You Say You Want a Ukrainian Revolution?

The director of 'Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom' talks with Reason TV.


Need a weekend Netflix recommendation? You can hardly beat a real-life revolution for high-stakes drama, and the new film Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom goes live on the streaming service this weekend.

Watch Reason TV's Nick Gillespie interview with the film's director and check out the original writeup below:

"No one was expecting to have kids beaten at 4 o'clock in the morning. No one was expecting people to be kidnapped or killed. It was just unfolding," explains Evgeny Afineevsky, director of the film Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, which documents the 93 day uprising that led to the downfall of president Viktor Yanukovych. The film, which recently won the People's Choice documentary award at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be debuting on Netflix on Oct. 9th. "We were just trying to capture every moment and document everything. All of a sudden I was in the middle of this uprising and I was capturing the history."

Afineevsky's film, which he calls "a cinematic monument" to the heroes of the Ukrainian revolution, is a sympathetic portrait of the conditions and actions of the protesters fighting against a corrupt regime and for closer ties to the European Union. While some reviews have criticized the singular viewpoint of the movie, Afineevsky defended his vision during a recent interview with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie. 

"The other side of the story is politicians and police. Police were not allowed to talk to the camera….And the politicians, every time you point a camera to the politician his story is promoting himself, and promoting his party, and his agenda. It is not the human story that I was trying to capture. For me this movie was the human story… not the politicians' agendas."

Approximately 6:30 minutes. 

Produced by Meredith Bragg. Shot by Joshua Swain and Todd Krainin. Winter on Fire footage courtesy of Netflix. 

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  1. They should have been expecting to have their children beaten at 4 in the morning. It’s what the state does.

  2. Groovus, if you’re alive and reading this, please let us know.

    1. ditto

      1. Of course, I thought I was going to be first*and* second.

  3. The police keep telling us, “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide”. And yet they keep wanting to hide stuff.

  4. Politicians trying to promote themselves? I’m shocked!

  5. OT: What is best in life? To see sad OU fans leaving the Cotton Bowl. To hear the lamentation of their women. Now to get ready to root against UM. Today could be awesome.

    1. I was under the impression Texas sucked this season.

      1. I was under the impression Texas sucked this season.

      2. OU is just worse. Also, it looks like UT took a day off from beating themselves.

    2. Cal/Utah.

      7pm Pacific game. Time to start drinking now.

      1. Jared Goff likes feet. That is on a sign, and that is how you know it is true.

        1. Utah fans suck. There’s a sign that went viral questioning Cal’s academic reputation. You may have seen it.

    3. Sorry. Against Miami. I don’t care about Michigan.

  6. TL,DW/L. So what’s the bottom line? Did the revolution make an improvement, & if so, in what respects, & could it be replicated elsewhere?

    1. I’d like to think it showed the neo-Soviets and their apologists for what they really are, but there are still westerners who fellate Putin.

      1. As opposed to the westerners who fellate the Ukrainian neo-fascists.

        1. Are the fascists the ones being beaten/gassed by the cops in the video?

          1. Both Lenin and Hitler spent time in prison both probably got beaten up on their way to it.

            Which one are you trying to make me support again?

            The video is pure propaganda meant to gain support from the US in a conflict we have no fucking business being in.


            Swear to god Gilmore, I can turn you into a Neo-con just by not being a neo-con and talking about it.

            1. Neo-con? what does any of this have to do with Israel, or Oil?

              1. He’s a moron who likes to use words he doesn’t understand while talking about topics he doesn’t understand.

              2. warmonger interventionist good enough?

                1. You seem to have switched from not answering the question about who you think the fascists are, to trying to accuse me of something for asking the question.

                  We’ll try again = You’re claiming everyone in the Euromaidan movement was a “neo-fascist”?

                  1. “We’ll try again”


                    You are just fishing. Have fun with that.

                    1. And Corning dodges having to clarify whether he means what he says yet again, with all the grace of a acrobatic made of bricks.

