Chernobyl's Last Breath | Photographer: Diana Markosian | PHOTOGRAPHERS |

On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in what is now the Ukraine exploded. 

For years, the Soviet authorities withheld information on Chernobyl, both from its own people and from the rest of the world. 

While many cities, towns and villages were immediately evacuated in the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear accident, residents of Redkovka, a village just 35 km from the reactor, refused to leave.

Lida and Mikhail Masanovitz, both in their 70s, live in the desolate village. The couple were both born in Redkovka, and never considered moving out, not even after they learned about Chernobyl.

The village today lies almost empty and decrepit. It is classified a zone two, making it too dangerous for anyone to live in. Its remaining residents are living off the land, eking out their silent years in the shadow of Chernobyl.