The Kremlin wants to correct the record on the nuclear disaster so it will resort to propaganda.
The HBO dramatic series “Chernobyl” has become a cultural surprise hit. Not only is it hailed as being impressively dramatic but people on both sides of the political spectrum have found reasons to support the show. That is not the case over in Russia, for understandable reasons.
While HBO is not directly available in that country viewers can subscribe to stream online, and “Chernobyl” has proven to be popular with the Russian population. Describing the show as a “sensation”, the Moscow Times details at length how the details and depictions displayed have bothered Vladamir Putin and members of the Kremlin deeply.
Various state-backed news outlets across the country have responded to the HBO drama, working to describe “Chernobyl” as anything from being agitprop to an organized effort to destabilize perceptions of Russia being a nuclear power. It is very deep in the article when a curious announcement is given.
Still, an attempt will be made to put an entirely different spin on those events. 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.
Well, that sure seems convenient. And misguided. They offer up a glimpse of where the focus of their homegrown drama is going to be centered, and it already sounds like a direct-to-rental disaster I would be excited to watch.
As justification for the story, the film’s director, Alexei Muradov, cited fringe conspiracy theorists: “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.”
Well, nothing underscores the seriousness and sober treatment of the story regarding a national tragedy better than turning to fringe conspiracy theories for your source material. I am also curious about one other detail with their proposed property. How is the CIA striving to negatively impact the Russian nuclear program by sabotaging a power plant — located in Ukraine?
Clearly, the members of the Kremlin have vodka-tinted noses bent out of joint and are rushing into production an answer to the offense of Westerners telling the story of their national embarrassment. The amusement is that Russian authorities are not resorting to a deeply serious documentary to dispel what it regards as misinformation; it is instead concocting a crackpot explanation delivered in a pulp-fiction style thriller.
It is summarized as “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 villains are “new”?! That does not sound like a correction of the record. It sounds like a desperate lurch at deflecting blame…and/or it sounds like a low-budget action title you would stumble across when searching movies in your local RedBox machine.
And I promise you, when it does show up for rental, I am snapping up a copy for myself!