          2. Also beating and gassing is more humane then burning and shooting.

            See Odessa video’s below

            1. I just asked a simple question.

              You’re claiming everyone in the Euromaidan movement was a “neo-fascist”?

              1. “You’re claiming everyone in the Euromaidan movement was a “neo-fascist”?”

                Is Ted claiming everyone opposed to EU in the Ukraine are Neo-soviets?


                Almost as if you have picked a side…a good over an evil, for the US to jump in and save.

                1. This “i know you are but what am I’-rhetorical method of yours is very sophisticated.

                  1. “This “i know you are but what am I’-rhetorical method of yours is very sophisticated.”

                    I will never say sorry for calling an SJW. Get over it.

                    1. This is the adults table. There’s really no room for a mental case seeking attention, such as yourself.

                    2. “I will never say sorry for calling an SJW. Get over it.”


                      You seem to be the only one who cares about that.

                      I was more interested in why you seem to think that there are only two possible options in one’s perspective on the Ukraine =

                      – believing that the Euromaidan was populated entirely by “Neofascists”…

                      – or assuming that outside intervention is/was *absolutely necessary*

                      Apparently there’s no possible way anyone can maintain an informed view of the complexity of the various political interests in the Ukraine… and the disputes which have been going on for over a decade….

                      No = either people are supposed to accept your idiotic, cartoon-bad-guys version of reality, or they’re NEOCONTERVENTIONMONGERS?

                    3. Yes, your views of the world as you present them are full of strawmen Corning.

                2. The neo-Soviets are Putin and his proxies in eastern Ukraine; I called the westerners supporting him because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” apologists.

                  Some neo-Fascist groups jump on the Maidan bandwagon and because Obama and the EU supported the rest of the protesters there’s an illogical push to label everybody in the revolution as neo-Fascist.

                  1. It’s like police brutality which we all know is a problem, but where some people reflexively defend the cops because the race hustlers have taken it up as an issue.

        2. Neofascist being another term, like neocon, that you don’t understand but feel compelled to use as a pejorative.

          1. Holy fuck.

            How about “whiny bitch”? You understand what I mean when I use whiny bitch to describe you?

            Note the use of “neo-Soviets” above by ted? note how I use neo-fascists in a response to him?

            Note how these simply facts make you are a whiny bitch?

            1. “Note how these simply facts make you are a whiny bitch?”

              Sometimes I syntax bad too. Unlike you I don’t do it all the time, probably because I’m mentally sound unlike some people.

              Also, I find it hilarious that you are calling others ‘whiny’ after first bitching about what a horrible neocon Gilmore is for questioning your bullshit. You’re always projecting.

    2. The Maiden Revolution was the only way for Ukraine to get better. Their current government is still corrupt and engages in socialist stupidity. It’s a transition, and it’s improving Ukraine. Far less repressive government.

        1. Oh my god, I’m in love. With all of them.

            1. Did they say it in Japanese?

              1. Yes, while covering their mouths and giggling.

                1. Awesome. Now I love them even more.

        2. Kawaii Metal!

      1. OK, so how about specifics of the repression & their removal during this transition?

        1. Well, before the revolution critics of the regime had a tendency to turn up dead. Not as much now.

          1. But is that necessarily an improvement? For example, in the Islamic countries we see cases where brutal suppression & assassinations would be better than letting criticism flourish.

            1. No we don’t, because that suppression empowers radicals like the Muslim Brotherhood. Trying to get rid of Islamism with secular repression is how you get Syria. Besides Ukraine is not exactly a hot-bed of Islamism.

              1. Islamism or any -ism, it could always be that the only way to keep from being oppressed yourself is to get in your oppression 1st (Retaliate 1st!). Get them into the wood chipper before they deserve it, because you know they will.

                I was more interested in substantive policy, things that affect people who aren’t interested in politics. Have things improved for the uninvolved? Because w the involved, I might always think, “Whew! Good thing they bumped that one off.”

