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Sky Documentary The Real Chernobyl Is Out Tonight

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Sky Documentary The Real Chernobyl Is Out Tonight

Tonight Sky Atlantic will be airing a new documentary entitled The Real Chernobyl, which will feature people that were involved in the tragedy.

We all watched in amazement as the hype surrounding Craig Mazin's miniseries Chernobyl grew by the minute and following its success, Sky has spoken to the people that lived through the catastrophe.

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On the evening of 26 April 1986, a test at Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant went catastrophically wrong, causing a huge steam explosion which soon became the worst nuclear accident in the world.

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But what about the people that are still alive today? The men who worked at the plant, the firefighters, the divers, the pilots, and the families evacuated from the nearby city of Pripyat?

Sky spoke to Oleksiy Breus, a control room operator at the plant. He was travelling to work on the bus with no knowledge of the tragedy that had unfolded hours earlier.

Oleksiy Breus. Credit: Sky
Oleksiy Breus. Credit: Sky

He said: "It looked like it would be a mass grave. I was sure that the whole [night] shift had died there.

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"As I was coming close to the station, I saw from the bus that the block was destroyed. I always say that my hair stood on its end when I saw that.

"I didn't understand why me and other workers were brought there. But it turned out that there was still much work to be done."

A photograph from inside the exclusion zone. Credit: CHERNOBYLwel.come
A photograph from inside the exclusion zone. Credit: CHERNOBYLwel.come

He went on: "The guarding sergeant gave each of us a pill of potassium iodide. I took it immediately. It was a special medicine made to protect the thyroid gland from radiation. All my life I remember him with gratitude.

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"I was stepping over lumps of black graphite. I didn't want to admit to what I saw, just like many other people - that it was black graphite.

"[The operators had] to save those injured by fire, debris, hot water and steam and radiation. We were to find them, carry them out and deliver them to the medical personnel and go look for others.

"We saved and brought everybody out, except for one person. He is still somewhere there. Inside the reactor."

Igor Pismensky. Credit: Sky
Igor Pismensky. Credit: Sky
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Igor Pismensky was also among those at the site of the accident. He was a helicopter navigator who was sent to spread decontamination materials over the site.

He told Sky: "No one opened the windows, the chopper was all shut, but it was not airtight, it was not protected against radiation.

"The view of the destroyed reactor down below - after the main fire had been put out, you could see separate glowing reddish firebeds in the first days. That was the view from the height of 200 metres."

He added: "Radiation is considered... invisible, it cannot be seen, but you can feel it; that is, you can feel a certain metallic taste in your mouth and a sore throat."

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Watch the interviews in The Real Chernobyl on Sky Atlantic this evening at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: Sky

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film

Rebecca Shepherd
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