Ukraine in Russian cinema

September 27, 2022
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How do Russian films portray Ukraine and Ukrainians?

Any form of art can be used to defy, critique or reinforce cultural norms and political ideologies. Analysing films within their political, periodic and geographic context can provide a deep insight into the society where they emerged. Not only do they tell us a lot about their creators, but they also give us a look into the audience for whom they were created.

We are going to investigate the role of film in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Specifically, this video will focus on how Ukrainians have been depicted in Russian films throughout history.

In this analysis put together by Vitaliy Gordienko, we will demonstrate to you that, apart from promoting Moscow’s colonial narratives, Russian cinema has been actively discriminating, mocking and belittling Ukraine, its culture, language, and people. We will first look at some examples of films that were released before the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Back then, the relationships between these two countries were described as “friendly” or “brotherly.” Then, we will see how the narratives shifted after Russia illegally occupied Crimea and invaded Donbas region of Ukraine.

The material is prepared by

The author of the project:

Bogdan Logvynenko


Vitaliy Gordienko



Yuliia Tymoshenko


Oleg Sologub


Mykola Nosok

Film editor:

Liza Lytvynenko

Content manager:

Kateryna Minkina

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