The Kremlin wants to remake 'Chernobyl' but with the CIA as the bad guys

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)

HBO's harrowing drama series Chernobyl became the highest-rated series ever on IMDb this week, with almost universal praise coming from critics too.

But it seems that some are less impressed with the show's factual accuracy.

The pro-Kremlin media in Russia has had a field day with the series, which stars Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson.

Read now: How historically accurate is Chernobyl?

And now reports from Russia suggest that the Kremlin is keen to put things right, in remaking the show with a rather different angle on the meltdown of the nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.

Rather than focus on the cover-up at the centre of HBO's series, instead it plans to centre on a conspiracy theory about how the devastating nuclear accident happened.

Skarsgard and Harris in Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)

Per The Moscow Times: “Russia’s NTV channel has already announced that it is shooting its own Chernobyl series based on the premise that the CIA sent an agent to the Chernobyl zone to carry out acts of sabotage.”

The director, Alexei Muradov, said: “One theory holds that 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.”

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Rather than a treatise on misinformation, 'Moscow gives us a thrilling detective film based on a conspiracy theory in which a KGB officer struggles to thwart American spies — the new villains in this national tragedy'.

The Times adds: “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. And this is the real reason they find fault with HBO’s Chernobyl series.”

Chernobyl is streaming now on Sky Atlantic via Now TV.