Pripyat Police Station – Crime and Punishment in a model Soviet city

Chernobyl Focus | 29.6.2017

Police station – an inevitable part of every town. Even if it is a model one. Pripyat police station, opened just 1,5 year before the accident was one of the best ones in the Soviet Union in terms of personnel, equipment and discipline. No wonder its workers stayed at their places even after the worst nuclear accident in history taking place just 3 km away from them.

The city police station stands at 5, Lesya Ukrainka Street near the western edge of the town. It was a new building, and the workers moved there only in January 1985, about 1,5 year before the Chernobyl accident which stopped life in Pripyat. Even though Pripyat was a model city, it did have some crime – people were basically arrested for drunkenness. As the former worker Mr. Moskalenko mentioned, the most common crime was the one on domestic grounds – when people after taking some alcohol would organize home-fights.

There wasn’t even a court house in Pripyat – it was held in Kiev, capital of the former Soviet Ukrainian Republic. Thus most of the cells at the jail were occupied by prisoners from other cities and towns.

 

 

The police station consists of duty station, administration part with offices for workers, preliminary detention cell, jail for prisoners, training yard and garages.

There were also rooms for interrogations – 2 Investigator’s offices.

In the basement, there used to be shooting range, where the workers would have obligatory training every Thursday.

On the night of the accident, some workers of this police station were security guarding the territory of the Chernobyl power plant, and became unwitting witnesses of the Chernobyl accident. Mr. Moskalenko was one of them.

While he was urgently called to report the situation to high ranked officials in Moscow, 2 of his colleagues stayed there. Having received huge doses of radiation, they both died in Moscow 2 weeks after.

While he was urgently called to report the situation to high ranked officials in Moscow, 2 of his colleagues stayed there. Having received huge doses of radiation, they both died in Moscow 2 weeks after.

The police station workers didn’t leave their posts for a second. They were reporting the situation and helping organizing the evacuation. After this, many of them were hospitalized and spent months in Kiev hospital.

 

But even after this they still resumed their job, having come back to take away all the material, documents, or even stay to work – the whole city which was left behind was too big of a temptation for looters, so they had to protect it.

 Thus, from 1986 until 2002 there was a central monitor of object-protection system that all important objects and first floors of apartment buildings were connected. It was turning on an alarm at the police station if some of the objects was entered (thieves) – a patrol was sent to the object.

 

After 2002, Pripyat police station was totally abandoned.

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