Atypical
Games' Radiation City
- The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video game series, consisting of
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
Clear Sky, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat, takes
place entirely in and around Pripyat
- One special forces mission of the multi-player shooter
Warface features a mission in the Pripyat area, including
locations like the Azure Swimming Pool and Pripyat Amusement
(Alphabetical by artist)
- In DC Comics' Batwoman (2011) comic book series, the
final mission of Kate Kane's training to become the titular
superhero consists of a hostage rescue in the city.
- Markiyan Kamysh's novel, A Stroll to the Zone, about
illegal disaster tourism trips to Chernobyl, was praised by
reviewers as the most interesting literature debut in Ukraine. The
novel has been translated into French (titled La Zone),
published by the French publishing house Arthaud (Groupe
Flammarion), and was warmly welcomed by critics and praised in
- Much of the James Rollins' novel The Last Oracle takes
place in Pripyat and around Chernobyl. The story revolves around a
team of American "Killer Scientist" special agents who must stop a
terrorist plot to unleash on the world the radiation of Lake
Karachay, during the installation of the new sarcophagus over the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
- The exclusion zone is the setting for Karl Schroeder's science
fiction short story "The Dragon of Pripyat".
- A novel by R.D. Shah, The 4th Secret, includes a chapter (30)
that takes place in Pripyat where a fictional group of Skoptsy
heretics were holding two important people they had kidnapped.
- Martin Cruz Smith's novel Wolves Eat Dogs uses Pripyat
as the setting for an investigation by Arkady Renko.
(Alphabetical by artist)
- The Ukrainian singer Alyosha recorded most of the video for her
Eurovision 2010 entry, "Sweet People", in Pripyat.
- Ash (band), the rock band from Northern Ireland, has a song
titled Prypiat included in their album A–Z Vol.1.
- The song "Dead City" (Ukrainian: Мертве Місто) by the Ukrainian
Symphonic Metal band DELIA is about Pripyat, and scenes from the
music video were shot in the city. DELIA's vocalist, Anastasia
Sverkunova, was born in Pripyat just before the Chernobyl
- In 2006, musician Example featured Pripyat in his 18-minute
documentary of the ghost town and in his promotional video for his
track, "What We Made".
- The German pianist and composer Hauschka features Pripyat on
the second track of his album Abandoned Cities.
- The Scottish post-rock band Mogwai included a song called
"Pripyat" on their album Atomic (2016), which is a
soundtrack to Mark Cousins' documentary Atomic, Living in Dread
- In 2014, for the 20th anniversary of the original release of
The Division Bell, a music video for the song "Marooned" was
produced and released on the official Pink Floyd website. Aubrey
Powell of Hipgnosis directed the video, some parts of which were
filmed in Pripyat during the first week of April 2014.
- Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery's first solo album is called
The Ghosts of Pripyat (2014).
- The Australian Rapper Seth Sentry included the two-part song
"Pripyat" in his album Strange New Past (2015).
- The English rock band Suede used the city to shoot their music
video clip Life Is Golden, including takes of the Azure
Swimming Pool, Pripyat amusement park, and Polissya hotel.
- The Swedish Industrial Metal band ZAVOD has a song titled
Pripyat on their debut album "Industrial City", released in 2012.
The song covers the aftermath for the people of Pripyat who were
affected by the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in
(Alphabetical by series)
- The 60 Minutes episode "Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That
Never Ended" (early 2014) aired on CBS.
- HBO's drama miniseries Chernobyl (2019) is based on the
Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. The scenes set in 1986 Pripyat were
filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania.
- The American paranormal investigation series Destination
Truth conducted an overnight investigation within Pripyat.
- The Ed Edd n Eddy episode, "Once upon an Ed", shows a
cameo of Pripyat in a jawbreaker storage vault.
Manhunt: Unabomber S1:E3 mentions this town as the
homeland of Slavic People.
- Discovery Science Channel's Mysteries of the Abandoned
episode "Chernobyl's Deadly Secrets", produced and hosted by Philip
Grossman, was filmed over a four-day period in Pripyat and the
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, in 2017.
- In the Spider Man season five episode "Six Forgotten
Warriors Part 2: Unclaimed Legacy", Spider-Man, Silver Sable, the
Wild Pack, Kingpin and the Insidious Six later find themselves at
the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Top Gear series 21 episode 3 features two of the
presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, driving through the
The city was served by Yaniv station on the Chernihiv–Ovruch
railway. It was an important passenger hub of the line and was
located between the southern suburb of Pripyat and the village of
Yaniv. An electric train terminus Semikhody, built in 1988 and
located in front of the nuclear plant, is currently the only
operating station near Pripyat connecting it to Slavutych.
- Markiyan Kamysh (born 1988), writer, illegal Chernobyl tourist
- Alexander Sirota (born 1976), photographer, journalist,
- Lyubov Sirota (born 1956), poet, writer, playwright, journalist
- FC Stroitel Pripyat
- Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone
- Cultural impact of the Chernobyl disaster