The latest horrible social media trend: taking skimpy photos in Chernobyl

The recent HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” earned rave reviews while it aired. The show was a dramatic highlight of the horrible 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The nuclear accident left many dead and its effects can be seen to this day in Chernobyl.

The series is a phenomenal exploration of the dangers of an authoritarian government that demands complete loyalty from its subjects.

(Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The show has, however, inspired the odd phenomenon of social media models taking skimpy pictures at the Chernobyl site. The constant need to be relevant displayed through social media platforms like Instagram has officially gone too far.

One model took a photo next to a rusted out van at the site.

Others donned hazmat suits as stylishly as they could while there.

Check out some of the pictures below:

The user who shared the first collection of photos above made clear in a followup tweet that he is not looking for people to attack the models.

“Few quick points since things got out of control: 1. don’t wish bad things happen to people 2. don’t act like a mob 3. don’t assume I wrote something I didn’t 4. some people provide useful info on IG; but whatever they post anyway, you have no right to abuse them. hello?!” he tweeted.

There are pictures of models everywhere around the nuclear disaster site and it’s all in the name of tying their brands to a television show that was meant to remind us of a tragic event we should continue learning from.

The show’s creator Craig Mazin even took to Twitter to respond to photos taken at the site that have been deemed by critics as “insensitive.”

“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. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed,” tweeted Mazin.

Model Veronika Rocheva found herself in hot water on social media recently after she posted pictures that she geotagged to Chernobyl, which is near Pripyat, Ukraine.

Rocheva ended up apologizing for the photos and admitting that she was never actually where she said she was.

“This was not in fact even Pripyat, we did the shoot in a deserted location in Novosibirsk,” she told

She confirmed that the series “Chernobyl” inspired her to take the pictures.

“We didn’t want in any way to hurt or insult people that went through such a horrendous tragedy,” she said. “We pay deepest respect to the story of Chernobyl.”

Tourism to what is deemed by many to be the Exclusion Zone has bumped significantly since the airing of “Chernobyl.”

“Many people come here, they ask a lot of questions about the TV show, about all the events. People are getting more and more curious,” tour guide Viktoria Brozhko said to Reuters.

Online reactions to “modeling” pictures taken in Chernobyl have not been kind, even if some of the pictures are manipulated.

“What is it with these IG models/influencers going to Chernobyl? Planning on glow in the dark posts?” wrote one Twitter user in reaction to the various pictures going viral.

Check out some other reactions below:


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