[ARROW] Rural Effects
The areas of Russia that were affected most were the rural areas. This is because 40% of the population in Western Russia is located in rural areas. The rural areas such as Polessky outside of Ukraine were once very fertile areas consisting of many different crops. The areas now are too contaminated to continue such work. [46]

One problem that rural citizens faced was the new land that they went to live on did not guarantee them a new permanent subsidized housing when the realization came that they could not move back in immediately. The total number of rural evacuees came to over 100,000. By January of 1987 around 1,500 people moved back into their villages after the military decontaminated the area. However no children were allowed to return to the evacuated villages. The main reason for sending all of the people back was to have them return to continue their agricultural jobs so they would not harm the economy of the USSR too badly. [47]

There were many evacuees from Chernobyl and the surrounding villages, the number kept changing throughout the years and through the different resources. The main problem about evacuating people was the elderly. They were usually persistent not to leave. Eventually, many of the elderly returned to their abandoned homes in 1988; their main reason was that the effects of the radiation were not as harmful to them as to younger people [48]. Altogether the rural effects were devastating and the continued radiation levels still do not meet the norm.

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