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Instagram ‘influencers’ criticised for insensitive Chernobyl pics

Social media "influencers" have been criticised for "insensitive" photos taken at Chernobyl.

The nuclear power plant, near the city of Pripyat in Ukraine, has seen a massive increase in tourism since the success of the Sky Atlantic/HBO miniseries, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson.

Some of the adventurers are risk-takers, some are simply curious.

But the site has also attracted some who seek an unusual backdrop for photos of themselves in the quest for likes and followers on social media.

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Babushkas of Chernobyl 👵🏼 A few days ago I had the pleasure to meet these gorgeous old ladies again ☺️ They are so called ‚self settlers‘, people who refused to leave their homes or returned the year following the nuclear disaster. Nowadays there are about 200 of them living in the exclusion zone. The self settlers are wonderful people, always preparing food for me and offering home made vodka 🙈 you can feel the traditional way of life there. But life for them is incredibly hard. There is no water from the tap, the nearest hospital is very far away and the ‚supermarket bus‘ only comes twice a month.. everything we might take for granted is unimaginable for them. But why did they decide to live in a contaminated area? Radiation is invisible. You can’t see, smell or taste it. The women living in the exclusion zone are unaware of the risks, they just can’t imagine an ‚invisible enemy‘. So they stayed or returned to their homes. The ladies I visited are healthy and they wouldn’t want to live elsewhere than their motherland. This is their home and this is where they want to stay for the rest of their lives ❤️🙏🏼 #chernobyl #exclusionzone #selfsettlers #nucleardisaster

A post shared by JULIA BAESSLER (@juliabaessler) on

One, Julia Baessler, posted photos of herself to her 319,000 followers, where she dons a reflective pose while sitting on a rusting swing in the town.

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Inside the control room of the destroyed unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant ☢️ Yesterday I had the chance to visit one of the most fascinating but also most terrible places on earth – control room number 4 ChNPP. The actions taken in this room 33 years ago led to the worlds worst nuclear disaster. Standing there is just indescribable, it’s shocking and something I will never forget 🙏🏼 Diesen Ort zu betreten, die Geschichten und Handlungen, die sich vor 33 Jahren dort abgespielt haben, in Gedanken vor sich zu sehen und zu wissen wie sehr sie ganze Welt beeinflusst haben, ist etwas das man nicht in Worte fassen kann… Ein Ort, der an Faszination aber auch an tiefer Betroffenheit kaum zu übertreffen ist ☢️ in meiner Story nehme ich euch in das Atomkraftwerk mit ☢️ #chernobyl #nuclearpowerplant #reactor4

A post shared by JULIA BAESSLER (@juliabaessler) on

She also poses wearing a helmet and white coat inside the control room of the nuclear plant where the safety test went wrong 33 years ago, sparking the tragedy.

si buscáis las fotos por ubicación Chernobyl en Instagram os podéis encontrar este tipo de cosas pic.twitter.com/uxGF0jiOyp

— lettipop (@lettipop) June 6, 2019

Some have pictured themselves touching the animals in the radioactive area while others pose on the furniture that was left behind when the city was abandoned.

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◾️abandoned city◾️

A post shared by Іра Вівчар (@irene_vivch) on

Some have posed smiling in front of the ferris wheel that was never used and one even posed half naked on the streets of the ghost town.

The world's worst nuclear disaster

The world's worst nuclear disaster

The untold story of Chernobyl

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said that radioactive isotopes at the site "still linger [but] are at tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time".

But it was not just the safety aspect that concerned other social media users – many deemed the photos insensitive.

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Rooftop exploring 🏢 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #Photo #photos #pic #getlost #picture #photographer #pictures #snapshot #urban #travel #instagood #picoftheday #photooftheday #color #all_shots #exposure #composition #focus #capture #moment #photodaily #abandoned #like #follow #explore #kiev #sonyalpha #pripyat #chernobyl #neverstopexploring

A post shared by Martin Nordstjerne (@mnordstjerne) on

One said: "People died there in a very horrific way – have some respect" while another described a photo as "stupid" and a third said they were "disrespectful in the extreme".

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A post shared by @nz.nik on

Responding to a photo of Instagram user nz.nik posing with her bra and knickers visible, a follower said: "This photo is disrespectful to the people who lost their lives. How insensitive can you be?"

Others said the photos were "opportunistic" and "dumb".

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Прип‘ять. Наймолодше місто Радянського Союзу. Місто-мрія. Два роки роботи – і в тебе квартира в новобудові. Не у якійсь там хрущовці, а сучасна, з заскленим балконом! А поряд річка, великий магазин, схожий на західні супермаркети, будинок культури, ресторани, кінотеатр, басейн, а для дітей – велика школа та дитсадок… До того ж зарплати хороші, а ще можна путівку в санаторій отримати, бо ти ж на атомній станції працюєш, а це почесно! Але… Трохи брехні + одна помилка – і ця казка лишилася десь в минулому. Нині там, де раніше ступали люди, – господарює природа. Прип‘ять перетворилася з казки в жах, а Чорнобиль став вироком тоталітарному режиму.

A post shared by Khrystyna Bubniuk (@khrystyna_bubniuk) on

Chernobyl was the scene of the world's worst nuclear disaster in April 1986.

Thirty-one people were officially recorded as killed but estimates range from 4,000 to 93,000.

Without the bravery of those who risked their lives in the aftermath, that death toll could have stretched to millions.

Pripyat, about 70 miles north of Ukraine's capital Kiev, is one of the world's most polluted places and has only been open to tourists since 2011, although it can only be accessed as part of a licensed tour.

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