Chernobyl (2019) mini TV Series: 5 episodes

lilies

Jedi Council Member
Chernobyl (2019) mini TV Series: 5 episodes

Look at the ratings, this show has THE highest rating. Unfortunately. Maybe Fukushima will get another TV Show in 30 years. But wait...our future is... Anyway: If you wanna watch something that will definitely keep you awake, this is the one.

Especially now that we know, how dangerous this incident was - 500 Hiroshima bombs radioactivity equivalent and only a couple percentages of it went up into the skies.

Apocalyptic mood quickly takes over the viewer. According to "fans" this show is extremely daunting, dramatic and the absolute hopelessness depicted keeps attention.

My country - Hungary - is next to Ukraine to the west, we share a little border and we received high levels of radiation = orange and some highest = red near the Ukrainian border - for a relatively short time, compared to other countries, where the high & highest radiation clouds and rains were a lot more present: check this radiation spread timelapse

I couldn't watch this TV series without breaking into sobs from time to time.

Traveling Orange and Red Concentrations:
Check out this stupid map below created no doubt to calm the populace:
- Oh it wasn't soo bad, see?
Hungary or other countries on this ridiculous, statistical map. In the above video you can see its VERY DIFFERENT!! We were told not to eat unwashed vegetables from the garden and that was it. We children were getting throat sores - but our bodies were young and we could heal really well, at least me. Adults got heart diseases, various types of cancer.
 
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lilies

Jedi Council Member
TV Show facts:

1.
Metallic taste in the mouth
Actors in the TV Show frequently mention this one:
TASTE:
All people who encountered strong radioactive radiation, for example during the Chernobyl accident, or in other conditions, noted the smell of ozone and metallic taste in the mouth.

OZONE SMELL:
A very strong and deadly source of radiation, causes ionization of molecules in the ambient air, and these changes give the air a characteristic smell.

Nuclear physicists and without a dosimeter know that the smell of ozone and metallic taste in the mouth is a sign of strong radiation. A smaller, but still dangerous intensity of radiation has no smell, no taste, it can only be detected by a dosimeter.

So the answer to the question will be this: radiation does not smell anything, but strong and extremely dangerous smells of ozone.

The commander of the 21 regiments of chemical protection is told by Colonel Alexander Nikolaevich STEPANOV

“… They say that radiation has no color, not smell or taste, and that you will not feel it. In my opinion, this is not entirely true. Radiation has its own taste and its sensations. When working in the radioactive contamination zone, a metallic taste very soon appears in the mouth.

Then the skin feels like you are in a bright sun. Even when the sky is cloudy. Then there is dryness in the throat and a characteristic “radiation” cough and hoarseness.

You sit at the meeting as if in a nursing home – all around you “croak” and voices like those of drunkards with experience. All the time you want to drink. There is one more sign, but it already means that you grabbed a serious dose – diarrhea. With a one-time irradiation of more than ten X-rays, a severe, unstoppable diarrhea immediately arises, which literally turns a person inside out. Apparently the mucous walls of the intestine are affected.


2. Giant blue column of light emanating from the exploded reactor core:

Cheating Chernobyl

This interview was first published in New Scientist print edition
Source : New Scientist web site

Alexander Yuvchenko was on duty at Chernobyl's reactor number 4 the night it exploded on 26 April 1986. He is one of the few working there that night to have survived. He suffered serious burns and went through many operations to save his life, and he is still ill from the radiation. He recently broke his silence for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel. Here he speaks to Michael Bond about what happened that night.

Q: How did you end up working at Chernobyl?
A: I chose it. It was one of the best stations in the Soviet Union, it was a good town to live in, and I had been there for practical work as part of my studies. And it was a good wage. Being a nuclear engineer was a prestigious career - in those days. Nowadays people in Russia prefer to be businessmen and lawyers.

Q: What were you doing the night the reactor exploded?
A: I was on the night shift. When I turned up I found out that the safety test that had been planned for the day had been put off until the evening. The reactor had already been powered down and so we would just be overseeing its cooling, which is a very easy job. I was thinking that I wouldn't have much to do that night.

Q: What were you doing when you heard the explosion?
A: I was in my office, talking to a colleague who had come in to ask for some paint, and reading some documents.

Q: What happened?
A: The first thing I heard wasn't an explosion, it was a thud, a shaking. Then two or three seconds later came the explosion. The doors of my office were blown out. It was like when an old building is demolished, with clouds of dust, but combined with lots of steam. It was a very damp, dusty, powerful movement of air. There was a lot of shaking, a lot of things were falling. The lights went off. Our first thought was to find somewhere we could safely hide. We headed towards the transport corridor, where there was a small passage with a low ceiling. We were standing there and everything was falling around us.

Q: What did you think it was?
A: When I heard the thud I thought it was something very heavy that had fallen. After that I didn't know. I thought that maybe war had begun.

Q: Did you imagine that it might be the reactor?
A: I couldn't imagine it was something to do with the reactor. Before it happened there were no vibrations, no sounds, nothing to indicate there was something wrong. We were trained for various emergency situations. We were engineers, and we were trained in what the reactors could or could not do and what could go wrong. We were prepared for fire and other things, but we were not trained for this. We all thought the safety measures were reliable, that if you pressed the emergency stop button to lower the control rods into the reactor - which is what my friend Leonid Toptunov in the control room did that night - that it would stop the power as it was supposed to. But it didn't. People make mistakes, but we thought the safety measures would compensate for that. We believed what we were told in the work manual.

Q: What did you do after the explosion?
A: I went back to my office and tried to ring the control room for reactor number 4 to find out what had happened, but there was no line. Suddenly the phone from control room number 3 rang. I got a command to bring stretchers. I grabbed the stretchers and ran. Outside the control room I met a friend who had been close to the centre of the explosion. I didn't recognise him. His clothes were black and his face was disfigured because he had been covered in scalding water. I only recognised him by his voice. He told me to go to the site of the explosion because there were others injured. This friend was being tended by others, so I got a torch and ran to find the other operator who had been near the huge coolant tanks.

Q: What did you find?
A: I got to where I expected to find this person but I couldn't find anything, there was a huge mess. I found him on the other side, he had managed to crawl away. It was the same picture: he was wet, dirty, with serious scalding burns. He was standing up but was in an extremely shocked state, shaking. He told me I had to go to where the main blast happened, which was where my friend Valera Khodemchuk was. This guy couldn't see it, but there was nothing there in that direction, it was just empty space.

Q: What happened then?
A: At this point I saw Yuri Tregub, who had been sent from control room number 4 by Anayoly Deatlov, Chernobyl's deputy chief engineer, to manually turn on the emergency high-pressure coolant water to flood the area. Realising that he wouldn't be able to do this on his own, I told my friend where to go to get help and I went with Tregub to turn on the water.

Q: Did you succeed?
A: We weren't able to get to the taps. The coolant tanks were in a hall close to the reactor. There were two doors in. We couldn't get in the first because the walls had collapsed, so we went down a couple of floors to the other door. We were in water up to our knees. We couldn't open the door but we could see a little through it, and all we could see were ruins. The huge water containers had been blown apart. There was just a wall and a door left. We were looking into open space.

Q: Literally?
A: To get a clearer idea of what had happened we walked outside. What we saw was terrifying. Everything that could be destroyed had been. The entire water coolant system was gone. The right-hand side of the reactor hall had been completely destroyed, and on the left the pipes were just hanging. That was when I realised that Khodemchuk was definitely dead. The place where I was told he'd been standing was in ruins. The huge turbines were still standing, but everything around them was rubble. He must have been buried under that. From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out. But Tregub yanked me around the corner to get me out the way. He was older and more experienced.

Q: What did you do then?
A: We started to make our way to control room number 4, but on the way we met three workers who had been ordered by Deatlov to go to the reactor hall and lower the control rods manually. Tregub ran back to the control room to report what we'd seen, and I went with these three to help them. I told them that the order they had been given was senseless because there was no reactor hall anymore and it was highly unlikely there were any control rods. But they said I had only seen it from the lower level and they had to see it for themselves from the upper level.

Q: Did you realize how dangerous that was?
A: Yes, we did.

Q: What happened when you got back to the reactor hall?
A: We climbed up to a ledge but there was very little room. Because I had come up the stairs last I stayed behind propping open the door. They took the torch from me and went in. I stood there listening to their reaction to what they saw, which looked like a volcano crater. They said there was nothing they could do, they had to get out.

Q: What happened to those three?
A: All three of them died very soon afterwards. That wall and the door basically saved my life. I received quite a high dose propping open the door. We had done everything we could. That was the worst feeling: that there was nothing else we could do.

Q: At what point did you start to feel ill?
A: About 3 am, one-and-a-half hours after the explosion.

