Russian Communist Party wants 'Chernobyl' series banned

Ben Arnold
Skarsgard and Harris in Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)
Skarsgard and Harris in Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)

The Marxist-Leninist Party in Russia is calling for the HBO series Chernobyl to be banned.

In a statement, the communist party accused the series, which charts the horror of the meltdown at the nuclear power station in Soviet Ukraine, of 'demonising the image of the Soviet government and Soviet people'.

The party is also hoping to bring a libel case against the show's makers.

Read more: How accurate is Chernobyl?

“The real tragedy is the Chernobyl series is ideological manipulation by HBO,” read a statement, via The Hollywood Reporter.

“The television series about the dramatic events of April 1986 is an ideological tool designed to defame and demonize the image of the Soviet government and Soviet people.

“The motivation, the actions of the heroes, the order of relationships in institutions and collectives, the moral climate in Soviet society, are an absolute lie.”

Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)
Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)

It is calling for Russian broadcaster Roskomnadzor to begin a libel case against HBO, under Article 129 of Russia's criminal code.

The news comes after reports that the Kremlin is mulling making its own version of the show, but one in which the CIA is blamed for the explosion at the power plant.

Starring Mad Men's Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, the show has been a critical smash, voted the highest-rated series on IMDb.

As well as the devastating human cost of the accident, it also addresses the disinformation spread by the Communist government at the time.

Read more: Chernobyl creator slams ‘disrespectful’ tourists

But not those in Russian government are displeased with it.

Conservative culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has even gone as far as praising it.

“The film was made masterfully… with the greatest of respect for ordinary people,” he reportedly said, adding that his father was among those who helped to fight the initial fires.

“My father, who was a liquidator practically from the first day, said that, yes, in general it was just like in the film.”