I left you with a piece of history, not announcing the forthcoming break that I would have to make due to critical lack of time and I didn't plan to resume my maintenance of this blog until December but late events, or rather news that recently have come to me from different directions, have given me a reason to pick up the writings sooner. Because the changes concerning the Zone wait for no one.
The Slide Doors of the Zone
First of all I'd like you to refresh your memory by readin this post about the closing of the Zone.
As I reported at that point, the ban would be due till October this year. October has now passed with quite a large margin so exactly what are we looking at now? To put it shortly, just another mess that constitutes the administration of the Chernobyl Zone, but here are some further details.
The ban was not lifted in October, and over the last two weeks every request to enter the Zone has been officially denied. The tours from local travel agencies and hotels were the first to disappear from the list of who would be granted entrance to the Zone, and this happened even before October, with some exceptions. The conditions back then were that only journalists and scientists would be allowed, but lately the restrictions have come to affect journalists as well.
But how come then that at the same time, within this time span of two weeks, people who are neither journalists or scientists have been allowed into the Zone, when others who already had their documents of permission signed and granted had these permissions withdrawn at the very day of their journey? Journalists and environmental architects were even stopped at the first checkpoint and sent back to Kiev, so again how come that some people are granted access and others not? This has happened for sure and to that question there can only be a limited number of answers of which the first is that it is all about a matter of contacts - If you know the right persons, you will always have access to the Zone no matter what, but from my side this is only speculation and I do not encourage anyone to adopt a conspiratorial way of thinking regarding this matter.
The other explanation is what shows on the surface - nothing less than the headless and unstructured way of the local government to administrate the Chernobyl matters, or as one of my sources put it:
"It changes from day to day, depending on so many idiotic reasons and on who makes the decisions."Furthermore, they decided to fire almost all the long term employed Chernobyl guides; men that have been working in the Zone for years and who are very familiar with all the places withing the 30 kilometer radius. They have been replaced with young guides who may know the English language but nothing about the Zone.
We have now, again, learnt that Chernobyl is a disaster, but not necessarily always only in a nuclear matter.