Chernobyl (/tʃɜːrˈnoʊbəl/ chur-NOH-bəl, UK: /tʃɜːrˈnɒbəl/ chur-NOB-əl) or Chornobyl (Ukrainian: Чорнобиль, romanized: Chornobyl’) is a ghost city in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, situated in the Ivankiv Raion of northern Kiev Oblast, Ukraine. Chernobyl is about 90 kilometres (60 mi) north of Kiev, and 160 kilometres (100 mi) southwest of the Belarusian city of Gomel. Before its evacuation, the city had about 14,000 residents.
The city was evacuated on 5 May 1986, 9 days after the nuclear accident at the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which was the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. The plant is 15 kilometres (9 mi) north of the Chernobyl city. Pripyat is a city much closer to the plant; it was built in the 1970s as a home for the power-plant’s workers, and its population of 50,000 was evacuated 30 hours after the accident. The city of Slavutych, built for those evacuated from Pripyat, also received the population evacuated from Chernobyl.
The city was the administrative center of Chernobyl Raion (district) from 1923. After the accident, in 1988, the raion was disestablished and administration was transferred to the neighboring Ivankiv Raion.
Although Chernobyl is mostly a ghost town today, a small number of animals and people still live there, in houses marked with signs that read, “Owner of this house lives here”. Workers on watch and administrative personnel of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are also stationed in the city. There are two general stores, and a tourist hotel.