Over the entire years since the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, the levels of radiation in the area of the only church of the exclusion zone, the St. Elijah Church, was well below the other levels across the zone. “Even during the most difficult days of 1986, the area around the St. Elijah Church was clean from radiation, not to mention that the church itself was also clean” said the president of the Ukrainian Chernobyl Union Yury Andreyev in a Kiev-Moscow video conference. Andreyev said too that many liquidators of the disaster are former atheists. “We came to believe later, after observing such developments which could be explained only by God’s will” they says. After the explosion in the fourth unit of the Chernobyl Power Plant, the cloud containing uranium started moving in the direction of Pripyat. There was a pine-tree on its way (it is featured on a well-known icon Chernobyl’s Savior.) “The cloud stopped short of this pine, divided into two parts by some unknown cause, and continued moving to the left and right sides of the city, instead of covering its residential areas. The radiation level in contamination areas was four or five roentgen per hour, and the city showed only half a milliroentgen” Andreyev said.
Now the territory adjacent to the church has the background level of 6 microroentgen per hour compared with 18 in Kiev.