Belarus has absorbed most of the Chernobyl radiation; "black rain" has played an important role in this.
After the explosion of the nuclear power plant in 1986, the Soviet Air Force flew over the radiation cloud and projected shells, fitted with silver iodide. They created artificial rain, so as to avoid fallout drifting to Moscow, the most important and densely populated part of the Soviet Union. This meant that 70% of the fallout landed in Belarus, at the expense of 22% of the surface area of that country. Especially Gomel and Mogilev, both in the east of Belarus, were heavily hit.
Alexey, whose home has already been pulled down, looks at the sky and recalls: "I was working in the garden. It was quite sunny, but also quite windy. The dust was blown about as if in waves for about an hour. And not long after that it rained, but the raindrops were actually black."
Russia denies the use of artificial rain to control the impact of the Chernobyl disaster. However, several Soviet pilots have come forward to prove that their conduct with regard to creating artificial rain led to them being awarded medals by the Soviet Union.
The stricken areas of Belarus are more closed than stricken areas in Ukraine, such as Pripyat, which is now a small town open to tour groups. On the boundary of the official disaster area there are "no entry" signs. Once you have entered, you will be punished with 10-50 Belarusian penalty units (based on the standards of January 2015, with one unit accounting for 180,000 Belarusian rubles), with a maximum fine of 630 American dollars. The official disaster areas are only open on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, two days meant for memorial purposes.