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Films about war crimes in Ukraine were shown in Montevideo


On March 22, in Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montevideo, Uruguay, a screening of three documentary films by The Reckoning Project took place, followed by a discussion. After the screening, the co-founder of the project, Natalya Gumenyuk, answered questions from the audience.


Executions, torture of prisoners, forcible removal of children, the obstruction of evacuation, and the shelling of civilians, hospitals, and infrastructure... During the 2 years of the invasion, the army of the Russian Federation committed almost all of these types of crimes in breach of the Geneva Conventions. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has opened more than 120,000 proceedings relating to war crimes, and Ukraine demands the creation of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression, which it calls “the mother of all crimes“.


“RETURN ME TO MY DAD”. THREE UKRAINIAN CHILDREN

SENT TO RUSSIA AGAINST THEIR WILL

The film tells the story of the Mezhevyi family, residents of the city of Mariupol, which was attacked and captured by the Russian troops. The children were separated from their father during the forced evacuation following a violent filtration procedure. The father was detained. Later, three kinds were sent to the sanatorium near Moscow, where they were given a choice: adoption by a Russian family or being moved to an orphanage. Fortunately, the eldest boy Matvii found a way to call the father. Yevhen managed to save his children from Russia and reach Latvia where the family is currently building their new life.


THE MOST FRIGHTENING DAYS OF MY LIFE. YAHIDNE

In March 2022 the Russian troops for a month locked up 367 residents of the village Yahidne in a school basement. In a room of only 86 m2 people including the elderly and children were imprisoned and denied food and medication. On the 5th day, the first death occurred as a result of asphyxiation. In total, ten people died inside the basement. The dead bodies remained inside the room, alongside those who were still alive, for an extended period of time, as the occupiers would not allow those bodies to be buried. Fifteen more people were killed outside of the basement. The film tells the story of how it all happened, and how people managed to survive.


THE LOST PARADISE. VIKTOR MARUNYAK

Viktor Marunyak, the Head of Stara Zburivka, a village in the Kherson Oblast, shares memories of his unlawful arrest and the violent tortures that the Russian soldiers subjected him to after the village was occupied. He was only released when his health deteriorated to the point of it becoming critical. Viktor, and his wife Katia, eventually managed to evacuate and find a quiet place in Latvia where they recall the

paradise that had been lost due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia.



Nataliya Gumenyuk is a Ukrainian journalist, and author specializing in conflict reporting. She is the founder and CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Lab which promotes constructive discussion around complex social issues. After the full-scale Russian invasion, Gumenyuk co-founded "The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies" which documents war crimes committed during the war. The Reckoning Project’s documentaries and articles have been published by TIME, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Dial, and New Lines Magazine. In 2023, under Gumenyuk's leadership within the “Connecting The Continents” initiative, PIJL brought to Ukraine senior editors, public intellectuals and journalists from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Nataliya is the author of several documentaries and books, including “The Lost Island: Tales From The Occupied Crimea” and “The Maidan Tahrir” on the development after the Arab Spring, as well as the co-author of the book “The Scariest Days of My Life. The Dispatches of The Reckoning Project“. As a foreign news correspondent, she has reported from over 50 countries. Nataliya regularly writes for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Rolling Stone, Die Zeit, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.


This event was made possible by support of the Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Uruguay and the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.


USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience, and advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity. USAID has partnered with Ukraine since 1992, providing more than $3 billion in assistance. USAID’s current strategic priorities include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health care systems, and mitigating the effects of the conflict in the east. For additional information about USAID in Ukraine, please call USAID’s Development Outreach and Communications Office at: +38 (044) 521-5753. You may also visit our website: http://www.usaid.gov/ukraine or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUkraine.

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