Russian film union pledges solidarity with Ukraine

Russian film union pledges solidarity with Ukraine
Still from the film Koktebel (2003) by Boris Khlebnikov

11 March 2014
Text Nadia Beard

High-profile figures from the Russian film world have responded to an open letter from their Ukrainian counterparts, asserting their position against the Russia’s military presence in Crimea. “We share your contempt as to the lies and distorted coverage of the momentous events in Ukraine, and all the more so we are against Russian military intervention in Ukraine,” the open letter read.

The letter was signed by more than 120 members of the Russian film union Kino Soyuz including eminent individuals such as director Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky and actress Yuliya Aug. It came as a response to an appeal from members if the Ukrainian film industry, which called for solidarity from Russia.

The letter from Ukraine said: “We call on you to say ‘NO’ to those plans to divide our people, to sow hatred which can only catastrophically influence our great and glorious art. We believe in reason, we believe in the power of truth and memory which unite us with the strongest of bonds.”

Scores of other Russian culture figures, including rockstar Zemfira and street artist Timofei Radya, have pledged their allegiance with Ukraine following the deployment of troops from Moscow earlier this month. Last week, a group of 21 Russian-language writers living in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv signed a letter in opposition to military intervention in Ukraine. Among the signatories were poet and human rights activist Inna Zakharova, and writer and artist Andrei Pichakchi.

“The questions under discussion about linguistics or nationality cannot be reasons for military intervention,” the letter read. “We, Russian writers of Kharkiv and citizens of Ukraine, don’t need the military protection of another state. We don’t want another state — hiding behind the rhetoric of protecting our interests — to drive into our city and our country, risking the lives of our friends and relatives.”