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The "Chernobyl" series and the memories of heroes who saved millions of lives

One of the episodes of the miniseries realized by HBO, "Chernobyl", tells the story of Alexei Ananenko and two other engineers, Valeri Bespalov and Boris Baranov, who descended into the overturned corridors to empty the radioactive water tank about three meters under the reactor in flames, reports AFP. 

On the screen, the three men warned of rapid death, volunteered on this mission to avoid a major tragedy, with millions of dead that would be caused by a second outbreak of nuclear fuel contact with reservoir water .

Today, Ananenko lives in a modest homeless apartment, at the outskirts of Kiev.

"I never thought of myself as a hero. I left my job, "says the 59-year-old who put his life in jeopardy in 1986.

In reality, although fearful of a second explosion, the intensity of the eventual catastrophe was not very clear. While, men in the serial are described as accepting the suicide mission, they were not well informed of the threat they were suffering. 

"They told me to go and go," says Ananenko. "We were not afraid."

Only protected with diving equipment, simple breathing apparatus and hand-held batteries, they can find the emptying places to open them.

"I immediately heard the noise that showed the water flowing. It was stunning, "says Ananenko.

As you look at the scene on the screen, he's in inaccuracy.

"We did not have them," he says, pointing at the oxygen cylinders. "And we went faster. Why faster? Because if we were slow, the dose of radiation would be much greater. "

Although they had two doses, Ananenko did not remember the radiation figure that his body had taken.

"That means it was not too high," he adds.

One of the other men in the mission, Baranov, died in 2005, while the third, Bespalov, lives in the same neighborhood with Ananenko.

Ananenko did not suffer from health problems after that mission and was able to work in the nuclear sector by 2017. He was forced to retire after a car accident from which he remained in the coma for a month. This has also affected his care.

Decorated with medals from the former USSR and Ukraine, he lives with a 369-euro pension.

Meanwhile, another former Chernobyl worker Oleksiy Breus, a technician at the fourth fatal reactor, said he had a positive impression on the series, although there are some criticisms. "Nuclear scientists are shown as people who are afraid of everything, especially by bosses but in reality they were very determined, "he insists. "None of the operators escaped after the explosion. Instead, young people came to help Pripyat, a city of nuclear power plant workers evacuated after the incident. After the catastrophe, we had to go through a burning and half-destroyed building to save injured colleagues, bring them to the doctors and fight the fire. "

Sergiy Parashyn at a meeting with journalists, in the bunker of the 1986 meeting with political officials

Sergiy Parashyn, former Chernobyl director who led the Soviet Communist Party's cell when a catastrophe occurred, also commented on the series. He says the scenes in the underground bunker - which appear in series, as a meeting between high-tech staff and communist political officials - are unrealistic.

"In fact, specialists worked to find out what should be done, but in the series they see how they refuse the information," he says.