Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev stated that he did not give orders not to reward the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor to academician Valery Legasov, who was involved in the investigation of the causes of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
In HBO's "Chernobyl" miniseries, Legasov's career stopped after he had presented his own version of the nuclear catastrophe.
"I did not give [orders]. Who else could give them, but me? This is fiction," Gorbachev said adding that he had not seen the much talked-about TV series about Chernobyl.
Public interest in the life of academician Valery Legasov rose after the release of the miniseries, in which Legasov was played by actor Jared Harris.
In the last episode of the series, Legasov speaks at the court where he accuses employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant of the disaster. In his speech, Legasov claims that the state machine of the Soviet Union was silencing the fact that nuclear reactors in the Soviet Union, including of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, were defective. In reality, the scientist did not take part in the trial - the scene was fictitious.
Legasov was a member of the governmental commission to investigate the causes and eliminate the consequences of the accident at the nuclear power plant. According to one of the versions, speaking at the IAEA conference in Vienna in 1986, he allegedly exposed secret information. Some historians believe that Gorbachev then decided not to award the title to the academician, and the scientist's career was ruined. The academician had been promoted to the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor twice, but he had never received it. In 1988, Legasov committed suicide.