If you’ve recently watched HBO’s Chernobyl, you’ll probably have ended up on Google straight afterwards. The story is so shocking, it almost doesn’t feel real.
However for Mariyka Sovenko, the story is very much real. She was the only child born in the highly-polluted Chernobyl exclusion zone after the explosion.
Her parents were called ‘murderers’ after they decided to stay in the zone because the authorities offered them no alternative housing.
She was born in 1999, and she apparently swam in a river where fish sent Geiger counters bleeping wildly. She also ate the fish from that very same river.
Not only that, but she drank milk from a cow fed on Chernobyl pastures irradiated by the nuclear explosion.
She’s now a 19-year-old student at a leading higher education institution in Kiev, Ukraine. The Sunday Express managed to get in touch with her, and she said: “I am doing well, I am working. I’m providing for myself. This is it.”
Her mother, Lydia Sovenko, denied rumours regarding her daughter’s health in one interview. She said: “If people think she is a mutant, or has two heads, they are quite wrong,
“She is a lovely child who is absolutely healthy as far as we can see.”
A friend added: “She really doesn’t care about being unique through being born in Chernobyl,
“In fact, knowing that she is the only child who was born here after the explosion, and who grew up in Chernobyl, is rather painful for her,
“She sees it as a stigma.”