Sabrina’s Chernobyl tour continues as she steps back in time to the day reactor number 4 exploded

Soviet radar system

Sabrina is pictured with Duga, aka the Russian Woodpecker. The Soviet radar system, used as part of the antiballistic missile early-warning network.

Editor’s Note: Sabrina Swenson, a 1986 graduate of Postville High School, is the daughter of Erma Swenson and the late Marlin Swenson. A world traveler, Sabrina is sharing her experiences in Chernobyl, located north of the city of Kiev, Ukraine. Printed below is the second of a three-part series.

We headed into a gymnasium at one point and saw a large, empty pool and basketball court. We headed into a kindergarten which was complete with small beds for afternoon naps. Some dolls, their clothes now in rags, had been left on the beds. A hospital we went to had rooms, each identifiable by the items that were left behind. In one room, a gynecologist chair with stirrups sat. In another room, a row of empty, now rusting nursery baby bassinets remained. Building after building there were abandoned chairs, desks and papers often strewn about the rooms. One room in a school had the floor littered with gas masks, apparently left over from the threat of American missiles during the Cold War. Although most buildings had plenty of light, as it was a sunny day, some, like the local jail were totally dark. I walked in and immediately felt the temperature drop. It was completely black inside. I grabbed my flashlight and got a first hand look at former Soviet jail cells. They were quite miserable. Small, dark and dank, there was heavy moisture in the air. They had one small window and not much else. The cells lined both sides of the hallway and I was happy to exit that particular building.

More photos and the complete article can be found in the Ocotber 19 edition of the Postville Herald.