Vladimir Pravik

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Volodymyr Pavlovych Pravyk
Ukraine Irpen 2010. First snow. Pravik Vladimir Pavlovich.jpg
Native name
Володимир Павлович Правик
Born13 June 1962
Chernobyl, Ukraine SSR, USSR
Died11 May 1986(1986-05-11) (aged 23)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
Service/branchInternal Troops
Years of service1979–1986
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Volodymyr Pavlovych Pravyk (Ukrainian: Володимир Павлович Правик, Russian: Владимир Павлович Правик; 13 June 1962 – 11 May 1986) was a Soviet firefighter who died 15 days after the Chernobyl disaster, where he suffered from radiation burns. He was posthumously awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, and the Ukrainian Star For Courage, which later became the Order For Courage. He was laid to rest at Mitinskoe Cemetery in Moscow along with 27 other victims who died in the Chernobyl disaster.


Pravik was only 23 years old when the Chernobyl disaster occurred. He was a college graduate, engaged in creative endeavors such as photography, drawing, and poetry.[1] He was also a member of the Komsomol, the youth division of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.[1]

Pravik was married to a kindergarten teacher, who just gave birth to their first child when he died.[1]

Chernobyl disaster[edit]

When the Chernobyl incident happened, Pravik was supposed to be taking his day off but he switched shifts with his friend Piotr Khmel.[1] He then led the third watch response to a fire alarm, which was sent to Pripyat minutes after the Chernobyl explosion.[2] The young firefighter asked for additional firefighters via a coded message sent to Pripyat, the town of Chernobyl, and Kiev when he realized that his small team was not enough to confront the fire.[2]

Pravik is thought to be the firefighter who, when experiencing massive amounts of radiation, had his eye color change from brown to blue.[3] He died a fortnight after the incident and was buried in a sealed zinc coffin.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Higginbotham, Adam (2019). Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 58. ISBN 9781501134616.
  2. ^ a b Lusted, Marcia Amidon (2011-01-01). Chernobyl Disaster. ABDO Publishing Company. ISBN 9781617840494.
  3. ^ "Правик Владимир Павлович". warheroes.ru. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  4. ^ SAWYER, H. E. (2018). I AM THE DARK TOURIST: Travels to the Darkest Sites on Earth. SCB Distributors. ISBN 9781909394599.