Former Chairman Of The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Speaks Out Against HBO's Portrayal Of Certain Characters

The limited mini-series, Chernobyl, has been a huge success for HBO in recent weeks. The five-part series explored the meltdown of Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. Since then, there has been a surge in interest in the event and the people involved in it.

In the miniseries, the blame for the Chernobyl disaster is placed firmly in the hands of the Soviet Union and management at the nuclear power plant, with excessive bureaucracy and secrecy believed to be causes of the disaster. However, Sergii Parashyn, who was chairman of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's Communist Party Committee during the disaster, has now spoken out about the interpretation of key players in the TV series.

According to Reuters, Parashyn, who was present on that fateful day in 1986 when Reactor 4 failed and a meltdown occurred, believes that HBO got it wrong regarding Anatoliy Dyatlov and Viktor Bryukhanov.

Chernobyl's Deputy Chief Engineer Anatoliy Dyatlov, played by Paul Ritter in the HBO series, is described by Parashyn as harsh but fair.

"[Dyatlov] did not behave as terribly with people as the show portrays. He was harsh, yes, everyone obeyed him unquestioningly... But he was fair."
Con O'Neill as Viktor P. Bryukhanov, Paul Ritter as Anatoly Dyatlov, and Adrian Rawlins as Nikolai Fomin
HBO | Liam Daniel

In addition, Parashyn also believes that the man in charge on the day of the disaster, Viktor Bryukhanov, played by Con O'Neill in HBO's Chernobyl, was not portrayed accurately.

"Bryukhanov is a composed, calm, intelligent man, who never denied his responsibility," Parashyn said.

Bryukhanov, along with Nikolai M. Fomin and Anatoly S. Dyatlov, were each sentenced to ten years in jail for their involvement with the Chernobyl disaster.

Parashyn is not the only one with this opinion. Oleksiy Breus, who was the senior engineer of Reactor 4 in 1986, also concurs.

"The plant workers are shown as though they are scared of everything... This does not reflect reality. In reality, they were quite decisive, very decisive, not one of the operators fled after the explosion."
Chernobyl's creator, Craig Mazin, also spoke out about the portrayals of these characters in the HBO series. Mazin states that a creative line has to be drawn when deciding how to portray real-life characters in a show such as Chernobyl. And, at times, Mazin believes it is important to choose a creative slant over historical accuracy in order to get people to tune in.

However, while there may have been some creative license regarding the portrayal of characters in HBO's Chernobyl, on a whole, has been praised for its historical accuracy. Even Parashyn admits that the series got it right in portraying the Chernobyl disaster as a "global, rather than a regional, catastrophe."

The limited miniseries, Chernobyl, is currently airing on HBO.