13 photos of ‘Chernobyl’ in comparison with their real-life prototypes

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Look alike or not?

At 01:23:47 on Saturday, April 26, 1986, an explosion occurred at the 4th power unit of the Chernobyl NPP, which completely destroyed the reactor. The power unit building partially collapsed, and a fire started in the rooms and on the roof.

In Ukraine, this accident was never forgotten, but the unprecedented success of the HBO series “Chernobyl” again forced the whole world to talk about those terrible days. Viewers and critics note that the series recreates the picture of events with incredible accuracy, and the characters written in it are based on real prototypes.

This is how the characters of the series look compared to their prototypes:

1. Jared Harris — Valery Legasov, scientist.

Legasov was deputy director of the I. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy and a member of the governmental commission for the elimination of the disaster in Chernobyl.

He appeared on the site of the disaster one of the first and spent there a total of 60 days. After the other members of the commission returned to Moscow to minimize exposure, Legasov returned to the Chernobyl NPP to continue work. Received a significant dose of radiation, 4 times the maximum permissible rate, greatly affected his health, and in 1988 he died at the age of 51 years.

In 1996, Russian President Boris Yeltsin posthumously awarded Legasov the title of Hero of Russia for “courage and heroism shown during the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident.”

2. Jesse Buckley — Lyudmila Ignatenko, Vasily’s wife.

Lyudmila, the wife of firefighter Vasily Ignatenko, watched her husband die for two weeks in agony. She was pregnant and did not obey the doctor’s orders to stay away from her husband. A few months later she gave birth to a daughter who died 5 days after birth from cirrhosis of the liver and congenital heart disease.

Lyudmila still lives in Ukraine.

3. Stellan Skarsgård — Boris Shcherbina, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

As soon as it became known about the accident in Chernobyl, Boris Shcherbina was appointed chairman of the Government Commission of the USSR Council of Ministers to investigate the causes and liquidation of consequences. Already on April 26, 1986, he flew to Kiev and immediately went to the city of Pripyat, ordering his immediate evacuation.

In 1988, Boris Shcherbina headed the commission on the aftermath of the earthquake in Armenia. Everyone who was with him at that moment noticed that because of the radiation, “which he had consumed in Chernobyl, he had no immunity at all.”

Boris Shcherbina died in August 1990.

4. Sam Troton — Alexander Akimov, shift supervisor.

Alexander Akimov — the head of the night shift of the fourth power unit. In the tragic night, he stood at the console and watched the tests — testing the emergency situation on the fourth unit.

After the explosion on the fourth power unit, Alexander Akimov, together with dozens of NPP workers, restored the water supply to the third unit and the operation of its pumps. They removed all people from the danger zone, removed the hydrogen from the generators and replaced it with safe nitrogen, pumped out tons of oil to prevent its ignition. These people did not let the accident grow to the scale of a universal catastrophe.

All of them received the strongest doses of radiation and were sent to a local hospital after the firemen, the first ones to extinguish the fire at the reactor. Two weeks later, Alexander Akimov died of radiation sickness in a hospital in Moscow.


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