This Man Lives In The Most Contaminated City On Earth!

This Man Lives In The Most Contaminated City On Earth!

Meet Vakil Batirshin, a man whose life changed drastically by where he lived. Vakil lives in Ozersk, a city five times more radioactive than Chernobyl. The city has taken a toll on him as he suffers from severe facial deformities. This secretive city, known as City 40, was built around the Mayak nuclear power plant in Russia. The radiation exposure has had a devastating impact on its residents, including Vakil and many more. Let’s dive into the details.

Vakil Batirshin: A Man Living A Nightmare

Vakil Batirshin’s life is a living example of the severe health issues caused by radiation exposure. He has massively swollen lymph nodes, which are likely due to the radiation. Medical experts are struggling to come to a definitive diagnosis as it is difficult to conclude one condition from radiation exposure.

“When I lived in my home village, I didn’t have anything. Everything was great. When I came here, it all started.”

In an interview, Vakil mentioned.

Vakil is not alone. Another resident, Gilani Dambaev, also suffers from multiple diseases linked to excessive radiation exposure. Despite warnings, residents like Gilani continued living their lives, often swimming in contaminated rivers, unaware of the dangers. The city has a population of 82,164 as of the 2010 census.

Image source: Decatur daily (Vakil Batirshin and his wife Minfiza)
Image source: Daily Star

The Secretive City: History of Ozersk (City 40)

Ozersk was founded in 1946 around the Mayak nuclear plant. Initially, it was a secret city, and its existence remained unknown to the world. Residents were isolated, their identities erased from the Soviet census to keep the city’s purpose hidden. Ozersk played a crucial role in the Soviet nuclear weapons program during the Cold War, producing plutonium for atomic bombs.

Over the years, the city was known by various names: Chelyabinsk-65, Chelyabinsk-40, and finally Ozyorsk. The secrecy surrounding Ozersk was intense, with the city surrounded by guarded gates and barbed wire fences, not appearing on any maps.


In an emotional interview, Vakil Batirshin, a Russian man, shares his battle with severely swollen lymph nodes due to a suspected radiation-related illness.🎤🇷🇺💔 #RadiationIllness #HealthAwareness #VakilBatirshin #heartbreaking #russia #radioactive #radiation #truestory #radioactivity

♬ Solitude – ¥ves

The Nuclear Disasters

Ozersk is infamous for several nuclear incidents, the most significant being the Kyshtym disaster in 1957. This disaster, caused by a cooling system explosion at the Mayak plant, released vast amounts of radioactive material into the environment. The residents also suffered from continuous radioactive contamination due to the plant’s hazardous waste disposal practices.

The Mayak nuclear plant, known for its operational hazards, dumped radioactive material into the environment, leading to long-term health and environmental impacts. One of the nearby lakes, heavily contaminated by plutonium, is now known as the “Lake of Death.”

The environmental contamination in Ozersk is severe. Local water bodies, like the so-called “Plutonium Lake,” are heavily polluted with radioactive material. Scientific data suggests that the radiation levels in Ozersk are two to three times higher than those from the Chernobyl explosion. Efforts to clean up the contamination have been minimal and largely ineffective.

Image source: Wikipedia (Map of the East Urals Radioactive Trace: contaminated area by the Kyshtym disaster)

Life Inside the Secret City

Despite the risks, daily life in Ozersk had its perks. The city has comfortable infrastructure, schools, healthcare, and cultural activities. During the Soviet era, Ozersk was considered a paradise compared to the extreme poverty and famine in other parts of the country. Residents enjoyed private apartments, plenty of food, and various entertainment options.

Even today, many residents refuse to leave. The government has begun resettling people away from contaminated areas, but the process only started in 2008.

“I don’t hope for anything anymore. If we get sick, we get sick.”

One resident commented.
Image source: Wikipedia – Ozersk (City 40)
Image source: The Guardian

The Secret City Revealed To The Public

The secrecy around Ozersk began to lift after the Cold War. Media coverage and documentaries revealed the true extent of the city’s radioactive contamination. Interviews with residents like Vakil Batirshin and Gilani Dambaev brought personal stories to light, showing the human cost of living in such an environment.

Today, Ozersk still fights with its radioactive legacy. While the city now resembles a suburban 1950s American town, the contamination remains a significant issue.


Ozersk’s story is a powerful reminder of the human and environmental costs of nuclear secrecy. The lives of residents like Vakil Batirshin and Gilani Dambaev underline the need for transparency and safety in nuclear operations. As we reflect on Ozersk’s legacy, it’s crucial to advocate for environmental justice and support for those affected by such disasters.

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