Insta model apologizes after racy ‘Chernobyl’ photoshoot causes massive online fallout
Veronika Rocheva, 23, was accused of gross insensitivity on social media this week, after pictures of her –wearing a gas mask and stripping out of a see-through hazmat suit– were geotagged as being at Pripyat, Ukraine – the now-abandoned city near where the April 1986 catastrophe occurred.
Apologizing for the confusion, Rocheva explained the shoot was just inspired by the disaster and actually took place over 4,000km away.
“I don’t know why we decided to put this geotag,” Rocheva told Life.ru. “It was all filmed at a deserted location in Novosibirsk.” The model added that the desolated site had been initially selected for a Vlog on the environment – but the recent buzz surrounding the recent HBO series about the disaster inspired the “Pripyat” tag.
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.
Apologizing for any “hurt” or “insult” she may have caused those affected by the disaster, Rocehva said she had the “deepest respect” for Chernobyl victims and the site’s liquidators. However, her pictures are still tagged at the ghost city and she is still getting critical fallout from users of the platform.
“Wouldn’t be surprised if your next photoshoot is naked in Auschwitz,” one noted, while others accused her of “looking for attention” and for being “disrespectful.”
Chernobyl’s “Zone of Exclusion” has experienced a spike in visitors since the critically acclaimed HBO series about the nuclear meltdown aired this year. However, several viral pictures posted by social media influencers have attracted criticism for being insensitive, bearing in mind the harrowing nature of the disaster.Also on rt.com What HBO got wrong: Chernobyl general gives hit TV show a reality check
This prompted the show’s creator to ask visitors to respect those who suffered in the tragedy, which the World Health Organization estimates is responsible for the deaths from radiation exposure of at least 4,000 people.
“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,” Craig Mazin wrote on Twitter.
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