Hero diver, 62, is forced to flee Kyiv

Hero diver, 62, is forced to flee Kyiv

Hero diver, 62, who volunteered to wade through radioactive water in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is forced to flee Kyiv

  • Alexei Amanenko, 62, one of three men who waded through radioactive water to prevent second explosion at Chernobyl
  • He and wife Valentina have now fled Kyiv for Western Ukraine 
  • Mrs Amanenko described the ‘genocide’ Ukrainian people are facing by Putin
  • She said her and her husband must both stay alive so she can care for him  

A hero of the Chernobyl disaster is among those to flee Kyiv.

Alexei Ananenko, 62, was one of three men who volunteered to wade through radioactive water in May 1986 to prevent a second cataclysmic explosion at the stricken nuclear reactor.

They were dubbed suicide divers for the perilous mission, but he said he was just doing his job.

Now in poor health after being hit by a car five years ago, he and his wife Valentina, 53, yesterday fled Kyiv for western Ukraine.

‘I have never been so offended by Russia, but now I realise that I cannot forgive this genocide of the Ukrainian people, this destruction of us as a people,’ Valentina said.

Alexei Ananenko (pictured), 62, was one of three men who volunteered to wade through radioactive water in May 1986 to prevent a second explosion at the nuclear reactor

They were dubbed suicide divers for the perilous mission, but he said he was just doing his job. Pictured: Chernobyl

Speaking on the dangerous road out of Kyiv, she said: ‘Alexei and I have left to go to western Ukraine.

‘I need to stay alive to care for him, and he must stay alive. I want to save my life so I can prolong his life. Without my care he will end up helpless in a nursing home or, in the worst case, homeless.’

The explosion on April 26, 1986, destroyed Reactor No 4 at the nuclear plant, now in Ukraine but then part of the Soviet Union.

Now in poor health after being hit by a car five years ago, he and his wife Valentina, 53, yesterday fled Kyiv for western Ukraine. Pictured: People flee Irpin, Ukraine 

The Daily Mail, Mail On Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE 

Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate 

To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

Account name: Mail Force Charity

Account number: 48867365

Sort code: 60-00-01

TO MAKE A DONATION VIA CHEQUE

Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Force’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

TO MAKE A DONATION FROM THE US

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