New Ukrainian ‘Cyborgs’ war film chronicles heroic defense of Donetsk Airport

War in the Donbas

242days. This is how long the defense of Donetsk airport lasted. For their amazing resilience, the militants themselves have named the Ukrainian soldiers “cyborgs”. A feature film based on this battle premieres across Ukraine on December 6th. Its first screenings have already taken place in Mariupol and Dnipro.

The fierce fight for Donetsk International Airport over the winter of 2014/2015 became much more than a battle for a strategically important terminal complex. The outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainian soldiers inside the destroyed building earned the name ‘cyborgs’ by one member of the combined Russian army units and separatist forces for withstanding intense attacks for months — before retreating. Their heroic stories are portrayed in the new film ‘cyborgs’.

Actor Roman Yasinovskiy plays a Ukrainian serviceman with the callsign ‘Gid’ — which translates into English as ‘Guide’. He says he began preparing for the role well before filming began:

“A week before filming, we met, rehearsed walking in uniform with automatic weapons. We practiced fighting techniques and the stunts that we made ourselves.”

Based on real events, the full-length feature film made with help of the cyborgs themselves follows the individuals stories of those who were deployed to the airport for the first time — a musician, a son of a wealthy family — ordinary people from different background who all fight with one aim — for the future of their country and their loved ones. The characters try to understand their role in the war — and the price of independence.

“Our heroes put these questions to each other — on Facebook, in personal conversations between people — that’s why we voiced them. Precisely because they wanted to shoot an honest movie,” says Akhtem Seitablayev, film director.

The creators hope that soon the movie ‘cyborgs’ will be seen in other countries.

“It is necessary that the whole world sees this because unfortunately, the war is going on … now there is interest in Poland, the Baltics, and Canada,” says Ivanna Dyadyura, Film Producer.

The film goes on general release this week.

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