(Kyiv) Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, a former political prisoner in Russia, who joined troops in Kyiv after the start of the Russian invasion last year, said on Monday he was injured in an artillery bombardment at the front .
“On the first combat sortie after our return, during the landing, we came under artillery fire. Bradley saved our lives again. Three wounded, mostly shrapnel,” the 47-year-old director wrote on Facebook, referring to the American Bradley armored infantry fighting vehicle, copies of which were supplied to Kyiv.
Mr. Sentsov, who has the military rank of second lieutenant, posted a selfie with a bloodied face, taken inside an ambulance.
“Shards have already been taken out of my face, small (shards) in the arm and leg will stay with me forever. The other guys are fine too, the doctors in Zaporizhia know their job well,” Sentsov added.
The region of Zaporijjia, in the south of the country, is one of the areas where Ukrainian troops have been leading a slow counter-offensive since the beginning of June to retake the territories occupied by the Russian army.
Mr. Sentsov received on Friday in Kyiv the insignia of the order of the Legion of Honor from the hands of the French ambassador to Kyiv, Etienne de Poncins, who hailed on Twitter a “true hero of Ukraine”.
On July 9, the filmmaker posted a video on Facebook showing him lying on the ground, seemingly unable to move, on the battlefield. He will announce later in the day that he has been hospitalized for a contusion.
Oleg Sentsov was arrested in Crimea and charged with “terrorism” after protesting the 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia.
He spent five years in Russian prisons before being finally released in 2019 during an exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia following an international mobilization, particularly in the cinema world with directors like Ken Loach, Pedro Almodóvar and Wim Wenders.
Mr. Sentsov has directed several films including “Rhino”, presented at the Venice Film Festival (Italy) in 2021.
“I’ve had several lives, and I don’t regret anything,” he told AFP in July 2022, after spending his first months on the front lines.