Russia is making its own version of Sky Atlantic’s critically acclaimed series Chernobyl – blaming the nuclear disaster on a CIA saboteur.

In traumatic detail, the Sky/HBO co-production reveals the complex chain of events set off by the explosion at the nuclear plant on 26 April 1986 – and the heroism and sacrifice of those sent in to try to contain the radioactive leak.

It focuses on the cause of the blast in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic being a failed safety test on the No 4 reactor.

However, the Moscow Times has reported a number of Russian media organisations are furious at the portrayal of the event, and that the state-backed TV channel NTV is filming its own version.

Alexei Muradov, director of the upcoming feature, told the newspaper his story will be based on a conspiracy theory that “Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant” and likely had a hand in the explosion.

“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,” he told the paper.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Russia’s culture ministry has part-funded the series by providing the production company with 30 million rubles (£362,000).

Abandoned buildings in a ghost town near the power plant
Abandoned buildings in a ghost town near the power plant

Official figures state 31 people died as a result of the disaster – and that number has remained unchanged since 1987.

However, the catastrophe undoubtedly caused the deaths and premature deaths of many, many more with estimates ranging from 4,000 to 93,000.

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