Luydmilla Ignatenko [ISFP 2w1 sx/so]

Luydmilla’s entire world is her husband, Vasily, and when he is hospitalized with severe radiation poisoning, Luydmilla will stop at nothing to be reunited with him and nurse him through his sickness ignoring the potential danger to herself. She is a loving and passionate woman who is mild-mannered and quiet under normal circumstances, but under pressure she can become forceful and obstinate (inferior Te). Her use of Se shows in her confidence in physically demanding situations, such as forcing a perimeter guarded by soldiers to get to her husband. Luydmilla is pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time of the explosion, and even though she is told that pregnant women absolutely cannot go near the irradiated patients because they’re still emitting radiation and it could severely damage or kill the fetus, she defies this ban and lies about not being pregnant so that she can remain by Vasily’s side. Her bond is with him, not with the unformed individual she’s carrying inside her. She knows her husband’s condition is invariably fatal but still entertains conversations with him about their future together because she knows it will soothe his mind. She cannot reconcile with the thought of Vasily dying alone, so she nurses him diligently throughout his last days, careful not to show how upsetting his deteriorating appearance is to her.

Vasily Ignatenko [ENFJ 3w2]

The exuberant and optimistic Vasily is the heart and soul of his friend group. His positive and open nature makes him easy to like and easy to trust, hence his fireman colleagues barely hesitate to follow him into the burning wreckage after the explosion. Vasily dreams of a more glamorous life for himself and his wife Lyudmilla and is eagerly preparing for his role as a father. He wants to relocate his wife and unborn child to a large metropolitan city that has more culture and entertainment to offer than Pripyat… preferably Moscow. Vasily believes that by following orders blindly he will be justly rewarded for his efforts, not realizing that the government sees him as merely a disposable bio-robot. He is not on-call on the night of the accident but decides to head the rescue team anyway because he believes it will gain him favor with his bosses. Even when he’s literally at death’s door, Vasily retains his unyielding optimism and tries to keep the atmosphere light by cracking jokes. “I told you I’d show you Moscow!”

Sasha Akimov [ISFJ 6w7]

Akimov, a senior reactor engineer, is cautious by nature and does not like to enter a situation he has not properly assessed and thus does not have control of, but he does not have the courage to stand up to Dyatlov when the latter orders they activate the reactor. Akimov is patient and forgiving towards the insecure, inexperienced Toptunov and shows healthy, pronounced use of Fe by taking him under his wing and saying things like “we’ll do it together” followed by a practical demonstration of the job he is expected to do. He is nervous about the shortcuts Dyatlov demands they make, and his focus deteriorates during stress when he is required to juggle multiple unknown variables. When asked by his boss how an RBMK reactor could “explode” immediately following the accident, he can’t offer any answer except “I don’t know”, not wanting to theorize (low Ti and Ne).  

Leonid Toptunov [INFP 9w1]

The bright but sensitive and shy Toptunov is misplaced in the reactor operating crew, where all the other men are much older, more experienced and more accustomed to Dyatlov’s dictatorial command style. He is also visibly uncomfortable with the “macho” work atmosphere, the constant ribbing, and vulgar language used by his colleagues, but he does not speak up on his own behalf, preferring instead to quietly distance himself from them. Toptunov lacks confidence in his own abilities, and is mortified when he finds out Dyatlov will be supervising the reactor control room team. “I’m supposed to do something I’ve never done before with Dyatlov looking over my shoulder??” When the disaster happens, Toptunov melts down alongside Reactor 4, being unable to say or do much except claim “we did everything right!” He is unable to evaluate the situation on his own terms and latches onto whatever his mentor, Akimov, decides, no matter how dangerous or counter-productive.

Colonel Pikalov [ISTJ]

Pikalov is a low-key practical man who manages to remain enviably calm in times of crisis and “do what needs to be done” whilst also retaining a distinct moral ethos. His specialty lies in evaluating hazardous chemical situations and choosing the least terrible option, and in the case of a nuclear disaster that means lives have to be sacrificed. Pikalov refuses to order any of his men to approach the exposed reactor core fire with a high-range dosimeter to find out how high the radiation truly is, but it has to be done, so he volunteers himself, even if it means certain death within five years. His tactics to combat the fire come from a place of traditionalism and the “tried and true”, and he initially struggles to comprehend that the meltdown is not actually a “fire” in a conventional sense, and cannot be managed like one. 

Guest typed by Henrika.