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President Lukashenko about Chernobyl affected areas

Belarus is successful in different sectors.

However, there is another thing that makes Belarus be the first one in the world. It will be only in the 25th century when the level of radiation in the affected Chernobyl area will come down to normal. What else can happen in the nearest centuries? However, people need to live today, to get over the problems for today and for generations which are yet to come.

President Lukashenko thinks that it is the duty of his life to bring the affected areas back to life. This Friday the President visited the Polesie State Radioecological Reserve.

Natalia Senko can now only visit her place of birth with having a special pass. There used to be more than 700 people where she used to live, now it is completely different.

Natalia Senko:
This is where our house used to be. Now it is a field. This was a very lively road.

The school year was finished by Natalia in a different school. Children were evacuated in the first days when the tragedy happened.

Natalia Senko:
I think that life on this territory today should exist. These territories cannot be forgotten, the lands here a very fertile.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
The most important thing is that people live a normal life here. The governor of the region said that the birth rate here is, unfortunately, higher than in the other regions of Belarus. People give birth more here than in other parts of the country more for some reason. It is the greatest achievement, it is like music to my ears. It is the most important thing. Because when I came to the area on the second year of me being the President, people were frightened. Many made politics on this, now they are abroad (they lived on foreign grants). They left but people remained. People live here just as other people do in Belarus. However, we do not advise people to go and live in the forbidden zones, only tourists go there, so that they wouldn’t live there, on the rest of the territory there are substantial changes. Especially in district centres, in highly-populated areas. These are fantastic places.

The Polesie State Radioecological Reserve’s area today is more than 2,000 square kilometres. Alexander Lukashenko: Give me the report on the Chernobyl programme immediately when I return, how much money has been invested into the programme. It seemed that people will never return to this place. However, within the time the situation changed, economically and socially.

Alexander Lukashenko:
You need to make your minds up how many bee yards you’ll have here, how many finishing and hunting acreages, where people will be resting, catching fish, tourists will come. I will come fishing here next time.

Sergei Krasovsky is from Khoiniki. After his military service in the army he returned back to the place where he was born. He says that a lot has been done to bring these lands back to life. They even managed to produce pure honey.

Sergei Krasovski, beekeeper:
As many as 2.5 tonnes were produced last year.

People had to begin from scratch to restore the territories. People were frightened and left their homes.

Alexander Lukashenko:
There was a lot of criticism addressed to me when we began to cultivate land there. I was forced to settle near the Pripyat then, I built a wooden house there. I even live there today. I always began my new life in the new year in the Gomel region. The sowing campaign always began here, I used to visit this place a lot. Agricultural settlements were built in the Polesie. The Polesie program was accepted. I was forced to live here.

Yelena Boldyreva has been working in the reserve for 13 years now. She says that the zone is nothing what it used to be before. Horses are bred there. More than 300 heads. The horse farm was established as far back as in 1996 in the reserve and it gradually became a breeding farm.

Yelena Boldyreva, leading zootechnician of the “Vorotets” horse farm:
We decided to breed Russian draft horses here. The demand on horses is high.

In May 2017 50 horses were sold.

Scientists say that the affected territory should be a scientific platform of an international level. Scientific researches have been carried out here during decades.

Ornithologist Valery Yurko came to the reserve 12 years ago and is not going to leave it. His interest is certain. It is a unique possibility to see nature like this with your own eyes. V

alery Yurko, senior research associate of the Polesie State Radioecological Reserve:
A few years ago, English people came and said that they had an idea to settle out a few villages and see how will nature behave. Sadly, Belarus has such a possibility due to the Chernobyl tragedy.

When finishing his working visit to the area, Alexander Lukashenko said, that he spent his time as if he were on a holiday.

Alexander Lukashenko:
As for the rest, it is change of scene and profession. I came to them, it is my duty, I must make some decisions, when I leave I will be reported several issues, but the scene around me and the rhythm and style of my work has changed. This is my holiday. If you play ice hockey today, and tomorrow you are chopping logs and then you are cutting the grass-this is my holiday. I hate being on the shore and the beach.

The affected zone didn’t disappear from the map of Belarus. This place remains homeland for those who were forced to leave it. Faith unites these people today.

President Lukashenko about Chernobyl affected areas