The Story of a Photographer and Chernobyl Engineer, part II - Alexandr Vladimirovich and Alla Pugachyova.

Alla Pugachyova and Vladimir Kuzmin performing in Zeleniy Mys, 1986.

By the age of 30, Aleksandr Vladimirovich had already participated in photo exhibitions as well as received prizes for his aestethic work, and when going to work at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, he brought his camera. Here's another fragment of the story of the air purification engineer, whose true passion is depicturing the world around him. 

The Russian mega star Alla Pugachyova was the first artist to perform in Ukraine after the Chernobyl disaster, and Vladimirovich recalls the day of her concert:

"We arrived in our UAP [abbrevation for Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant; УАЗ, Ульяновский автомобильный завод - this is a vehicle] and parked at the fith row. The concert was sold out. The arriving people filled up all space available, and the roofs of their cars - and the roof of our car was all crowded as well. Alla was with Kuzmin [Vladimir Kuzmin, Russian musician], and it was all wonderful. As a curious note, she sang her song "Ask a lady for a dance" [Пригласите даму танцевать] and asked everyone to dance. But nobody danced. Shame on them! Then she pulled up a brave young man, and they danced, but I cannot find any of those photos."

Thousands of Chernobyl victims were listening to Alla Pugachyova that night, on September 8th, 1986, in the small town called Zeleniy Mys [Зеленый Мыс], in the Crimea region. She performed for three hours without seeming to get tired, and there was  a three time encore of her song "Harlequin".
However, this wasn't Pugachyova's first concert in Ukraine that year. In the very summer of 1986, she held a concert n Chernobyl for the liquidators there. But of the food and flowers the star usually received, there was none to give, de to the Chernobyl fallout and contamination. Only alcohol was available; vodka, whiskey and red wine. Witnesses say, that backstage, Pugachyova drank red wine straight from the bottle, to clean her body from Strontium. Most of her audience from that day, are no longer with us.

"Medication for radiation" by A.V Strannik.

Remembering Alla Pugachyova's concert, Vladimirovich also recalls when the first unit left the  Chernobyl central storage in April 1986. "The boys were told 'Who wants to go to the south for a few weeks?' And that's all the got to know - they thought they were going to Crimea. They brought their best clothes; suits, shirts and ties - for going out dancing! Later, I discovered these clothes in the back of the garage. They didn't get them back. My opinion is that this was due to the lack of knowledge of radiation and the general fear of contamination. The next team to make the same journey, left wearing their most poor clothes."

Bottles like the one on the photo on the right, along with a thermos, were sent out to the Chernobyl veterans on the 25th anniversary of the disaster. That, and a framed diploma.

[Note: The unquoted short text about  Pugachyova's Pugachyova's performance is based on my own research and not quoting Aleksandr Vladimirovich. Below: Alla Pugachyova performing in Zeleniy Mys1986]

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