Chernobyl hero who ‘saved the world’ runs for his life as his home is blitzed by Russia – World News

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Alexei – or Oleksiy – Ananenko, 62, waded through radioactive water to successfully prevent a second cataclysmic explosion at the stricken Chernobyl nuclear reactor

Alexey Ananenko with his wife Valentina
Alexey Ananenko with his wife Valentina

A hero who saved the world in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion has been pictured today fleeing for his life, as he attempts to escape his blitzed homeland.

Alexei – or Oleksiy – Ananenko, 62, waded through radioactive water to successfully prevent a second cataclysmic explosion at the stricken nuclear reactor.

He was one of three “suicide divers” who volunteered for the perilous mission but he later said he was just “doing [his] job”.

In poor health following a road accident four years ago, he and wife Valentina, 53, were forced leave their home in Kyiv amid the fear of Russian bombing.

The couple have been travelling across Ukraine for two days, in search of a safe haven for the hero.

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A sketch of Alexey Ananenko – in his youth
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Image:

social media/ east2west news)







Alexey Ananenko has fled Kyiv amid the Russian siege
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Image:

East2west News)

“It’s so painful to leave our motherland, to leave the graves of relatives,” said Valentina.

“I’m not sure we will have a place to come back to.

“Right now we are at the border.

“I’m crying. So many of our relatives remain in Ukraine.

“We are heartbroken.

“It is so hard, like never before.”

She expressed the horror the couple felt, watching Vladimir Putin ’s ruthless military action.







Alexey has been touted as the hero who saved the world in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion
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Image:

east2west news)

Ananenko urgently needs surgery in Kyiv which was postponed because of the pandemic – and now cannot happen.

“First Covid disturbed our plans, now this damned Putler [Putin-Hitler] is destroying the kind and peaceful Ukrainian people.”

She said: “I have never been so offended by Russia, but now I realise that I cannot forgive this genocide of the Ukrainian people, this destruction of us as a people.”

Ananenko’s heroism was highlighted in the Sky Atlantic drama classic ‘ Chernobyl ’.

The explosion on 26 April 1986 destroyed Reactor Number 4 at the nuclear plant in Ukraine, then in the Soviet Union.

Five days later Russian scientists discovered the core was still melting and burning through to the basement, where five million gallons of water were stored.

They feared that if 185 tons of molten nuclear lava hit the water below, it would cause a radioactive steam explosion of 3-5 megatons.

Much of Europe would have been uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years.

Ananenko knew where the latches and valves were located to drain water from the coolant system.

With senior engineer Valeri Bespalov and shift supervisor Boris Baranov, he waded through the radioactive toxic soup.

He said later: “I did my job and it’s nothing to brag about.

“I wasn’t scared because I focused on my duties.

“I had worked at Chernobyl for three years.”

He said: “I was worried that we would not find the right fittings but that fear quickly disappeared when the valves were marked. They opened relatively easily.

“We just opened the latches and immediately there was a noise.

“We understood the water was gone and we just had to go back.”

In 2018, he was hit by a car, spent 36 days in a coma and had to learn to walk again.

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