Q: How did you feel?
A: I began to feel sick. I knew one of the first symptoms of radiation illness was vomiting, but I was thinking, have I eaten something? I was trying to keep the worst thoughts at bay. Half an hour after the explosion I had met a man with a dosimeter, he was fully covered so I don't know who it was, and I asked him what the reading was. He showed me the counter, which was off the scale. That was a frightening moment. It was impossible to say how much radiation we were taking in, but I knew it was a large dose. I was taken to the local hospital at about 5 am because I was too weak to walk. I was taken to Moscow that evening.

Q: Did you think you would die?
A: The most frightening thing was to lie there and hear how one after another the others were dying. I was thinking, when will it be my turn? I'm not a religious believer and I don't know any prayers, but I did pray every evening that I would wake up the next morning.

Q: How did they treat you?
A: It was a very intensive and demanding treatment and you had to be very strong to withstand it. I had continuous blood and plasma transfusions. For a few months I lived on other people's blood. Then the ulcers from the radiation burns started to appear. I had a lot of burns. Only after a couple of months did it become clear that there was a chance I might live. At that point my body started to work on its own again. I didn't need transfusions. But I was on a continuous morphine drip. My wife Natasha says I had lost a lot of weight and looked like a dying man. She says I spoke very slowly and quietly, but that I always retained a clarity of mind. I understood what was going on.

Q: What kept you going?
A: I was treated properly. And I was naturally strong and healthy - I was young, 24 at the time.

Q: Are you still suffering physically?
A: I have to have skin grafts constantly. I still get ulcers. Without the burns it wouldn't be so bad.

Q: How do people in Russia treat you?
A: I try not to talk about it. I don't want people to know about it. I have been given two medals, an order of honour for my actions that night and a medal 10 years afterwards, but everybody got one of those. I try to get on with my everyday life. My neighbours don't know who I am. There is a stigma attached to it.

Q: Have you been back to Chernobyl?
A: Once, when they shut it down in December 2000. I was invited as a special guest. I wandered around the third reactor block, which is an exact copy of the one that blew up. I didn't feel too good. My knees were wobbling when I stood on top of the reactor.

Q: What do you think about nuclear power?
A: I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.

Alexander Yuvchenko has appeared in Disaster at Chernobyl on Discovery Channel in Europe at 10pm (UK time) on 29 August
Link: Source website
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yes, I've been watching it. It's quite good. For those of us who understand the effect of ponerology, it serves as a good example of what happens when unqualified people rise to positions of power due to pathological influences. A disaster made much worse by incompetency, and placing concern for appearances over concern for human life.
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
Exactly, genero81! Its a textbook example of Ponerology, very accurate depictions of disturbed personalities on display! Also its stunning, how the co-protagonists, the ponerized high official is able to turn back to humanity, to camaraderie and compassion, after finally realizing what has been committed and continually having to bear the burden. He completely changes toward the end.
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
Facts:

Soviet Union / Russia still has more than 11 similar RBMK reactors operating elsewhere - with the same uncorrectable core-design faults - as the Chernobyl one had. The remaining reactors quickly received security upgrades, but of course nothing could improve on this critical design fault. Turns out, these RBMK reactors were designed in the 1940's to produce atom bomb grade plutonium and nobody cared, how these Power Plants From Hell could be shut down in the future.

They cannot be shut down!!
Russian nuclear physicists and engineers are still currently waiting for future technology that maybe will enable to completely shut down and neutralize the immensely dangerous live burning fuel [?] and large amounts of active graphite that will need to be neutralized. They cannot do this at the moment!!

Decommissioning Russia’s RBMK reactors by waiting for better days - Bellona.org:

You hair will rise toward the ceiling, when you read this:

Now, all 11 of Russia’s RBMK reactors are reaching retirement age. But as Rosatom’s plans for dismantling the Leningrad nuclear plant’s No 1 reactor come into focus, it’s clear that the question of how to safely dismantle RBMK reactors remains largely unanswered.

According to Vladimir Pereguda, the Leningrad plant’s director, the No 1 reactor will be treated essentially as an operating reactor, both financially and technically, for the foreseeable future – a phase called “operation without generation.”

This amounts to removing the reactor’s fuel while continuing to cool it for as long as five years before it can be safely stored, and decontaminating what remains of the reactor’s structure aside from its graphite stack. After that, it’s essentially a process of waiting until nuclear science catches up in order to deal with the graphite stack. [WHAT????!! WHAT?????! THE HECK????!!]

It’s a costly process. Without the profits from the sale of electricity generated by Leningrad’s No 1 reactor, the Russian business newswire RBK daily calculated that Russia will lose $203 million over the duration of the reactor’s decommissioning.

