Pripyat, in the Kiev Oblast province of Ukraine, was abandoned in the aftermath of the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster, which happened on the night of April 26th 1986. The residents were not evacuated immediately. In fact, residents went about their quotidian activities on the day following the explosion completely unaware of the huge doses of radiation they were being subjected to. Members of the Soviet military wandered the streets of Pripyat wearing gas masks, arousing the curiosity of the locals. When asked, the soldiers said simply that it was "a training exercise". Ironically, the gas masks offered no protection from the gamma radiation whatsoever.
The temporary evacuation was not temporary. Residents of Pripyat left behind their homes, possessions and their hopes of a perfect Soviet future.