Chernobyl Hero Found Dead After Watching HBO Drama with 'Tears in His Eyes'
Nuclear disaster 'liquidator' Nagashibay Zhusupov 'took his own life'
A hero from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been found dead after reportedly watching the hit HBO TV drama series, based on the real-life events of the accident, with "tears in his eyes."
61-year-old Nagashibay Zhusupov "took his own life" after the television drama reduced him to tears due to his treatment by the state following the disaster, according to reports.
Zhusupov died after falling from the roof of a five-story building in Aktobe, Kazakhstan and was found dead at the scene.
Mr. Zhusupov was forced to move himself, his wife and their five children into a cramped and dirty hostel dormitory after the government "refused" to give him one of the apartments provided to other veterans of the historic explosion.
Zhusupov's suspected suicide came after he watched the HBO series with "tears in his eyes" because it reminded him of the painful memories of his sacrifice, according to his daughter Gaukhar, 25.
According to the Daily Mail, friends believe Zhusupov killed himself because he felt neglected by the authorities despite having served as a liquidator in blitzed reactor number four at Chernobyl after the 1986 explosion and later as a worker at the Soviet nuclear testing site in Semipalatinsk.
Many Chernobyl veterans have been awarded housing and boosted pensions by governments in ex-Soviet states Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, but Zhusupov felt 'cheated', say friends.
One said: "He lived in penury, without a proper home."
Bakitzhan Satov, the chairman of an organization representing Chernobyl liquidators who battled appalling pollution at the exploded power station, said Zhusupov had been one of the first on the scene at blitzed reactor number four.
The hero was allocated a cramped dormitory room in a hostel, 'too small' for himself and his wife and five children.
For years he had demanded the kind of state-provided apartment allocated to other Chernobyl veterans, which he believed was his due in return for his sacrifice.
Yet after ten years waiting in a housing queue he found his name had been "deleted," leaving him distraught.
Satov said: "He was suing to recover his place in the line for a flat.
"The last time I saw him, he regretted that he could not get an apartment.
"I believe that he jumped from a height in total despair because for many years he could not get a proper home."
Local media reports citing friends have echoed this theory over his "suicide."
His health, too, was hit by his work at Chernobyl, say reports.
He was tormented by frequent severe headaches and sudden collapses, and he has spent more and more time in hospital.
His pension including disability allowances was £35 a week.
In an interview before his death, Zhusupov said: "Nobody told us why they called us (to work at Chernobyl).
"I was working as a tractor driver at the time."
Yet he was one of the first liquidators at the exploded reactor.
He said: "After Chernobyl, my health deteriorated.
"I also served at the Semipalatinsk testing ground."
His daughter Gaukhar said: "We all watched the series 'Chernobyl.'
"Dad watched and remembered with such pain all these moments they had to go through.
"There were tears in his eyes while he was watching 'Chernobyl.'"
She said: "My dad got some support from the government, but not the way he wanted.
"Dad had a dream to get an apartment from the state like other Chernobyl liquidators who sacrificed their health.
"But his dream remained a dream."
Despite his troubles, he always tried to help others and was full of "energy" when playing with his grandchildren.
"We can't believe this happened to us, and that he won't come home anymore," she said.
Another Chernobyl veteran who met him on 26 April, for the anniversary of the explosion, said Zhusupov was "severely depressed."