When that decommissioning will be completed, however, remains foggy. Experts who spoke with RBK estimated that the reactor might not be fully decommissioned for another 50 years because the technology for dealing with the irradiated graphite stacks simply doesn’t exist. [WHAT??????!!!]
:scared:

I mean sure Russia probably will be able to maintain storage of such a large amount of super-radioactive graphite, but if there is a cataclysm with most of the infrastructure failing, these reactor core graphites - if they explode or catch fire - will be able to contaminate the entire planet for sure!!

The TV Show points out a scenario, that if saving and safely separating the damaged Chernobyl reactor failed, the fire would reach the other three reactors and that explosion would have made two Russian states inhabitable for ever and much of the world polluted with many millions of deaths.

Now there are 11 of these RBMK's from hell in Russia and god knows how many more dodgy US reactors with the well known faulty GE design. Imagine those leaking or exploding during a cataclysm.

C's have said cleaning up radioactive pollution is really easy for higher density denizens,[STS/STO] IIRC.
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
Igor Ogorodnev is a Russian-British journalist, who has worked at RT since 2007 as a correspondent, editor and writer.
Ogorodnev, in the latest RT article about this TV show, blasted the show's creators of not understanding much of the socialist Soviet regime and how things really went down. Only by mistake were the TV Show creators accurate, according to him.

Documentaries he mentioned were the real thing. So, besides one longer YT documentary, I watched The Babushkas of Chernobyl (2015). This one offers a much more mundane, real-world view of the consequences. Babushkas = grandmothers, who went back to the 30km exclusion zone, to their villages to continue to live there in the seemingly unchanged, striving nature and wildlife. From this zone - of course - is also excluded the super-heavily irradiated 10km exclusion zone, to where all the dangerous radioactive waste from Ukraine is trucked and dumped! So that inner zone will be closed off for ever. What a wonderful opportunity for authorities, eh?
 

ersio

Jedi Master
Yes, I've been watching it. It's quite good. For those of us who understand the effect of ponerology, it serves as a good example of what happens when unqualified people rise to positions of power due to pathological influences. A disaster made much worse by incompetency, and placing concern for appearances over concern for human life.
Well said. They also potray the cognitive dissonance during the disaster really well (not accepting the data about the levels of radtion). Also, I suppose they were allowed to stick in the "let's contain this disinformation and keep it from the rest of the world" line as it's related to the ruskies/KGB and not a US story. :whistle:

Would recommend watching this along with reading some of the SOTT articles about the disaster.
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finished the series last night. The last episode highlighted the ‘trial’ or hearing on what went wrong. The Soviet Union had undergone ponerogenesis. In and effort to save money they cut corners. Corners they shouldn’t have cut. But even those who knew better were silent because it had become a nation of lies and telling the truth would most likely result in a bullet to the head. With Nuclear Power Plants at stake it was a recipe for disaster. Especially when those who were responsible were hell bent on carrying out whatever their ‘superiors’ wanted even when it clearly would be highly unadvisable to do so.

I was reading in another thread and I came across this written by Laura that I think is quite apropos here:

“To allow oneself to be conned, or used by a psychopath is to effectively become part of his "hierarchy" of feeding. To believe the lies of the psychopath is to submit to his "bidding" (he bids you to believe a lie, and you acquiesce), and thus, to relinquish your free will.

In strictly material terms, this doesn't seem to be much of an issue, right? After all, somebody lies to us and who really cares? Is it going to hurt us to just let them lie? Is it going to hurt us to just go along with them for the sake of peace, even if we know or suspect they are lying? After all, checking the facts and facing the psychopath with truth, and telling them "no" is generally very unpleasant. Remember, the game is set up so that we pay a lot for being ethical in dealing with the psychopath. In material terms, it really doesn't seem to be worth it because we suffer all kinds of attack - verbal, psychological, and even physical abuse - so it's just easier to let sleeping dogs lie, right? [...]”

Wrong!
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Ogorodnev, in the latest RT article about this TV show, blasted the show's creators of not understanding much of the socialist Soviet regime and how things really went down. Only by mistake were the TV Show creators accurate, according to him.
Jun 08 2019 - Russian TV to Make Its Own Chernobyl Series, Reveal CIA Role in Nuclear Disaster
Russian TV to Make Its Own Chernobyl Series, Reveal CIA Role in Nuclear Disaster

Russia is set to air a TV series based on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that implicates the United States as playing a role in the worst nuclear accident in history.

Currently in post-production, the series by the Russian company NTV tells the story of the 1986 explosion that ripped through reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, World News reported.

The explosion led to a huge radioactive leak, which permanently affected areas in places across three quarters of Europe. Scores of workers and firemen were killed in the immediate aftermath of the explosion and rescue operations. Most of them died of severe radiation-related illnesses.

