How historically accurate is HBO’s Chernobyl

How historically accurate is HBO’s Chernobyl

It is not historically accurate, however it’s for the most part based on real-life events. The Chernobly series contains some true facts about insignificant things and mostly distortion, misinformation or even outright lies about significant ones. It is so carefully tailored to make the hole country, it’s people, authorities and decision makers look bad and ridiculous.

Chernobyl skyline

  • Gorbachev is not looking like Gorbachev
  • Civilians, even high-positioned could not give orders to soldiers, especially such as to escort somebody with force.
  • The civilian government bosses did not drive around with military guards, and machine-gunners or riflemen were a total rarity in the heart of the country.
  • The firefighters did not have red stars on their helmets, at least in Moscow.
  • The computer model on the table in Minsk looks wrong for the time and place. There could be a computer but likely another one.
  • People use address “comrade” in wrong circumstances. It is a very formal address, especially to a woman (comrade is masculine in Russian, so when applied to a woman it needs full formal name after it). It also hardly can be used in a situation of a conflict with a stranger, like by a police officer to a person he is about to arrest or by a doctor to a visiting woman in hospital. A word for “citizen” would be used in these situations.
  • In reality nobody prohibited people from leaving the zone. Many people fled the zone in contaminated cars and with contaminated things. Later, checkpoints were installed, which would wash the cars and check possessions.
  • The coal minister Shadov wears a suit fashion from the 1990s, which became popular in mafia circles.
  • There is a lot of technical inaccuracies which can be summed up as exaggerating the horrors of radiation in orders of magnitude.

Chernobyl monument

So overall , Chernobyl series is historically accurate as much as can be possible. What we need to be remember is that reality was much , much worse.