Chernobyl nuclear disaster

In May 1986, local men were called upon to attend a reserve gathering, with the school in Raeküla as the designated meeting place. Once the men had gathered, they were locked in the school cellar with guards placed at the doors. They were issued with new uniforms and boots, which was not standard protocol in the Soviet army. No one knew where they were headed or what their duties would be. A total of 447 men were sent from Pärnu County to clean up after the nuclear disaster.

Storyteller: Jaan Krinal

Related objects

Monument to Chernobyl

This monument is situated by Riia Highway, next to the Vanakooli Centre in Raeküla in Pärnu.

Designed by Üllar Kallau, it was unveiled in 2016.

The monument is dedicated to those who were sent to Chernobyl and to all victims of nuclear disasters, bearing the name ‘Stairway to Heaven’, depicting an exploded reactor core and spirits flying up to the sky. The ‘core’ of the monument is a wooden trunk, while the load-bearing construction depicting the ‘stairway’ is made of metal.

The men who were to be sent to Chernobyl gathered near the school in Raeküla on 7 May 1986. Of the 5000 from Estonia who were called upon to manage the nuclear disaster, 447 were sent from Pärnu County.