The TV show about the devastating 1986 nuclear accident, which took place in what is now known as Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union), is receiving critical acclaim in the United States and is one of the top-rated shows on IMDB.
It has a 9.7-star (out of 10) average rating from almost 140,000 users per Variety and was shot on location in Ukraine and Lithuania. But the show, which was created, written and executive produced by Craig Mazin, hasn't been received well in Russia -- specifically by the Kremlin.
So much so, the country has decided to make its own Chernobyl-inspired series, The Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday. According to the outlet, the show is already in postproduction.
The series was commissioned by NTV, a network which is owned by Gazprom Media, aka the media branch of the natural gas company Gazprom known for its pro-government stance, according to THR. The government has also reportedly invested 30 million rubles ($460,000) in the production budget.
The only available details about the premise of the series are that a group of Soviet KGB officers is searching for a CIA agent stationed at Chernobyl, who is believed to be a spy.
Officials from both United Nations and the Nuclear Energy Institute determined that the nuclear accident was a result of human error and the reactor's faulty design, which the Soviet government concluded themselves in a 1986 report on the tragedy, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ilya Shepelin, a columnist for the Moscow Times writes the events of Chernobyl are a deep "source of shame that the pro-Kremlin media apparently cannot live down" and that's why it cannot let the HBO series go unnoticed.