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In this nuclear no-man's land poisoned by radiation from a disaster-battered power plant, rice farmer Naoto Matsumura refuses to leave despite government orders. He says he has thought about the possibility of getting cancer but prefers to stay — with a skinny dog named Aki his constant companion.
"If I give up and leave, it's all over," he told The Associated Press. "It's my responsibility to stay. And it is my right to be here."
Despite the fact that 99% of Belarus is contaminated with radioactive material, many people refuse to leave their homes behind. Asked why he would not move, the father of a radiation victim replies, “To leave the motherland where you were born and raised, where your soul is connected to the earth – I would not want to. To move to a new place is difficult, especially in terms of a job in Belarus and abroad.”