Chernobyl: Tour guide reveals only thing exclusion zone doesn’t have as city 'rebuilds'

The catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred on April 26, 1986, in the No. 4 nuclear reactor close-by to the city of Pripyat, in northern Ukraine. More than 235,000 people were consequently evacuated from affected areas, told to pack for a three-day trip. However, while the majority of residents have not returned, a select few now live and work in the city of Chernobyl.

Misha Teslenko is one of the official tour guides working on behalf of the government. 

He is located inside the exclusion zone for 15 days, then takes the next 15 off, to avoid receiving fatal levels of radiation.

Mr Teslenko revealed during Amazon Prime’s “Chernobyl Cafe” series the surprising benefits of his job.

He said in 2016: “I come almost every day to eat here with visitors.

“In 1994 my whole family was evacuated from our maternal village. 

“Here I work [alongside] my studies and because of the harmful working conditions, my working years count double and I get bonuses.

“At first it seemed strange to me, I imagined that there was nobody, I did not expect to find so many people [here].”

However, while Mr Teslenko claimed Chernobyl has everything you can expect of a major city, he did reveal one thing that was missing.

He added: “I thought the area was a large forest surrounded by barbed wire and full of soldiers. 

“But I soon found that it was not like that at all, there is work and everything we need – gym, shop, a police station too.

“There is also a section that continuously checks the radiation level. 

“Everything seems normal, but what really differs is the lack of schools, there are no children here.”

Despite his claim, communities are starting to revive in the area. 

The 2016 documentary detailed: “In 1986, Chernobyl city had about 13,000 inhabitants and officially today there are none.

“Despite this, the grass is mowed and houses are maintained and you quickly forget where you are, but the devil is in the details.

“All is calm, almost frozen, yet there are signs of life, attempts to make daily life colourful and joyful.

“In fact, about 600 people live and sleep here in Chernobyl, most of them working on the building of the new sarcophagus that will soon cover the plant.”

The series went on to reveal the shocking price of a home, as communities are slowly starting to be rebuilt.

It added: “Radioactivity in the city is near to normal.

“Homes were abandoned immediately after the disaster, people left everything. 

“Some have returned and have put their homes back in order, they furnished them and they live there.

“In these neighbourhoods, life is modest and for a few hundred Euros, you can buy a small house with a garden and enjoy the tranquillity of a true country house.

“A small community exists and social life is slowly growing.”