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Ukrainian documentaries in Argentina unveil Russian war crimes

In a special screening at the General San Martín cinema in Buenos Aires, documentaries detailing the Russian military aggression shed light on the grim realities of the war in Ukraine.
Screening of documentary films in Buenos Aires, on 14 April 2024. Source: Embassy of Ukraine in Argentina
Ukrainian documentaries in Argentina unveil Russian war crimes

On 14 April, the General San Martín cinema in Buenos Aires hosted a special screening of two documentaries about the Russian war against Ukraine, said the Embassy of Ukraine in Argentina.

One of them is “Chornobyl 22” by Ukrainian director Oleksii Radynsky, which tells the story of the occupation of the exclusion zone in Kyiv Oblast, narrated by the nuclear power plant employees, the direct witnesses of the Russian invasion. The film was created with the help of The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies, a non-profit organization that documents and investigates Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

The Chornobyl employees recalled that Russian troops dug trenches in hazardous soil and looted the zone’s property when they withdrew to Belarus on 31 March 2022. Despite challenging conditions, the power plant workers continued performing their duties, trying to prevent another catastrophe and assisting Ukrainian soldiers.

On 15 April, The Reckoning Project, composed of Ukrainian and international journalists, lawyers, and analysts collecting evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, submitted a lawsuit in a court in Argentina on behalf of a Ukrainian who was tortured by Russian soldiers during the occupation of southern Ukraine.

The complaint said electric cables were attached to his ear and finger to pass a shock through his body while being in a detention center with cells 10 meters squared, with 12-20 people in each cell.

This is the first Ukrainian lawsuit regarding Russian war crimes filed in Argentina. The victim’s name and the location where the crime occurred have not been disclosed. Lawyers are asking the court to investigate torture as a war crime and a crime against humanity. Argentina has the right to do so because it operates under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which means the country can investigate international crimes even if they were committed on the other side of the world.

Representatives of the Ukrainian and Polish communities, diplomats, officials, journalists, and ordinary Argentinians attended the screening of the documentaries, the Ukrainian embassy said.

The other film, “In the Rearview” by Polish director Maciek Hamela, tells the story of his evacuation of Ukrainians who had to leave their homes due to Russian aggression. The Ukrainian film company 435 Films joined the production of the film.

Hamela personally evacuated Ukrainians. At some point in his minibus, he set up a camera and recorded conversations with the people he was evacuating. Over six months, Hamela evacuated 400 people, some of whom became the heroes of his film, according to Detector Media.

The world premiere of “In the Rearview” took place at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2023. The film has won numerous awards, including the Best Documentary Film at the Odesa International Film Festival.

After the screening, the audience had the opportunity to talk with Natalia Humeniuk, co-founder of The Reckoning Project and director Maciek Hamela.

A month ago, Ukraine also showed documentaries about Russian war crimes in Ukraine at another center in Buenos Aires, attended by representatives of the local government and non-governmental sector, the diplomatic corps, business circles, and media, the Ukrainian community, as well as professors and students from Argentine universities, along with numerous friends of Ukraine.


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