NOTES ON THE RECHITSA REGION Rechitsa is a town in southeastern Belarus, in the Gomel oblast. In 1816, Rechitsa was the capital of the Rechitsa Uezda, or district, a district which included the fertile, wooded land north of the junction of the Pripyat River and the Dnieper River. Jews merchants have probably been traveling from the Black Sea, up the Dnieper, to buy furs, honey, lumber and other goods there since the days of the Roman Empire. Stalin did his best to turn the economy of Rechitsa early in the century, then Hitler did his best to kill all of the people. Then, as if Communism and Fascism eren't enough, the Soviet Union decided to build a nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, right across the Pripyat River from the Rechitsa region. The Chernobyl plant melted down in 1986 and spread radioactive dust all over the region. Belarus has tried to make the best of a terrible situation by putting the hottest areas of the region in a radioactive nature preserve. But children who live in the "safe" parts still suffer extremely high rates of birth defects and cancer. One Web site says only 5 percent of the children ine Chernobyl region are healthy. Con artists interested mainly in improving their own personal bank account balances probably exaggerate the seriousness of the situation to increase their take, but there's no doubt whatsoever that many people in the region are in dire need of help.
For a map showing ancient Greek-Varangian trade route that passed from the Crimean Peninsula to Birka, Sweden, past Rechitsa, in ancient times, see the following Web site:
Greek-Varangian trade route
For more information about Chernobyl, Belarus and related topics, see:
The Virtual Guide to Belarus
Guy Picarda's History of Minsk
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