The city was founded on February 4, 1970 as a housing estate for employees of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, approximately four kilometers from the plant itself. On April 27, 1986, a day after the Chernobyl disaster, a decision was made to evacuate the city (in the original intention, temporarily). About 50,000 inhabitants had to leave their homes by evening. The actual evacuation took place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Two hours later, militia troops searched the city again, finding 20 people who were intending to avoid leaving. A new town of Sławutycze was built for the employees of the power plant and their families in 1986–1988.
Currently, the city of Pripyat is almost an open-air museum of the last years of the Soviet era. In abandoned buildings, you can find items left by its former residents. In some places, you can see preparations for the Labor Day, which was to be celebrated on May 1, 1986