Road-Tripping to One of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

VICE's Abdullah Saeed, Danielle Neftin, and Dina Rayzman venture through Russia and into Kazakhstan to visit the "Polygon," the Soviet Union's primary nuclear test site.

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Oct 25 2017, 3:06pm

In the northeast region of Kazakhstan, near the Russian border, sits a stretch of land where the Soviet Union spent years testing the atomic bomb. During the Cold War, the government conducted more than 400 nuclear tests at a compound known as the "Polygon" in Semipalatinsk, a city 200,000 people called home.

In this three-part documentary, VICE's Abdullah Saeed, Danielle Neftin, and Dina Rayzman take a road trip through Russia and into Kazakhstan to visit the Polygon and meet the people who still live in Semipalatinsk, despite its nuclear contamination and health risks. Along the way, the trio drinks vodka with Russian separatists and samples antler blood, before zipping on their protective suits and heading directly into one of the most radioactive spots on Earth.

You can watch the first leg of the trip above, and catch the rest of the group's journey below in parts two and three.

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