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From Chechnya to Chernobyl

From Chechnya to Chernobyl

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled wars and political turmoil in Chechnya, Tajikistan, Georgia and Azerbaijan in order to find peace in the radioactive pastures surrounding Chernobyl, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.

'I prefer living with radiation over living in a war zone,' says one former resident of Chechnya.

The tiny, little-known country of Belarus has suffered more than any other in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Winds scattered the heaviest radioactive deposits across the country, where after a decade 25% of the land is still judged uninhabitable. Thousands of villages and towns were abandoned or evacuated, and their populations resettled to safer areas.

When Russian-speaking filmmaker Slawomir Grunberg heard that local governments were encouraging people to resettle the irradiated villages, he decided to go there with his camera. His film documents the latest twist in the Chernobyl disaster and the evolution of the former Soviet republics.

In the village of Raduga he met the Tsiplaevs, an ethnic Russian family from Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. Like many, they've chosen to risk their health, and the health of their children's children, in exchange for a life without the constant fears of living in a war zone.

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