Stealing a Helicopter from Chernobyl for Use as a Cafe

From the “you just can’t make this stuff up” file ...

Ukrainian police have detained several people who were attempting to transport the remains of an Mi-8 “Hip” helicopter out of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. A statement issued by Ukraine’s security service (SBU) indicated the criminals “tried to take an Mi-8 helicopter out of the exclusion zone to use it as an original coffee shop is one of Ukraine’s cities.” At the time the thieves were captured, the helicopter was emitting up to 30 times the legal level of radiation.

Below are 2 photos of Mi-8 helicopters.

Mi-8 Ukrainian Military
Ukrainian Military Mi-8

Mi-8 Chernobyl
Mi-8 remains in the Chernobyl Exlcusion Zone

For some reason, I just don’t see myself wanting to eat in something like that!

The criminal gang involved in this incident is also responsible for stealing radioactive scrap metal and timber from the Zone. The metal items were melted down for scrap, while the timber was usually reprocessed at underground plants and later sold as construction materials.

Photo Credits:
Mi-8 Chernobyl: Phil Coomes
Mi-8 Ukraine: Максим Брянский


Dear Mark,

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my Prypiat post. Your website is really interesting and the photographs amazing. It is surely something we are not used to-a previously inhabited area devoid of people, left as is since 1986 (minus lootings and helicopter theft :-) ).

All the best,

Hi Marios,

Thanks for stopping by. The area has not been completely devoid of people since 1986, and unfortunately, due to looters, is not as it was in 1986. Still, it is an amazing place and as you noted, something we as a society are not used to.

It's a Mi-6 on the second photo...