Invisible battalion: film about war in Donbas through Ukrainian women’s eyes


Despite the stereotypes, the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine involves Ukrainian women too. The documentary “Invisible battalion” will show the world the role of women in the war.

The filming of “Invisible battalion” about Ukrainian women participating in the war in Donbas began in 2017. The film will be presented in October 2017. The film will show the story of 6 women and their participation in the armed conflict, said Maria Berlinska, author and director of the “Invisible battalion”, head of the NGO “Institute for Gender Programs,” at a press briefing held at Ukraine Media Crisis Center.

The project is to document and show the stories of women fighting in Donbas, to break the glass ceiling for women in the security sector and refute misinformation.

Women in the army

“Professional involvement of women in the defense sector, its development on the basis of equality is a crucial problem today,” said Maria Berlinska. She pointed to the discrepancy between the actual specialization of women at the front and their official position. This discrepancy affects allowances and further career. There were cases when women snipers, storm troopers, grenade launcher operators were employed as seamstresses and cooks.

Storyline: six stories

Svitlana Lishchynska, director of the documentary film project “Invisible battalion,” notes that each of the six stories centers around one of six aspects of country’s life at war.

One of the stories is devoted to Olena Bilozerska, who is fighting in the “Ukrainian volunteer army”. She shares the experience of trench warfare.

The story devoted to Julia Paievska tells about hardships of evacuation of the wounded from the front line.

Adriana Susak, the third character informs about discrimination against women at the frontline.

The fourth character Oksana Yakubova tells about rehabilitation of people who came back from the war. Alina Horlova, director of this part, emphasizes the need to reform our rehabilitation system.

The film will show the real stories of women who went honestly through the war, and were at the forefront. The film directors wanted to make a film without excessive patriotism.

It is not a civil war. It is the Russian occupation.

“With this documentary we want to remind the world that it is not a civil war in Ukraine. It is the Russian occupation. It is much better and easier to show this on the example of women because the world is already accustomed to the boys in military gear,” notes the author of the project.

The film will be shown on the national television and at film festivals.