Chernobyl 30 years: World remembers the pernicious nuclear meltdown

In the early hours of April 26, 1986, a botched test at the nuclear plant in then-Soviet Ukraine triggered a devastating meltdown.

Children, who permanently live at the territory contaminated with radionuclides after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, take physiotherapy while they are in a children's rehabilitation and health centre on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, April 25, 2016.

Ukraine held memorial services on Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which permanently poisoned swathes of eastern Europe and highlighted the shortcomings of the secretive Soviet system

Over the past three decades, thousands have succumbed to radiation-related illnesses such as cancer, although the total death toll and long-term health effects remain a subject of intense debate.