Chornobyl Museum

Lonely Planet review

It's hard to convey the full horror of the world's worst nuclear accident, but the Chornobyl Museum makes a valiant attempt. It is not so much a museum as a shrine to all the firemen, soldiers, engineers, peasants and whole villages that perished in the aftermath of the explosion of Chornobyl power plant reactor No 4, on 26 April 1986. The location in a former fire-squad garage evokes strong associations with 9/11. Chornobyl is indeed Ukraine's Ground Zero.

The exhibits are predominantly in Russian and Ukrainian, but there is plenty here of interest for English speakers, including several videos, distressing photos of the sorts of deformities – in animals and humans – the accident caused, and a few jarred specimens of mutant animals such as an eight-legged baby pig. Front pages of the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer from the days immediately following the accident are on display, and the largest hall contains poignant anti-nuclear posters sent in by artists from around the world on the 20th anniversary of the accident.

The signs above the stairs as you enter represent the 'ghost' cities evacuated from the Chornobyl area in the wake of the disaster. If you wish to see for yourself, it's possible to take a tour to the Chornobyl exclusion zone.

English-language audio guides are available, but they are in short supply.