An Instagram model is receiving extensive backlash for posting racy photos of herself in a Chernobyl-like setting, pretending to have visited the nuclear catastrophe site.
Veronika Rocheva, 23, achieved internet notoriety last week when she posted provocative Instagram photos at a dilapidated building, while topless and wearing a white thong and a sheer “Hazmat” suit. She then posed with a gas mask and revealing her decolletage.
Rocheva falsely geotagged the shoot in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, home to the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Several Instagram users felt her use of nudity intertwined with a nuclear disaster was horrific, while others, who were not yet aware that the photos were staged, said she was subjecting herself to dangerous radiation.
“Wtf?! Chernobyl is the place of tears, pain and fear. How someone can take a photos in a place where people have lost their hopes for the future?” one Instagram user wrote.
“Extremely disrespectful,” another user added. “Walking around taking nude photos on a place where such a tragedy happened. Show some respect girl.”
“Theres nothing wrong with showing off your body bc its yours to do as you please, but this is completely the WRONG place, disrespectful on so many levels....how could you possibly see this as acceptable? thousands of people died,” one user replied.
Rocheva admitted on Friday that the photographs were exaggerated. "This was not in fact even Pripyat, we did the shoot in a deserted location in Novosibirsk,” she told Life.ru, per a translation provided by The Sun. “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.”
It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion. But yes, I've seen the photos going around.— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) June 11, 2019
If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.
Several photos of Instagram users geotagged at the nuclear accident site have gone viral in recent weeks, resulting in extensive criticism from around the world. Many said the photos showed a deep disrespect for the historical tragedy. The final mortality toll of the Chernobyl accident could be anywhere between 4,000 and 90,000 people, according to Time.
The area has become quite popular in recent years and the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, has continued to pique public interest. On June 11th, the show’s creator, Craig Mazin, took to Twitter to suggest that fans of the show their respect.
“It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” wrote Mazin. “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.”
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