[Polissya hotel, Pripyat: Helicopters dropping sand and boron to extinguish the fire in the Chernobyl plant]

Shcherbina: It's been smooth. Twenty drops. [notices Legasov's expression] What?

Legasov: There are fifty thousand people in this city.

Shcherbina: Professor Ilyin, who's also on the commission, says the radiation isn't high enough to evacuate.

Legasov: Ilyin isn't a physicist.

Shcherbina: Well, he's a medical doctor. If he says it's safe, it's safe.

Legasov: Not if they stay here.

Shcherbina: We're staying here.

Legasov: [impatiently] Yes, we are, and we'll be dead in five years! [Shcherbina looks shocked] I'm sorry, I'm... I'm sorry.

Shcherbina: [sits in stunned silence as the phone starts to ring; after several seconds, he answers it] Shcherbina. [listens] Thank you. [hangs up] A nuclear plant in Sweden has detected radiation and identified it as a byproduct of our fuel. The Americans took satellite photos. The reactor building, the smoke, the fire. The whole world knows. The wind has been blowing toward Germany. They're not letting children play outside... in Frankfurt. [glances outside at the children playing]

Explore more quotes:

About the author

This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.

Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.

Kendra Syrdal is a writer, editor, partner, and senior publisher for The Thought & Expression Company. Over the last few years she has been personally responsible for writing, editing, and producing over 30+ million pageviews on Thought Catalog.