Remembrance Day

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

Around the world

00:00 - 23:59

On April 26th, the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed in countries around the world.

This day commemorates the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, which took place in Pryp’yat, Ukraine in 1986.

On April 26, 1986, Soviet scientists carried out a routine safety test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. This test led to an accidental nuclear chain reaction and caused a series of chemical explosions. This resulted in the release of large amounts of radioactive material that spread across the Soviet Union and Europe. While the Soviet Union attempted to conceal the accident, Swedish scientists detected large amounts of radiation in the atmosphere and informed the international community that a nuclear explosion had occurred in the USSR.

The Chernobyl disaster led to the immediate death of 31 people and to the exposure of nearly 8.4 million people, making it the worst nuclear disaster in history. An estimated 404,000 people were subject to displacement and resettlement within the Soviet Union.

The International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day has been commemorated since 2016, following the passage of UN Resolution 71/125.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant following the nuclear disaster in 1986. Photo: AP