Left, In the years that followed, some residents—called samosely, or “self-settlers”—returned to their homes. Others never left at all, such as Yelena Muzychenko, who had lived in her small Belarusian village without electricity or running water for 18 years when photographed in 2004. Center, Wildlife, including foxes, wolves, Eurasian lynx, and endangered Przewalski’s horses, have found refuge in the radioactive forests of the exclusion zone. Right, To the bewilderment of many locals Chernobyl’s ruins have also drawn tourists.

AP Photo/Sergei Grits; Flickr user Vic Harkness; AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky