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Where ‘Chernobyl’ HBO miniseries was filmed in Kyiv?

November 18, 2019

By Olena Lysenko; Photos courtesy of HBO

Many scenes of The HBO miniseries Chernobyl were filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine. Some locations in Kyiv were used to mimic such cities as Moscow and Minsk. We prepared a fan’s guide to Kyiv’s top locations that appeared in Chernobyl. If you would like to have a guided tour or interested in finding some other cool locations in Kyiv, please, contact us at

Institute for Nuclear Research

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The second episode of HBO’s Chernobyl opens on the ‘friendly atom’ mural in Kyiv. This mosaic was created by artists Halyna Zubchenko and Hryhorii Pryshedko in 1974 at Institute for Nuclear Research. These artists created one of the most expressive examples of monumental and decorative art during the Soviet period in Ukraine. Inspired by science, their mosaics adorned the facades of research institutes and universities.

Swimming Pool of Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture

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This swimming pool appears in the last episode of Chernobyl in the scene that shows peaceful lives of residents of Pripyat before Chernobyl disaster. The actual building is located at Solomianskyi district of Kyiv and was built for students of architecture university in 1966, a few years before the city of Pripyat was founded. The pool length is 25 m.

Kyiv Sea

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In the first episode, a couple repairs their motorcycle on the side of the road near the water. They see buses which are going towards Pripyat. This road is situated near a coastline of Kyiv Sea and doesn’t actually go to Pripyat. It goes to Slavutych though (the city that was purposely built for the evacuated personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the 1986 disaster). 

Kyiv Sea, is a large water reservoir located on the Dnipro River, to the north of Kyiv. It was formed in 1960-1966, as a result of the Kyiv Hydroelectric Power Plant dam being built at Vyshhorod. During its construction many nearby villages were flooded. It’s a lovely place for a picnic. Kyiv Sea is surrounded by pine trees and sandy wild beaches.

Vernadsky National Library Of Ukraine

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In the episode 4 of HBO’s Chernobyl Ulana Khomyuk, a nuclear physicist from Minsk, runs to the library where she investigates the archives and finds identical incidents that happened at other nuclear stations. The text on the screen says that it’s Lomonosov Moscow University Library, but actually it’s the main academic library in Ukraine. It was constructed between 1975 and 1989 and represents a mix of two architectural eras – neoclassicism and Soviet modernism. The episode featured only a small fraction of this unique and beautiful building.

The National Technical University of Ukraine

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The scene of a night hotel in Pripyat was shot in Kyiv, at the university that produces world’s leading IT professionals. After that, one of the campuses of The National Technical University of Ukraine appeared in the episode 2, in the scene, where Ulana Khomyuk, a nuclear physicist from Minsk, runs to Belarusian communist party headquarters to inform about the danger of Chernobyl disaster.

Khmelnytskoho street

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Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street in Kyiv was used to portrait 1987’s Moscow.To make the scene look more realistic, the creators of the series added Soviet symbolics and changed the colour of the letter “M”, that signals the entrance to the metro from green to red. This street ends with a famous house with a star on the rooftop. Built in 1954, it was one of a Stalinist skyscrapers that also appeared in Moscow (Seven Sisters skyscrapers), Warsaw, Bucharest, Prague, Riga.

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

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This huge white building of Kyiv University was used to portrait Byelorussian Communist Party Headquarters in Minsk. The campus of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv was designed and built in the 1970s-1980s in the style of modernism. Since then, it has hardly changed. 


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Almost all foreign film, music, commercial directors who worked in Kyiv filmed at least something in Troieshchyna neighborhood. This is a perfect place for those who enjoys the aesthetics of Soviet sleeping neighborhoods. This specific scene featured a pregnant Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the wife of one of the deceased firefighters, seating during the winter on the bench. Shooting took place in the summer, so the film crew had to bring a lot of artificial snow to produce this scene. Attentive observers could also notice some plastic window frames and insulated facades of buildings, which were not typical for that era.

Kostiantynivska Street

This street is located at the most popular party neighborhood of Kyiv, Podil. This is where Closer night club, variety of bars and cafes are located.

Institute of Hydrobiology National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

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In the episode 1, firefighters and workers of Chernobyl nuclear station, who received terrible radiation poisoning, are brought to the Pripyat hospital. The building that was portrayed in this scene is located in Obolon neighborhood. For the sake of historic credibility, the roof was decorated with the slogan “People’s Health is the Wealth of the Country”.