The plot revolves around a CIA agent dispatched to Pripyat - the town inhabited by Chernobyl workers - to gather intelligence on the nuclear power plant. The series will follow KGB officers in their attempts to hunt the espionage operation.

Director Aleksey Muradov said that his version, filmed in Belarus, will show "what really happened back then”.

“There is a theory that the Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” he stated, adding, “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."

It is while a five-part "Chernobyl" series produced by American premium cable and satellite television network HBO has recently triggered worldwide debate as some experts have challenged its credibility.

Russia’s most popular newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP), has dismissed the show as “a caricature and not the truth”.

Russian daily The Moscow Times, also wrote that the HBO production was biased against the Soviet Union and provided a "caricature" of the nation.
 

Niall

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Q: What do you think about nuclear power?
A: I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.
Why are those who were directly affected by this 'catastrophe' among the least militant about banning or limiting nuclear power?

Correlated with this, why is Russia the leading advocate/builder/trader of nuclear energy today, when other countries which were only indirectly affected by Chernobyl either temporarily banned it or drastically cut back on it?

The fact that wildlife in this 'nuclear wasteland for thousands or millions of years' is basically fine after just 33 suggests that there's a significant gap between public perception of the horrors of nuclear energy and the reality.

The above report about a film director working on a Russian TV series on Chernobyl, who claims a Western hand behind it, is currently trending in both anglophone and francophone media. The implicit message is: 'those russkies are crazy conspiracy theorists!'

Here's another crazy conspiracy theory, from 2006:

Was Chernobyl a cunning KGB conspiracy?
By the year 2020 Europe will be up to 75 % dependent on Russia for oil and gas. Imagine what a warm glow this prospect induces in the Kremlin.

By Rein F. Deer
3/29/06, 4:00 PM CET

Russia's bigshots can hardly believe their luck when they read that Old Europe does not dare to build more nuclear plants because it is scared of its electorates.

This all sounds too good not to be well considered. John le Carré should write a thriller about the young KGB lieutenant who in 1985 predicted that Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost would lead to "the worst accident of the century", the collapse of Soviet power in Europe. Did Moscow's dirty tricks department then find a devilishly clever way of scaring the hell out of West Europeans, and bully us out of building new nuclear plants? Was Chernobyl really just the usual Soviet sloppiness? One thing is certain. Twenty years on, the no-longer-so-young KGB spook Vladimir Putin is in charge, and Mother Russia has her iron thumb on Europe's power supplies. Nations on the western side of the River Elbe have always been servile to Russia, and cowed on the eastern side. Now three Baltic countries and Poland are building new nuclear plants to replace Lithuania's Soviet-type Ignalina plant, which contains the two largest operating reactors in the world.
[That piece could have been satire ('Rein Deer', get it?), but it was published as 'legit' by Politico. Fake news, in any event...]

3 decades after Chernobyl, Russia is the leader in both oil/gas to Europe, and nuclear energy globally. So there's no apparent motive for 'young Putin' or whoever Russian to deliberately cause the 'accident'.

However, it's not difficult to see possible motive for others. (Bankrupting the USSR, financially and morally. Terrorizing effect, with the source of that terror being 'Russia', 'the East'. Splitting Ukraine from Russia...)

Do any forum members know (roughly) the outlines of this Russian conspiracy theory about Western/CIA sabotage at Chernobyl?
 

Michael Barker-Caven

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm both surprised and not surprised by the content and tone of Igor Ogorodnev's critique of HBO's Chernobyl.

I'm surprised because I too expected the series to bare all the heavy handed and salivating hallmarks of a triumphant western critique of those mindless Soviet Russkies and their unconscionable ways, souped up by a gratuitous delight in 'disaster' for its own sake. What I watched - utterly gripped and so deeply moved from start to finish - was quite the opposite however. Whether it turns out that we have in fact been duped as to the causes or not, it still remains as profoundly a Tragic dramatization (in the proper sense of the genre) as such a complex and vitally important event deserves as one could hope for in this world of instant superficiality.

