HBO's smash hit series, Chernobyl, came to its dramatic close earlier this week - and it's safe to say that it's garnered a lot of fans. In fact, it's set to be among the highest-rated television series' of all time. Alongside stellar performances by a talented cast and incredibly intense and beautiful storytelling, though, there's another reason for its intense popularity.
Many think that the underlying message of Chernobyl is what truly resonated with audiences. Some have praised the way that Chernobyl deals with questioning authority, particularly when it appears that the government doesn't have citizens' best interests at heart.
But now Russia (widely painted as the villains in the Chernobyl story) has spoken out. And we can all agree, their response is pretty weird.
The Chernobyl disaster was the biggest nuclear catastrophe in history.
via: ShutterstockIn 1986, near the city of Pripyat in the north of Ukraine, a nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl plant malfunctioned, causing an enormous and tragic accident.
The surrounding area was highly contaminated with radiation.This meant that the area had to be abandoned, which has given it a super creepy, ghost-town vibe.
But the story of the accident has remained largely untold.
And it's proven to be a huge success.
Chernobyl is so good that it had a 9.7 (out of 10) star average on IMDb, making it the top-rated TV show of all tim… https://t.co/wRWsRYBXJd— Eric Alper 🎧 (@Eric Alper 🎧)1559883628.0
And that's not all.
Me, watching Chernobyl with no idea how a nuclear reactor works. https://t.co/QKaOLMSrMj— Give Me Internet (@Give Me Internet)1559878807.0
Although it hasn't been totally without criticism.
The HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, dramatizes the world's worst civilian nuclear accident. But how realistic is its por… https://t.co/NhgIZ6aVMw— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)1559880000.0
Although fans point out one thing.One of the reasons behind the success of the series is the intense attention that creators paid to the tiny details - right down to things like the type of shoelaces that characters were wearing.
But there's another reason behind the show's astounding success.
Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid. -Valery Legasov ❤️ #Chernobyl https://t.co/lOcm7xE6Zf— Mostafa Ahmed (@Mostafa Ahmed)1559874519.0
The show takes a hard look at the concepts of truth and reality.
This, at last, is the gift of Chernobyl: Where I once would fear the cost of truth, now I only ask ‘what is the cos… https://t.co/eJpHJ1MqSP— Mohamed Wael (@Mohamed Wael)1559907446.0
There's a pretty strong view towards a mistrust of authority implicit here.
Chernobyl is a great series and a great example of how blind adherence to state ideology, any state ideology, and a… https://t.co/RIRiYuw9SI— Ruli Harahap (@Ruli Harahap)1559911355.0
There's one particular government that come under fire in the show.The Soviet government is portrayed as the true villain in Chernobyl - while the citizens and liquidators are seen as the heroes.
But the country has taken huge offense at this.
via: ShutterstockWhether the facts are in order or not isn't really something up for dispute. But Ilya Shepline, a Russian journalist, explained in the Moscow Times that "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".
Russia has had a surprising response.
Russian TV to air its own patriotic retelling of Chernobyl story https://t.co/b3cfQhs1WA— The Guardian (@The Guardian)1559907352.0
The show is set to air on Russia's NTV.And rather than show things as they happened (down to the most minute detail), the main purpose of this version of Chernobyl is patriotism.
Meaning the government will be ducking any blame for the disaster.And, in fact, they've decided to place the blame quite firmly onto another (very unexpected) source.
The scapegoat that Russia have gone for?
via: ShutterstockWhy, the CIA, of course! “There is a theory that the Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and many historians do not deny that on the day of the explosion an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station," director, Alexey Muradov, told Komsomolskaya Pravda.
And it seems like the Russian press has gone wild for the story.As one headline in the Komsomolskaya Pravda put it, “Chernobyl did not show the most important part – our victory".
There's just one problem.The Russian theory about the involvement of an American CIA agent seems to be built on absolutely no facts whatsoever.
And Twitter has pointed out one thing.
Russia is making their own version of HBO's Chernobyl that inserts a CIA agent in who causes the disaster in order… https://t.co/xqndY7LuHq— Joe Kassabian (@Joe Kassabian)1559886682.0
It's true, we may not fully understand the science behind nuclear energy...
Me after finishing Chernobyl https://t.co/XTB4mdFqGh— Alex Yeo (@Alex Yeo)1559904362.0