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An Instagram model who caused uproar after she tagged a pair of controversial photographs of herself in the deserted exclusion zone of the Chernobyl disaster, has apologised.
Veronika Rocheva received a backlash for her post but has now claimed the pictures weren't taken in the town of Pripyat, as she had originally claimed.
Speaking to Russian publication life.ru, the 23-year-old admitted the photos were actually taken in a disused canteen more than 2,500 miles away from the area affected by the disaster.
She said: "I don't know why we decided to put this geotag. It was all filmed at a deserted location in Novosibirsk.
"It looked in a way similar to Pripyat and we just tagged the location as 'Pripyat'. We simply didn't expect to get such outburst of negative reaction. We didn't think about the consequences."
The model then went one to say she thought the post would only be seen by her friends.
She added: "In fact I was doing a vlog about the environment when I got inspired by the HBO Chernobyl series.
"This is what made us link the location we used for filming to Pripyat, they just looked so equally abandoned. We thought it would be just our friends watching it, that was it."
Veronika then apologised for any hurt the picture - which still has the Pripyat geotag - may have caused.
She said: "We didn't want in any way to hurt or insult people that went through such a horrendous tragedy. We pay deepest respect to the story of Chernobyl."
When she shared the photograph, followers and users piled into the comments section, criticising the model for the insensitive post.
One person hit out, writing: "You could literally take these pics of yourself .....anywhere else."
A second said: "It's quite pathetic if you need to do this to gain self respect."
A third asked: "Vile. You're in Chernobyl.. what made you or your photographers think this was okay?!"
Another added: "Totally disrespectful considering what occurred and the enormous loss of life. Grow tf up."
Some even demanded she remove the picture immediately, with several calling for her to 'delete' it
Since HBO's hit series Chernobyl hit screens last month, there has been an incredible amount of interest in the story behind the meltdown.
Tour companies have even seen a massive increase in the number of people looking to visit the exclusion zone.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram
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