The professional has been involved in guiding tours to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone since 2015. He has extensive experience in conducting trips until 2015 to other places of world significance, not related to Ukraine.
He is married and lives in Kiev. He is associated with many travel agencies and has enough knowledge to organize trips and travel to any zone.
As a rule, during trips the distance between the guide and visitors to the Zone is small, because the official status obliges them to strictly observe order, and sometimes even to prevent careless tourists from creating problems. Ivan always has a genuinely friendly attitude towards the tourist group as he is one of those accompanying guides who once was an ordinary tourist himself and has a lot of years of experience behind him. Ivan can predict his tourists’ thoughts and actions 10 steps ahead!
After visiting the Exclusion Zone, I was (and still am) torn by my emotions. On the one hand, the place and its lush vegetation were beautiful, but on the other hand, it was one of the greatest disasters in history.
Even though official sources only mention 49 deaths, the death toll is much higher: think about all the people who have suffered from acute radiation syndrome or other health problems who have been forced to leave their homes and all their belongings and move away from the district (for them it was necessary to build a completely new city - Slavutych).
The place, which is now a tourist attraction, became the scene of the tragedy of thousands of people. Many visitors seem to forget this and consider the entire Chernobyl tour as a great attraction, nothing more. Chernobyl has appealed to me with all this background history and that’s why I am still here and doing what I really enjoy!
Probably the most experienced guide of all the famous guides who have discovered the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. He visited every abandoned house, examined absolutely all apartments in the city of Pripyat. He loves taking his tourists to the remote places in the Zone. Maksym has loved scary stories about traveling to forbidden territories since he was a child. He has a huge collection of books about such journeys. One of his favourite books is the novel by Dmitry Glukhovski "Metro 2033". He calls the Chernobyl tragedy the most powerful accident of the 20th century in the FPS and Survival horror genres, or more simply in the post-apocalypse genre. With Max, our tourists are immersed in the topic of the tour in the most atmospheric way.
Previously, Maksym dealt with the sale of clothing for skiers. If necessary, he will advise you on equipment and fittings for long and extreme hiking trips.
If you ask me if it is worth going to Chernobyl, I will say yes. Even though this place is arranged so differently to please the tourists and be a great landscape for the perfect scary Instagram photo, even if it is a bit touristy (especially during the summer months, there were around 15 excursions on some days). I still think that it is worth going there and seeing this place with your own eyes - no stories, photos or videos can be compared to the real Exclusion Zone. I really wanted to go there and when I went there for the first time I liked everything. It was interesting to see an iconic place known for its news and many stories. There was everything I like: abandoned places, industrial monuments, Soviet architecture and some street art.
I really like abandoned places and explore them whenever I can, but most of the time I don't know the history of this place or can't compare what it looked like before. Everything was different in Pripyat. Not only was the city abandoned for over 30 years, we received so much information from Maxym about life in Pripyat (including photos of the city before the disaster) - it was a completely new experience of visiting such a place. I also checked the map of Pripyat in the maps.me application on my phone and it was even more surreal, because everything was marked there: districts, schools, swimming pool and stadium. It just looked like an ordinary city with all its features. Looking at the maps, I was really playing with my head because it was just weird - all I could see was trees and shrubs around. Only on closer inspection, sometimes you could see the shapes of blocks or other structures hidden in this almost jungle. What once looked like a busy street has now become a narrow path through the forest. I really couldn't believe it when I saw the pictures then looked around - it definitely couldn't be the same place, 30 years can't make that much difference and nature can't be that powerful, can it?
Sergey's first trip was intended. Then there was the second expedition, the third, the fourth and more .. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone literally captured Sergey and he decided to connect his life with the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, working here as the official guide accompanying the tours. Sergei knows the history well, from the founding of the cities of Pripyat and Chernobyl to exclusive facts known to only him. Sergey had the opportunity to communicate with some eyewitnesses of the tragedy and people living in the Exclusion Zone. With Sergey, you get a bouquet of emotions that will remind participants of trips to the Zone for a long time about their amazing adventure in a post-apocalyptic world without people.
Many people are also concerned about safety before visiting Chernobyl. Honestly, I wasn’t while going to the Zone for the first time. I always think that if something is dangerous it must be banned. That's why I went just like that, but it wasn't superfluous to play it safe! We had Geiger counters with us and there were a few cases where they started squeaking when they exceeded the allowable limit (which in Ukraine is 0.30 µSv / h), but considering the amount of time spent in the Exclusion Zone, all this was not too dangerous yet. As a result, by measuring the readings directly in Kiev, I realized that the readings are not at all different from the readings at places publicly accessible to tourists in the Exclusion Zone.