'Chernobyl' Creator Urges Instagram Tourists to Show "Respect"

Social media influencers have been criticized for posting disrespectful, and sometimes scantily clad, photos of themselves from the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

The creator of the acclaimed HBO/Sky drama Chernobyl has spoken out about the sharp rise in tourism to the exclusion zone around the nuclear disaster site, noting the number of inappropriate photos being posted by Instagram users.

"It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion," Craig Mazin tweeted on Wednesday morning. "But yes, I've seen the photos going around. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed."

According to reports, visitors to the site, near the city of Pripyat in the Ukraine, have increased by 30 to 40 percent since the hit five-part miniseries began airing in May. But among them have been a number of social media influencers who have drawn sharp online criticism for using the unusual setting as a backdrop for photos of themselves, sometimes even in revealing outfits (one user posed topless in an unzipped hazmat suit).


A post shared by @nz.nik on

Pripyat, about 70 miles north of Ukraine's capital, Kiev, has been open to tourists since 2011 and can be accessed only as part of a licensed tour.

Thirty-one people were officially recorded as killed by the Chernobyl disaster, but estimates for the broader number of victims range from 4,000 to 93,000.