Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

The Oscar-nominated documentary, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015), is on Netflix. Harrowing but essential viewing. It shows how Ukrainian youths who were mostly born during the period of post-Soviet independence galvanised their people from all walks of life to protest against the oppressive regime, headed by a pro-Russian president, at the time (circa 2013).

The extraordinary courage and fearlessness of Ukrainian civilians shown in the face of police brutality and certain death in pursuit of freedom tell us a thing or two about their strong unity and fervent resistance against the Russian invasion today.

The war may be far away (for someone in Singapore), but Putin is terrorising the world by laying down the preliminary conditions for WW3 to spark and forcing humanity back to the Cold War paranoia of existential nuclear threats which may very well turn unimaginably real. (Go remind yourself on ultra-close shaves: Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 & the Stanislav Petrov incident in 1983.)

I’m already feeling the fears, both rational and irrational, creeping in. The world has changed and we could be bracing for a pivotal few months or years that future historians would collectively reference to explain the state of the 21st century.

Covid was just the start, this is even more frightening, and then there is the prospect of irreversible climate change within our lifetime. In the short term, I’m just praying for everything to de-escalate as soon as possible.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this suggestion. I have been wanting to look into what was happening in the Ukraine at that time because Putin referred to the happenings of 2014 as prompting the current invasion.

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    1. Some of my cinephile friends also suggested the works of Sergei Loznitsa, particularly MAIDAN (2014) and DONBASS (2018), both of which I’ve yet to see. So far I’ve only seen a couple of his Soviet-era documenaries which are fascinating.

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