Kyiv, August 25, 2015. In mid-September, the premiere of the documentary, “The Raid,” is expected to hit the screens. Both the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the General Staff of Ukraine are in support of the film, which details Ukrainian airborne operations from late August to early September 2014. The film’s screenwriter Olexiy Honcharuk, Advisor to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Makukhin and Advisor to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Kavatsyuk spoke about the film at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
In August 2014, the Ukrainian military liberated 60 percent of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. By that point, Ukrainian troops had gained combat experience and their numbers had grown from 2,500 at the beginning of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) to 32,000. “We had plans to complete the ATO by mid-September, but the invasion of Russian troops on August 25 ruined those plans,” said Kavatsyuk. “We faced a number of challenges, and this movie is about how we coped with these challenges.”
According to Makukhin, after the Russian invasion in August 24, which resulted in the Ukrainian military defeat near the town of Ilovaisk, triggering diplomatic efforts that resulted in signing of Minsk agreements in September 2014, the situation became very threatening, although nobody mentioned it openly. “Airborne troops were among the first to take to battle. The film is mostly about them, about saving Mariupol, and about preventing an attack on Kharkiv,” he said. The advisor to the Defense Minister said that people know little about the Ukrainian paratroopers operations, but military academies around the world already study them. “One of the raids has been recognized by international experts as the longest military raid in history,” said Makukhin. “To say that these deeds are heroic is to say nothing. These events are unique. Experts note that Ukraine currently has unique experience in waging hybrid war,” he added.
Active work on the film began in early August. “This film is partly a documentary, partly a reconstruction film,” said the screenwriter. “We have already recorded interviews with 10 people: Airborne Brigade Commanders, US experts including NATO General Wesley Clark and Philip Karberom, a military expert and Adviser to the USA General Staff Academy, Ukraine’s Chief of Airborne Troops Communications, a head of the medical unit, gunners, as well as a battalion of 30th mechanized brigade that passed 170 km of fighting.
The premiere is scheduled for September, but the exact date is unknown, as it depends on when all the interviews are ready. English subtitles will make it possible to broadcast the film outside Ukraine. “This subject of great interest to society, and we must speak about it,” said Makukhin.
A teaser of the film can be viewed at the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfPb45GOT8&feature=youtu.be