I don’t watch contemporary TV so maybe I’m just not immune to present-day stylistic tropes but I found the mood created by utterly convincing settings, fastidious design, carefully measured tempo, complex characterization, evocative soundtrack, etc dutifully sombre and deeply adult and humane. I can assure there was absolutely nothing ‘ersatz’ about a single moment. I cannot of course swear by the authenticity of character, being neither Russian nor au fait with the nuances Ogorodnev suggests existed around the time of Perestroika, but all drama by its nature is an interpretation dictated to a degree by the artists involved and whilst this series obviously claimed to be based on real events and people it never once claimed to be or played like a pseudo documentary. Rather it used all the careful devices of a great novel to reveal the micro and the macro, the universal and the particular. So many scenes will live long in the mind, especially memorable being the heart rending initiation of a young recruit brought despite himself into the horror of non-personing as he was taught by hardened men how to kill all the pets left behind when the populous were forced out. In this sequence alone you learned more about what murder does to a human beings than any amount of Hollywood war movies.

As other posters have noted, in particular it portrays with real conviction and authenticity the effects of ponerogenesis. In particular the scenes in the control room during the final fateful hours and minutes should be watched by any members of this forum who doubts in anyway the ability of a minor suited psychopath in a position of localised authority to bring all their psychosis to bare on others in such a way as to make them loose all capacity to function as independent adults. Having personally experienced a similar (if less life threatening) scenario I can absolutely vouch for its sickening authenticity; you could literally see those concerned crumble and succumb before a form of targeted madness and bullying that leads to each and everyone caving in before authority though its clearly insane. Absolutely chilling.

I also did not find the series particularly ‘unfair’ to the Soviet Union. Quite the opposite; we got to see how when a society gives way to such a tyrannical ideology that the individual – no matter how intelligent, diligent, tactical, or filled with real national duty – cannot but wilt before its capacity to self protect and deny anything that does not fit the universally imposed model. This didn’t feel a particularly Soviet Russian issue, rather the logical outcome of any totalitarian state. The central characters of the story – Prof. Valery Legasov and Minister Boris Scherbina (played quite brilliantly by Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård) - both succeeded in opening windows into the complex and eventually futile games played by men of stature and power as they come up against such an implacable system and how each brought the other to a new place of understanding and compassion. Two outstanding performances of great skill, grace and dignity.

And this is what I came away with most. A deep respect and overwhelming admiration for all those who attempted to deal with what was an unimaginably intractable problem with millions of lives at stake. Never once did the series belittle the Russian people (with not a drunk in sight!). Quite the opposite; instead it portrayed an implicit and consistent level of admiration for their stoicism, bravery and dedication to service and nation despite the personal cost and the impossibility of their political and physical realities.

Maybe what I’m not surprised at by Ogorodnev’s reaction is that in this age of saturated anti-Russian propaganda and anti Soviet revisionism that anything not made by Russians about their own painful past must appear by its very nature to be a gloating critique made by the presumed victor and sponsor of the systems collapse. There is a degree of growing nostalgia for the USSR and the story of Chernobyl clearly is a world too far for most Russians to bear. The fact that a US TV station has made ‘their’ story its own ahead of a home grown version says a lot – especially if the one now in post production intends to show the denizens of 'real' evil, the CIA, had their hand in it, hence assuaging Soviet blame. I don’t suggest that the series to come is counter propaganda but let’s face it, we all want to be in control of our own narrative if only to make sure we limit the damage of the truth!

And so I’ll finish with a great quote from Prof. Legasov as he wraps up his statement to the court:

“…our secrets and our lies; they practically define us. When the truth offends, we lie and we lie until we can no longer remember that its even there, but it is still there. Every lie we tell owes a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid. That is how a RBMK Reactor core explodes. Lies.”

Other than those last words, just about sums our whole world up as we head towards the natural precipice awaiting us and our love of lies.
 

Niall

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I'm both surprised and not surprised by the content and tone of Igor Ogorodnev's critique of HBO's Chernobyl.

I'm surprised because I too expected the series to bare all the heavy handed and salivating hallmarks of a triumphant western critique of those mindless Soviet Russkies and their unconscionable ways, souped up by a gratuitous delight in 'disaster' for its own sake. What I watched - utterly gripped and so deeply moved from start to finish - was quite the opposite however. Whether it turns out that we have in fact been duped as to the causes or not, it still remains as profoundly a Tragic dramatization (in the proper sense of the genre) as such a complex and vitally important event deserves as one could hope for in this world of instant superficiality.

<snip>

And so I’ll finish with a great quote from Prof. Legasov as he wraps up his statement to the court:

“…our secrets and our lies; they practically define us. When the truth offends, we lie and we lie until we can no longer remember that its even there, but it is still there. Every lie we tell owes a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid. That is how a RBMK Reactor core explodes. Lies.”

Other than those last words, just about sums our whole world up as we head towards the natural precipice awaiting us and our love of lies.
Sounds like one to watch then!

