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Two-time Oscar-nominated Russian producer blasts 'tragic mistake'

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Two-time Oscar-nominated producer Alexander Rodnyansky, who lives and works in Russia, has said he felt “unbearably ashamed” and “incredibly, deeply sad” when his son called from Kiev on Thursday with news that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had begun.

Rodnyansky, who was born in Kiev, said in an email interview with ‘Variety’: “Of course, I realised before that the situation might go this way, but I still couldn’t believe that missiles are exploding in Kiev.’

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The producer of the Golden Globe winner ‘Leviathan’ and Cesar award-winner ‘Loveless’ said: “I couldn’t imagine that Kiev, my native town, where my relatives, friends and colleagues live, where my parents and grandparents are buried, will be struck by missiles of the country where I have been living and working for the last 20 years, together with my family and friends.”

Trying to make sense of the current crisis, Rodnyansky drew a parallel to the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, which began more than 40 years ago and raged for a decade.

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He told ‘Variety’: “I remember very well how the Soviet government explained to us the absolute necessity of the Afghan war. And how it took 10 years, 15,000 Soviet soldiers and nearly a million Afghans killed to admit that it was a tragic error.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine, Rodnyansky said, is “another tragic mistake”. It is not because “the national economy will crash, our country will stagnate in global isolation and deepen the ever-growing technological gap,” he said, “but because the shame for this mistake will never go away. It will stay with our children and our grandchildren.”

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