Patriotic retelling of Chernobyl disaster will reportedly air on Russian TV soon

It won't be the same one you watched on HBO.

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
2 min read

Russia is going to take a crack at telling the story of Chernobyl. 


HBO's recent miniseries recounting the deadly Chernobyl nuclear disaster is arguable more scary than a horror movie. The five-episode series gripped viewers, but Russian state TV reportedly thinks some elements of the story were left out.

Russia's NTV channel will reportedly air it own series about Chernobyl that tells a more patriotic story and focuses on an American CIA spy being present during the accident. The show will reportedly premiere later this year. Russia's NTV couldn't be reached for comment.

Actor Dmitry Ulyanov will play the CIA spy, the story's antagonist, who's dispatched to Chernobyl, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda, a daily Russian newspaper. In an interview with the paper last year, noted earlier by The Guardian, director Alexei Muradov said the show will paint an alternative view of the tragedy.

"There is a hypothesis with the interference of Americans in the work of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," Muradov told the newspaper. "Many historians do not exclude the fact that on the day of the explosion one of the agents of the enemy intelligence services was working at the station." 

In an op-ed piece in the Moscow Times on Tuesday, journalist Ilya Shepelin said the director justifies the story with conspiracy theories, which dishonor the memories of those who lost their lives in the accident.

"The fact that an American, not a Russian, TV channel tells us about our own heroes is a source of shame that the pro-Kremlin media apparently cannot live down," Shepelin wrote. "And this is the real reason they find fault with HBO's  'Chernobyl' series."  

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