A BELARUSSIAN GUARD CLOSES THE GATES TO POLESSKIY PARK.
FILE PHOTO DEC98 - A Belarussian guard closes the doors at the entrance to Polesskiy national park. In 1986 more than 20,000 people were evacuated from this land within a radius of 30 km (19 miles) of the Chernobyl atomic power plant as it spewed radiation across Europe in the world's worst nuclear accident. Today, the zone, marked on maps of the country with an ominous purplish blotch, has become the world's first radioctive nature reserve. Picture taken DEC98.