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Ukrainian Society to screen documentary of protest

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Netflix can bring shows, movies and documentaries to anyone nowadays. The Ukrainian Society at Ohio State is taking advantage of that with the upcoming showing of “Winter on Fire,” on Sunday at Hagerty Hall 100 at noon.

“Winter on Fire” is a documentary showcasing the 2014 Euromaidan movement where peaceful protest turned violent in order to have the then-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, removed from office.

Directed by Evgeny Afineevsky, the documentary is actually a collection of different videos obtained from people involved in the protests and from news organizations.

“The documentary is actually looking at the Euromaidan movement that occurred last November and that finished in March, more or less,” said Andrew Drozd, a fourth-year in neuroscience and president of the Ukrainian Society at OSU. “The documentary looks at the peaceful protests that turned violent as to the state aggression upon peaceful demonstration, which ended up ousting the former President Viktor Yanukovych out of office.”

The movement led to the pro-Europeanization and a more democratic and westward-looking Ukraine.

With “Winter on Fire” being released on Netflix, it gave the Ukrainian Society a chance to host a viewing of the documentary.

“There was a lot of hype within the Ukrainian community because it was done by a non-Ukrainian and it was really heartwarming to see that this was put out, not just at little film festivals, but being made accessible to the larger population,” Drozd said.

While some people might have already seen the documentary, Drozd isn’t one of them, opting to wait until Sunday.

“I’m waiting. A few of the (Ukrainian Society members) already have. My mom saw it and she said it brought tears to her eyes and that it’s a fundamental documentary. I’m just really excited to finally see it on Sunday,” Drozd said.

Someone who did get a chance to see the documentary before the Sunday showing was Yuliya Vanchosovych, a fourth-year in evolution and ecology. She is the treasurer for the Ukrainian Society.

“I did see most of it. I didn’t see the end because I want to see the entire (documentary) with everyone else on Sunday,” she said.

With such a tough and uneasy subject such as a movement and protests that turned violent, the documentary has some intense moments that may make it hard to continue watching for some viewers.

“It was really hard to watch a lot of the time just because I’ve been to the city multiple times so the fact that everything they showed in the video was happening was unthinkable,” Vanchosovych said.

She added that one of the recurring themes in the documentary is that the Ukrainian people went through a lot of hardship fighting for something they believe in.

“One of the themes is the struggle of the people and what they went through and how much loyalty they had toward the ideals of democracy and fairness,” Vanchosovych said. “They did a really good job making it relatable to even those that don’t have anything to do with the Ukraine.”

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