Chernobyl Roulette

Chernobyl Roulette A War Story

Hardback (03 Sep 2024)

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Publisher's Synopsis

What if Chernobyl was just the beginning?


The acclaimed winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize returns to Chernobyl to tell the gripping story of thirty-five days of war

On 24 February 2022, the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, armoured vehicles approached the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine. It was the most direct way for them to reach the capital - and an extraordinarily reckless plan after the disaster that had taken place there three decades earlier. Russian occupation of the plant had begun. It would last thirty-five days.

Closely reported and narrated from multiple perspectives, this is the story of the Ukrainians who were held hostage and worked shifts for weeks instead of days to spare the world a new nuclear accident. We meet Valentyn Heiko, the foreman who had also been there for the clean-up of the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and turned sixty during the occupation; plant workers who found a way to celebrate International Women's Day despite all odds; Russian officers who had no knowledge of nuclear reactors; and four stalkers who were caught in the middle and stood in for the overworked cook.

Gripping and unforgettable, Chernobyl Roulette sounds the alarm about the dangers of nuclear sites in an unprecedented time, when plant workers are left to fight on their own while the world holds its breath. In a book that reads like a thriller, Serhii Plokhy tells a remarkable story about human nature, uncertainty and courage.

Book information

ISBN: 9780241681251
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Allen Lane
Pub date:
DEWEY: 947.7086
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 500g
Height: 240mm
Width: 156mm
Spine width: 28mm