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France grants Legion of Honor to Ukrainian writer and filmmaker

Zabuzhko and Sentsov
Oleh Sentsov and Oksana Zabuzhko.
France grants Legion of Honor to Ukrainian writer and filmmaker

Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov are awarded the French Legion of Honor, the French Ambassador to Ukraine announced on 14 July.

The Legion of Honor is the highest national decoration in France. For two centuries, it has been rewarding the outstanding merits of citizens and designating them as models of French civic service. The Legion of Honor was founded in 1802. The President of France awards it.

Oleh Sentsov is a Ukrainian film director who joined the Ukrainian Army in 2022 when the full-scale Russian invasion started. Sentsov directed the feature films Gamer (2011), Numbers (2019, co-directed with Akhtem Seitablayev), and Rhino (2021).

Following the Russian annexation of Crimea, he was arrested in Crimea in May 2014 and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a Russian court in August 2015 on charges of plotting terrorism. The conviction was described as fabricated by Amnesty International and others.

Sentsov was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2018. On 7 September 2019, he was released in a Russo-Ukrainian prisoner swap.

On 9 July 2023, Sentsov was injured during close combat in southeastern Ukraine. Sentsov got into a hospital to recover from the injury and promised to return to the front lines to keep defending Ukraine.

Oksana Zabuzhko is a famous Ukrainian novelist, poet, and essayist. Her works have been translated into several languages. Zabuzhko is the author of three novels: Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex (1996), Sister, Sister (2003), and The Museum of Abandoned Secrets (2009).

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