Article by: Tom Bell and Romeo Kokriatskiy
The 2014–2015 Battle for Donetsk International Airport will long be remembered in Ukrainian history. The Ukrainian soldiers who repelled intense daily gunfire and artillery attacks became a symbol of resistance. In fact, the opposing combined Russian army units and separatist forces labelled the Ukrainian troops ‘cyborgs’, for their superhuman effort in stopping any enemy advance on the airport complex. In the final gruelling days before Ukrainian soldiers left Donetsk Airport, dozens were killed in combat or taken hostage as prisoners of war. Now, a new film chronicling the Ukrainian soldiers’ fight and sacrifice for Ukraine is being produced for the big screen.
The movie called ‘Cyborgs’ in English, following the daily lives of one Ukrainian volunteer battalion, just after government-led forces established full control over Donetsk International Airport for the first time in four months.
Film director Akhtem Seitablaiev took on the challenge of putting the story on the big screen. His goal is to showcase the bravery of these Ukrainians legends to the whole world.
Akhtem Seitablaiev, Director of film ‘Cyborgs’
“I want to express a thought of mine, that especially young men like these are the future of our country, these smart, worldly, patriotic men, and those who know the price of life, death, dignity”
To ensure the film accurately portrays the struggles of the Ukrainian soldiers, they are constantly consulting the “cyborgs” themselves — as well as other Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers.
Roman Yasynovskyi, Actor in film ‘Cyborgs’
“Kyrylo Nedria, who’s callsign is ‘Docent’, works with us frequently. He was in a company at Donetsk Airport. I also have friends who served in the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone). A friend of mine is a sniper. We spoke with very many acquaintances of mine, who were there before filming began”
The full-length film ‘Cyborgs’ was one of the winners of a competition by the State Cinema Committee of Ukraine. The budget of the film is more than 1.5 million U.S. dollars, 50 percent of which was provided by the state.
The theatrical release of ‘Cyborgs’ is planned symbolically for December 6th, 2017, the third anniversary of the fall of the old airport terminal.
- Cyborgs on Film: New Documentary Chronicles Donetsk Airport Battle
- Meet Ukraine’s legend: the cyborgs defending Donetsk airport
- The story of one cyborg
- Victim of Russia’s War Crime: Gassed Cyborgs’ Medic or “Simply Tania”
- Interview with a ‘Cyborg’: “Ukraine above all else”