The actual general in charge of the clean-up (he's still alive at 85!) also spoke positively about the show. One of his criticisms, however, was that the 'novice recruit shooting abandoned pets' scene didn't happen, on two counts: no pets were abandoned (the animals they put down were wild ones in the surrounding woods), and anyway only regular soldiers were tasked with that.


Also, I'm told that a dozen or so Russian-made docu-dramas on Chernobyl have been made, beginning soon after the event in the 1980s, so this notion that 'the Americans beat the Russians to the TRUTH about Chernobyl' is unfounded.
 

Gaby

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Also, I'm told that a dozen or so Russian-made docu-dramas on Chernobyl have been made, beginning soon after the event in the 1980s, so this notion that 'the Americans beat the Russians to the TRUTH about Chernobyl' is unfounded.
More than unfounded, there's also the official publications. From:

Detoxify or Die: Natural Radiation Protection Therapies for Coping With the Fallout of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown -- Sott.net (2011)

This article includes an overview of the publication Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment which appeared in Annals of the New York Academy (2009). The authors - Alexey V. Nesterenko (Institute of Radiation Safety (BELRAD), Belarus) and Alexey V. Yablokov (Russian Academy of Sciences) along with Vassily B. Nesterenko - synthesized information from several thousand cited scientific papers and other materials, including successful and widely available natural therapies that worked.
Foot-dragging in recognizing obvious problems and the resultant delays in preventing exposure and mitigating the effects lies at the door of nuclear power advocates more interested in preserving the status quo than in helping millions of innocent people who are suffering through no fault of their own. - Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.
I haven't watched the TV show, but I did read the above publication. There might be really nothing new that was not already published officially, except for the fictional added dramas to make it more consumable to the Western audiences.

The publication shows a devastation that should have made everybody pause back then when it was published right before Fukushima.
 

Pashalis

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The fact that wildlife in this 'nuclear wasteland for thousands or millions of years' is basically fine after just 33 suggests that there's a significant gap between public perception of the horrors of nuclear energy and the reality.
Good questions I have wondered about too. Also, considering that the earth regularly was bombarded with comets not so seldom on a continental/planetary scale, it is quite astounding how nature has coped with it so good every time, considering that a substantial amount of those bodies also carry and/or create lethal amounts of radioactivity on the ground.
 
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Gary

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I watched this series recently and thought it was excellent. Despite some apparent inaccuracies it does not detract from a powerful and sobering look at ponerology, character disturbed individuals, real-time 'thinking errors', needless suffering, immense courage, personal sacrifice, camaraderie, humility, compassion and more.

I also did not find the series particularly ‘unfair’ to the Soviet Union. Quite the opposite; we got to see how when a society gives way to such a tyrannical ideology that the individual – no matter how intelligent, diligent, tactical, or filled with real national duty – cannot but wilt before its capacity to self protect and deny anything that does not fit the universally imposed model. This didn’t feel a particularly Soviet Russian issue, rather the logical outcome of any totalitarian state. The central characters of the story – Prof. Valery Legasov and Minister Boris Scherbina (played quite brilliantly by Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård) - both succeeded in opening windows into the complex and eventually futile games played by men of stature and power as they come up against such an implacable system and how each brought the other to a new place of understanding and compassion. Two outstanding performances of great skill, grace and dignity.
Exactly. This disaster - in terms of systems / individuals - could have happened anywhere.

And this is what I came away with most. A deep respect and overwhelming admiration for all those who attempted to deal with what was an unimaginably intractable problem with millions of lives at stake. Never once did the series belittle the Russian people (with not a drunk in sight!). Quite the opposite; instead it portrayed an implicit and consistent level of admiration for their stoicism, bravery and dedication to service and nation despite the personal cost and the impossibility of their political and physical realities.
That was my impression also.

And so I’ll finish with a great quote from Prof. Legasov as he wraps up his statement to the court:

“…our secrets and our lies; they practically define us. When the truth offends, we lie and we lie until we can no longer remember that its even there, but it is still there. Every lie we tell owes a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid. That is how a RBMK Reactor core explodes. Lies.”
That was the take home message for me - the terrible consequences of lies.......of creating, spreading and believing lies.

“…our secrets and our lies; they practically define us. When the truth offends, we lie and we lie until we can no longer remember that its even there, but it is still there. Every lie we tell owes a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid. That is how a RBMK 3D STS WORLD Reactor core explodes. Lies.”

A recent op-ed by Neil Clark on RT.

