Life returns to an eerie Chernobyl

Biologist Robert Baker, of Texas Tech University, was among the first to report that Chernobyl had become a wildlife haven. He has taken research teams to the region more than 30 times since the early 1990s.

Written by: Jessica Behnham

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE The three babushkas clink shot glasses and toss back overproof vodka.

They are 75, 80 and 81 years old, a trio of cackling crones who assure me – rheumy eyes crinkling with amusement – that vodka is the best antidote for radiation sickness.

They ought to know: Survivors of the worst nuclear accident in history – 400 times more radioactive fallout than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima – and living all these years since in the shadow of the sinister Chernobyl reactors, illegals in their own condemned homes.

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