Political Science Department Screening 'Rejection: The Fight For Ukraine'

Filmmaker Maria Tomak (Courtesy photo)
Feb. 9, 2016

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Media Contact: Terry Goodrich (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 9, 2016) – The 2015 documentary "Rejection: The Fight for Ukraine" will show from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, in Draper Academic Building, Room 152.

The filming is sponsored by the department of political science. The documentary was created by Liudmyla Nemyrya, a Ukrainian director, in conjunction with public activists.

Based on events that took place from March to June 2014 in Eastern Ukraine, the documentary reconstructs the buildup to the conflict, uncovering the actions of the local elites, oligarchs, separatist militants and Russian undercover agents who all had parts in the conflict.

"This conflict will remain at the forefront of the international diplomacy for years to come," said Sergiy Kudelia, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science. "It will also remain highly relevant for the U.S. given that America’s national interests in the region stand in direct confrontation with Russia. The film will allow students to understand the conflict in a more nuanced manner and, hence, to have better-informed views on ways to resolve it."

Over the course of one year, the film's crew interviewed more than 50 witnesses, heroes and victims of the events of "Russian Spring" in Donbas, as well as local Donbas authorities.

"The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has been widely covered in the U.S. media and remains one of the top international priorities for U.S. policy-makers," Kudelia said. "The media coverage of the conflict, however, has also been often superficial. This was, partially, the result of a poor understanding of the region and its complex history. The film is based on the views of the local residents and activists. This brings a valuable grass-roots perspective, which has been often overlooked or ignored."

The film uses archival footage and witness testimonies to document Eastern Ukraine's sudden loss of governmental control and the region's irreversible slide into war following the rise of an armed separatist movement in the wake of Euromaidan revolution.

The documentary does not focus on hostilities, but rather attempts to analyze and make sense of the events that resulted in a two-year armed conflict in the region, ultimately ending in the area's occupation by Russia.

"I hope students will learn how easy it is for a country to slide into war despite its long history of peace and how difficult it is for sane and reasonable people to stop the insanity once it starts," Kudelia said. "I hope they will also see how wars often become an unintended consequence of political adventurism and scheming combined with external meddling."

The film is 90 minutes long. This event is free and open to the public. Draper Academic Building can be found at 1420 S. Seventh St., Waco, TX 76706.

by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


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