Russian Communist Party calls for 'Chernobyl' TV show ban and libel action

It claims the show is 'is an ideological tool designed to discredit and demonise' the Soviet Union

A still image taken from season one of HBO show 'Chernobyl'. Courtesy OSN 
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The Russian Communist Party has appealed to the country's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, or Roskomnadzor for short, with a demand to restrict access to the HBO mini-series Chernobyl, as well as demanding that a criminal libel case be launched against the creators of the series.

The demands were revealed by the party’s press office, and credited directly to the head of the executive committee of the central committee of the party, Sergei Malinkovich.

“Firstly, Roskomnadzor should block access to the filthy series on all trackers, on all resources,” Malinkovich said. “Secondly, criminal cases should be opened against the director, screenwriter and executive producer of the series under Article 129 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for public defamation.”

The statement added that the demands have been issued to both Roskomnadzor and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Malinkovich added that in Chernobyl "the real tragedy has become the object of ideological manipulation by the HBO channel."

He went on to say: “The series about the dramatic events of April 1986 ... is an ideological tool designed to discredit and demonise the image of both the Soviet government and the Soviet people.”

The party chief did concede that the chronology of the events of the series and its key moments “mostly” correspond to reality, though at the same time he insisted that “the motivation, the actions of the heroes themselves, the portrayal of relationships in institutions and collectives, and, finally, the moral climate in Soviet society itself is an example of absolute lies.”

A still taken from season one of 'Chernobyl'. Courtesy OSN 

Chernobyl premiered on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK on May 6. It is currently screening in the UAE on OSN Series First. It hasn't been screened on Russian TV, but is legally available on Russian streaming site Amediateka. Russian state TV has already undertaken production of its own show to counter the story of HBO's version, which will apparently lay the blame for the world's worst nuclear disaster to date squarely at the feet of the CIA.

Chernobyl tells the true story of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. It shot straight to the top of IMDB's list of the world's greatest TV shows before its run was even complete, and currently holds a 96 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgard and Jared Harris star in the series.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is the second largest party in the country's parliament after Vladimir Putin's United Russia. It is the direct successor of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was banned by former president Boris Yeltsin following 1991's failed coup.