The lessons of Chernobyl: It’s the West that now needs Glasnost
The much-acclaimed series ‘Chernobyl’ tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster and the authorities’ attempts to play it down. Ironically, 33 years on, it’s Western leaders who need to learn how to be honest and transparent.
It was the accident which some think led directly to the fall of communism. “Reformers in the Soviet Union, and Mikhail Gorbachev himself, used Chernobyl as an argument for more accountability and greater frankness, because the initial reaction of the Soviet authorities was anything but transparent. It became a symbol of what was wrong with the Soviet system,” says Professor Archie Brown, author of ‘The Rise and Fall of Communism’, as cited in yesterday’s Sunday Express newspaper.
Just three-and-a-half years after Chernobyl, the Berlin Wall came down, and in 1991, the USSR itself ceased to exist.

Western ideologues were quick to gloat, saying that a system which kept telling people lies and trying to cover things up was always doomed to fail, but in terms of openness and telling the truth, are we really much better than the Soviet Union of the 1980s?

Consider the way a succession of illegal wars has been sold to the public. We were told in 2003 that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ which could be assembled and launched within 45 minutes. It was false, patently so, yet the Chilcot Report was only published 13 years later, and even now, no one has been prosecuted in relation to a war which led to the deaths of one million and the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

In 2011, we went to war again, against Libya. Once more, our politicians were less than honest with us. We were told that we had to bomb because Colonel Gaddafi was going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi. Only five-and-a-half years later were we allowed to know the truth. In September 2016, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report held that “the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence… the Government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element.

Again, we were tricked into war. By ‘nice’ Western politicians, mark you, and not ‘lying’ Soviet ones. Once more, there’s been no accountability. Libya, a country which had the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa, was destroyed. It was a far worse disaster than Chernobyl, as indeed Iraq was. When will the HBO dramas on these catastrophes be screening?

It’s not just the illegal wars. There have been cover-ups of plenty of other things, too. Three years after Chernobyl, there was the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death. It was the worst disaster in British sporting history. To add insult to tragedy, the fans themselves were blamed. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun claimed on its front page that fans had urinated on policemen and picked the pockets of victims. It took nearly 30 years to get the record formally put right and achieve ‘Justice for the 96’ when a jury held that the fans were ‘unlawfully killed’. The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, which wants a public inquiry into the way striking miners in South Yorkshire were ‘brutalised’ by police in the so-called ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in 1984, are still waiting. In 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there would be no inquiry.

Where’s the openness and transparency here?

Likewise with the cover-ups over suspected Establishment pedophiles and other high-up wrong-doers. We learnt only this year that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had, back in the 80s, personally protected a senior Conservative MP who allegedly had a “penchant for small boys.”

We don’t know whether a leading Soviet politician who was a child-abuser would have been prosecuted. Probably not. But we do know that in Britain in the 1980s, such cover-ups definitely occurred. And who really believes that’s still not the case today?

Bergson and Popper famously divided societies into ‘open’ and ‘closed’ ones, but Western ‘openness’ is not quite as ‘open’ as we’re led to believe. It does not extend to politicians frankly acknowledging the role that Western foreign policy has played in aiding, directly or indirectly, the very same terrorists who have gone on to target Western civilians. That’s a taboo subject, even after the Manchester Arena bombings and the bomber’s link to the MI5-‘sorted’ anti-Gaddafi LIFG, and the slaughter of tourists on the beach in Tunisia by a man who reportedly trained at an IS camp in neighboring ‘liberated’ Libya.

There are many more subjects too that are so taboo I dare not even mention them here. By contrast, dishonest or fact-lite narratives, such as ‘Russiagate’, or the one that holds that the UK Labour Party, an anti-racist party, is ‘awash with anti-Semitism’, hold sway. We CAN talk about these and indeed some commentators talk about little else.

It is the greatest of ironies that at the very same time that we are being told how HBO’s Chernobyl exposes the rottenness of the ‘closed’ Soviet system, a man who does believe in openness and transparency, a free press, and government accountability, is languishing in a maximum security prison in ‘open’ London, facing a possible extradition to the US and sentences of up to 175 years in jail. Julian Assange, whose only crime is wanting to show us what was behind the curtain, is no less persecuted than the Soviet dissidents about whom we heard an awful lot in the 1980s.

It’s been said that if you feud with someone long enough you end up being like them, or at least how you liked to portray them. When we think of the old Cold War and what’s going on today, that seems to have come true.

In its lack of transparency and openness, and the way in which lying has become the new normal, the West is now behaving the way the Soviet Union is supposed to have operated at the time of Chernobyl.

Who, I wonder, will be the equivalent of Mikhail Gorbachev to introduce some much-needed Western Glasnost?
 
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