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Chornobyl Victims' Monument To Be Erected In Ukraine

The 1986 disaster killed around 2,000 people
The 1986 disaster killed around 2,000 people
IVANO-FRANKIVSK, Ukraine -- A campaign to raise funds for a monument commemorating victims of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster is under way in the southwestern Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Nadiya Kaydash, the chairwoman of the Help to Chornobyl's Children Foundation in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, told RFE/RL that the monument would be inscribed with: "To the Dead, the Alive, and the Non-Born Carpathian Children of Chornobyl."

Kaydash's foundation is the organizer of the fund drive. It hopes to get financial support from many private sources, including individuals and businesses.

The Chornobyl nuclear disaster is believed to have killed about 2,000 men and women from Ukraine's mountainous Carpathian region.

In 2005, a ground-breaking ceremony was held on the site of the future memorial and the first stone was placed there. Almost no work has been done at the site since then.

The organizers of the fundraising effort hope the monument will be raised by the 25th anniversary of the tragedy on April 26, 2011. There are some 17,000 Chornobyl veterans living in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.

Ivano-Frankivsk is about 500 kilometers away from the former site of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in north-central Ukraine.