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With food rotting on the table and empty bottles of homemade vodka littering the floor, two men lay passed out in a drunken stupor at a house near Dyekshniani on April 17, 2006. The man laying down, who is unemployed, and his wife, who have seven children, are both heavy alcohol drinkers and live in a house with no electricity and a basement with a 25-centimeter-thick sheet of ice caused by a ruptured pipe. Suffering from alcohol abuse, mental and physical disabilities, poverty, cancers, loneliness, depression, broken families and various illnesses, the thousands of young and old affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident 20 years ago live difficult lives in southern Belarus.

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© Dean C.K. Cox
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With food rotting on the table and empty bottles of homemade vodka littering the floor, two men lay passed out in a drunken stupor at a house near Dyekshniani on April 17, 2006. The man laying down, who is unemployed, and his wife, who have seven children, are both heavy alcohol drinkers and live in a house with no electricity and a basement with a 25-centimeter-thick sheet of ice caused by a ruptured pipe. Suffering from alcohol abuse, mental and physical disabilities, poverty, cancers, loneliness, depression, broken families and various illnesses, the thousands of young and old affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident 20 years ago live difficult lives in southern Belarus.