It’s officially taken the Communists of Russia one month to publicly denounce HBO’s acclaimed Chernobyl series, which the Marxist-Leninist organization calls “demonizing” and an “ideological manipulation” of the events that occurred during the 1986 nuclear disaster.
The basis of the party’s claim is not that the series is untruthful, but rather “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.”
The party, which considers itself a radical alternative to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, appealed to the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Russia’s state broadcasting entity, to restrict access to the series and open libel proceedings against the writer, director and producers of the series.
The party revealed their disdain in a press release penned by its central committee secretary, Sergei Malinkovich, who stated: “The series about the dramatic events of April 1986 is an ideological tool designed to discredit and demonize the image of both the Soviet government and the Soviet people.”
The Communists of Russia, however, aren’t the first to denounce the series. Since its debut in May, the pro-Kremlin media in Russia has kept its criticism on a constant loop, calling HBO’s dramatization “a caricature and not the truth .”
The five-part series, which chronicles the catastrophic nuclear accident in present-day Ukraine (and usurped Breaking Bad’s throne as the top-ranked TV show of all time on IMDb), premiered on HBO in the U.S. last month and rounded out its final airing on June 3. The show has yet to air in Russia, but it can be accessed legally on the Russian streaming service Amediateka.
reported last week that the Russian government is in post-production of its own series on the Chernobyl disaster. The series, airing on a pro-Kremlin Russian network, will focus on a group of Soviet KGB officers uncovering a CIA agent stationed at the nuclear plant and involved in espionage.
Reception of the series has been particularly kind in Eastern Europe. Show creator and writer Craig Mazin stated in an interview with THR last week that “the overwhelming response” from people in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia or other former Soviet Republics has been “fascinating” and “just incredibly gratifying.”
“They recognize that we made this with love and respect for them, and that we tried our hardest to get the details right, which I think from their perspective Western productions often either fail to do, or don’t try to do at all,” Mazin said.
Don’t worry, Craig. The Communists are just an outlier.