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: Shutterstock

In 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.

Until now, that is. Last month, HBO released a five-part series, Chernobyl, exploring the backstory and events of the disaster.

And it's proven to be a huge success.

It currently stands at the very top of the ratings, making it one of the most popular and critically acclaimed television shows of all time.

And that's not all.

It appears that the series has reinvigorated public interest in the actual, real-life events surrounding the disaster.

Although it hasn't been totally without criticism.

Some have questioned the veracity of the series, even bringing in those with memories of the event to question what actually happened.

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.

In today's world (wherein truth is a hazy concept and fake news seems to dominate), the show's inherent distrust of authority has really struck a chord.

The show takes a hard look at the concepts of truth and reality.

The reactor's explosion is depicted as a preventable disaster. In choosing to depict the disaster in this way, the show's creators took what could be deemed something of a calculated risk.

There's a pretty strong view towards a mistrust of authority implicit here.

And it's safe to say that figures of authority don't come out of the series looking particularly good.

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: Shutterstock

Whether 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.

In reaction to the success of HBO's show, they've decided to recreate the events from a different perspective, playing somewhat fast and loose with the facts.

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: Shutterstock

Why, 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.

As another user put it, "It's hella easy to make the US look terrible and they somehow picked the one thing we probably didn't do".

It's true, we may not fully understand the science behind nuclear energy...

But one thing that we do have a pretty firm grasp on? The way that the truth can be twisted to serve a purpose. We just hope that this remake doesn't have an impact on the power that the original show still holds.