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Ukrainian actors: men from the screen who are now fighting against Russian aggression

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The full-scale invasion has forced many Ukrainians to change their usual way of life: some have engaged in volunteering, while others have taken up arms. Those who only played military roles on stage or on screen yesterday are now fighting for Ukraine’s independence. We tell the story of Ukrainian actors who have taken a stand to defend Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.

Oleksandr Pecheritsya

An actor who appeared in the film Bitter Harvest and TV series such as Kroposna (Fortress), Yakov’s Century, and Saga, has been defending Ukraine as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the early days of the full-scale invasion. Since the end of February, the actor has been near the capital, and since May, he has been in the Kharkiv region. Oleksandr sometimes returns from the front lines to perform at his home National Ivan Franko Drama Theater.

All photos provided by Gwara Media

Akhtem Seitablayev

An actor and director of the film Cyborgs, since the early days of the full-scale invasion, has been fighting as part of the 206th Territorial Defense Battalion of Kyiv. He doesn’t stop filming even during the war: Akhtem, with several mobile groups, documents war crimes and captures footage for a future film about current events.

Oleksiy Trytenko

Together with Akhtem Seitablayev, Oleksiy Trytenko joined the ranks of territorial defense. He starred in Akhtem’s film Peaceful-21. In the spring, the Ukrainian actor was one of the first to show photos of liberated from Russian troops cities in the Kyiv region: Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, and Borodianka. It became known that Oleksiy took part in the liberation of the Kyiv region.

Garik Bircha

An actor from the TV series Vitalka and several Ukrainian comedic projects, Garik Bircha has been serving in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the early days of the full-scale invasion. In addition, he writes poetry, one of which the actor published on his Instagram page. In it, Garik Bircha shares reflections on war and the future of Ukraine.

See also: She was afraid of being missing: daughters’ memories of a female soldier who died in the war

Andriy Fedinchyk

Ukrainian actor in films such as Kruty 1918 and Black Raven, joined the territorial defense of the Zhytomyr region in the early days of the full-scale invasion. In March 2021, he was awarded the title of Merited Artist of Ukraine, but the award ceremony took place over a year later when Andriy Fedinchyk was already on the front lines. The award was received by the military’s wife.

Volodymyr Rashchuk

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian theater and film actor volunteered to join the Ukrainian army, later transitioning to the National Guard and becoming a company commander. In the spring and summer, he took part in battles for Sievierodonetsk, during which he suffered three concussions.

Serhiy Filimonov

The actor played the lead role in the film “Rhino” directed by Oleg Sentsov. Serhiy, from the early days of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014, participated in combat operations as part of the volunteer battalion Azov. In addition, Filimonov is an organizer and participant in activist initiatives in civilian life and was involved in the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. He returned to the front lines again in the early days of the full-scale invasion.

Andriy Lutsenko

A Merited Artist of Ukraine, he served in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) from 2014 to 2017. After demobilization, Andriy Lutsenko and his wife moved to Mariupol and began performing at the local theater. However, in 2022, their apartment, along with the theater, was destroyed by Russian missiles. From the early days of the full-scale invasion, the actor has been serving in the Border Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ruslan Pakhomi

The Ukrainian actor from the TV series Kriposna (Fortress) joined the ranks of the Izmail Border Patrol after the start of the full-scale invasion. Initially, he was enlisted in the local self-defense unit, but Ruslan went to the district recruitment center when he realized that he would be of greater service to the country there than in the village.

Pavlo Aldoshyn

The actor from the film Sniper: The White Raven exchanged his costume from the film set for a real military uniform at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Pavlo Aldoshyn shared that the skills he acquired during the film preparation, such as combat behavior, providing first aid, firearm handling rules, and more, have saved his life on the front lines.

Viktor Storozhenko

An actor who serves in the ranks of the Legion of Freedom — a participant in street battles in Sievierodonetsk. He was injured during an artillery battle in Zaitseve. On February 25, 2022, Viktor was scheduled to make his directorial debut with the play Enemy’s Cosmetics based on the book by Amélie Nothomb. The full-scale invasion changed his plans: the military enlistment office refused him due to a “white card,” but Storozhenko joined the volunteer battalion Svoboda.

Originally posted on Gwara Media. Translated and edited by the UaPosition – Ukrainian news and analytics website

See also: From the creator of miniatures to the soldier of the National Guard: how the war turned from art into life for Anton Derbilov

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