The first marauders in the Chernobyl zone

The story of Alexander Naumenko, a policeman who served in the Chernobyl exclusion zone from the first year of the accident.


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Checkpoint for Pripyat 1988

The first marauders in the Chernobyl zone

Since the formation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant zone, hunting there has been strictly prohibited, but more and more amateurs of the “safari” have appeared. They penetrated the zone through the passes, or penetrating the symbolic perimeter of the barbed fence. In addition to poachers, looters worked in the zone, which were not disdained by domestic utensils and conservation. About 19 kilometers of the perimeter of the zone from Belarus had no fencing. There were no police posts and guards in this corridor. The background values ​​there were so high that it made no sense even to send out orders there: people could get the maximum radiation doses in a short period of time.

Do not be afraid of this only looters. In the distant villages, slate from roofs, carpentry (window frames, doorways), building materials and many other things kept disappearing all the time. Therefore, the testing of villages by police detachments was carried out regularly. Each time the militiamen, armed with hammers and a stock of nails, hammered windows and doors in the abandoned houses, and after hanging out in the village in a month or two all this work was done anew.

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Abandoned school in the Chernobyl zone

Auto Marauders and police in the Chernobyl zone

In order to annoy the automakers with their fighters, we “mined” the drifted country roads, through which they penetrated into the interior of the zone. They dug up the harrows, which were abundant in the manors. As a result of the “mining” within a month, four groups could be detained, receive gratitude and recovery from the battalion commander.
The commander decided to check how we carry out the testing of the villages and organized an unspoken check. I told him that I “mined” the back roads, but I could not assume that one of them would be driven by his UAZ. As a result: three broken wheels, a scandal and a reprimand. In the place where he got on the “mine” the radio station was silent, so that the help was waiting from nowhere. I had to go more than five kilometers to find the place where the connection was. All the activities scheduled by the commander had to be canceled. And place the “mining” on the map and put the conventional signs for our outfits.

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Милиция в Чернобыльской зоне

The work of the police was aimed at preserving the Chernobyl zone. War with marauders

The day for the completion of the village was over. We stood near the building of a rural school. A stone two-story building was built several years before the accident. Traces of unauthorized penetration were everywhere. Scoring all the windows and doors in a huge building was useless. Decided to inspect all the premises of the school, block those in which they could, there are values, or rather all that looters could pozar.
Inside the building everything is covered with a thick layer of dust. Gas masks, books, portraits, and visual aids lay everywhere.
In the footsteps, it was possible to determine where they were going, those who were ahead of us. My attention was attracted by the noise on the second floor of the building. The source of the noise was the office, on which there was a sign. Has come. My militiamen stood in the middle of the office, each with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. To my question, where did they respond to the ZARNITSA?
I took one of the machines. First impression, I’m holding a gun. Then he began to understand that this, an excellent copy, to everything else, the vending machine shop was real. Ordered to hammer in the room windows and doors. However, my boys did not let go of the models. “Commander, let’s take a couple, they look like real,” the guys suggested. He asked the policeman with a radiation detection device (DP-5-A) to check the room and everything in it. He chose the four most clean machines.
Then they brought boards, plywood and thoroughly pounded the cabinet, realizing that they would hack him again soon.


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The abandoned house of the Chernobyl zone

Dangerous situations in the Chernobyl zone are the result of mass marauding

It was time to return to the company’s location, write a report, clean Foma and wash off the radioactive mud.
Leaving the village, we were stopped by my grandfather Micah, who never left, not for a day from his native hut. During the evacuation and courtyard detours hiding in the cellar, or rather in a cache. In a hiding place, in which partisans hid many years ago, he kept, in any case, all emergency supplies. Despite his advanced age, and he was far beyond 80, he led a subsistence economy and urged everyone that all talk about radiation is a lie.
So he told us that several UAZ cars with Kiev numbers had passed by the village, showed directions and warned that people in cars were armed with hunting rifles.
The car radio station worked only for reception. On our message, the duty officer in the Chernobyl police department replied that he could not hear us. So, that worked without insurance, count alone.
Driving along the forest road, two cars and people at the camp were spotted on the edge of the forest. Grandfather was not mistaken – everyone was with hunting rifles. I had to turn in their direction. I understood that I could run into trouble, if not more. I only had weapons.

“Captain, stop, where you are standing!” – marauders in Chernobyl

Leaving the car greeted me, introduced himself and went to the sitting. I did not have time to make a step, as I heard a shout: “Captain, stop, where you stand!”
The team was given an athletic constitution by a man in a good army leather jacket. In his hands was a five-shot gun, such I saw, only in the movies. He warned me that in order to avoid trouble, I’d better get back to my barracks, otherwise it’s possible to lose not only work, but also shoulder straps. For 12 years of service of such warnings he listened to a lot. I did not react to them either because I was daring, but because I did not like being humiliated, especially when I was in my staff. At me from it or this began, we shall tell or say so – an attack of service zeal.

Police successfully detained marauders

He stepped aside, accepted the game of the sergeant-major, ordered the hunters to put their weapons in front of them, and then took five steps back, otherwise I would give the command to open fire for defeat. They believed. Weapons and ammunition were loaded into their car, collected passports and certificates from all. One policeman was put in cars and a column headed for Chernobyl. In the police department, detainees were handed over, weapons and reports. The duty officer began to deal with them.
Hunting in the zone was categorically forbidden, in addition, the hunting season had not yet begun, so they attracted detainees to justice not only for violation of the access regime, but also for poaching. In the forest, we then found the dead roe deer.

Everything was good. The marauders of Chernobyl were punished

When high-ranking poachers learned that they had been detained by a police detachment who played ZARNITSU with wooden automatic weapons, one of them had a heart attack. I had to call an ambulance from Ivankov. As it turned out, his trump rifle cost more than 10 thousand dollars and was subject to confiscation, and our wooden vending machines did not have a price.
I do not know what happened to the detainees. I think that they got off with minimal punishment, but I did not have any troubles in the service. True, the commander, having listened to my report on the incident, came to the conclusion that I was an adventurer and, in addition, risked not only my life, but the life of my subordinates. So, that for this “feat” neither I, nor my subordinates of awards and gratitudes have received – it is good that there was no recovery.


Photos of Pripyat after the accident, see our website:

Exciting photos of Pripyat after the accident 1986-1990