  7. “The Latest on the Million Man March anniversary: Farrakhan”…..563300.php

    Do I have the right guy? Shouldn’t this be the 190,000-Man March or maybe the 1,900,000-Man March?

    1. Its weird that people have anniversaries for failures.

      “Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan says black men and women should forsake foul language and violence against each other.”

      What was on the original menu, 20 years ago? was potty mouth a priority?

      1. Louis Farrakhan should never be mentioned without a reference to his calypso career.

        1. He is a progressive!!! Huh.

          So most of my friend’s posts on FB about the NOI are about how Farrakhan isn’t anti-Semitic. Are they insecure about something?

          1. Are they insecure about something?


            1. When it comes to celebrity calypso, I prefer Robert Mitchum.

              1. Out of all the people I’d think would bowdlerize “Gin and Coconut Water”, I wouldn’t have guessed Mitchum.

              2. OK, guys, thank you very much for those earworms.

                Let me return the favor.

                True fact* – the drummer is a young Elizabeth Warren.

                *So go ahead and spread the report on social media.

              3. Had you asked me yesterday if it were possible for my to think more highly of Robert Mitchum, I would have said No. I would have been wrong.

                1. I think he should have performed every role while pointing a shotgun at people

    2. One of my former teamates is involved in that stuff. Some of the ignorance is deliberate, and they’re proud of it.

      The love of conspiracy theories is… breathtaking in the NOI. I guess they really are muslim.

      1. On May 8, 2010, Farrakhan publicly announced his embrace of Dianetics and has actively encouraged Nation of Islam members to undergo auditing from the Church of Scientology.[34] Although he has stressed that he is not a Scientologist, but only a believer in Dianetics and the theories related to it, the Church honored Farrakhan previously during its 2006 Ebony Awakening awards ceremony (which he did not attend).[34][35]

        Since the announcement in 2010, the Nation of Islam has been hosting its own dianetics courses and its own graduation ceremonies. At the third such ceremony, which was held on Saviours Day 2013, it was announced that nearly 8500 members of the organisation had undergone dianetics auditing. The Organisation announced it had graduated 1055 auditors and had delivered 82,424 hours of auditing. The graduation ceremony was certified by the Church of Scientology, and the Nation of Islam members received official certification. The ceremony was attended by Shane Woodruff, vice-president of the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre International. He stated that “The unfolding story of the Nation of Islam and Dianetics is bold, It is determined and it is absolutely committed to restoring freedom and wiping hell from the face of this planet.” [36]

        1. There is a lot of money to be made in Scientology so I can’t be surprised that Farrakhan is interested in it.

  8. And the politicians, every time you point a camera to the politician his story is promoting himself, and promoting his party, and his agenda. It is not the human story that I was trying to capture. For me this movie was the human story… not the politicians’ agendas.

    I like this guy already.

    1. Along those lines, this is a story about a tank factory in the Ukraine. A lot of the war fighting is being done by volunteers who are defending their towns.

      “We have 1,200 fighters but around 50,000 people around us, working with Azov. We have a lot of people who just want to help us,” says Zvarych. “Every Ukrainian sees our government is useless. That’s why people help us with their work, money, food, clothing. They know with Azov they will be safe. With the government, they will not be.”

      1. That was pretty interesting. Maybe the USAF should ask them to make a substitute for the F-35.

      2. This sounds like a great set-up for a Toxic-Avenger reboot

        1. My FB friends and FOAFs are blaming it on unregulated capitalism.

    2. I think he’s explaining why he doesn’t have the other side represented in the movie.

      He suggests that his side is the People’s side, and the other side is made up of cops and politicians, who are liars. Thus, the only credible sources are the people on his side. QED.

  9. OT: I don’t have the link, but I have read a review that described Pan as ‘groundbreakingly awful’. At one point, people in the movie started humming ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’. As in the Nirvana song. Sounds like it’s right up there with Jupiter Ascending. 2015.

    1. People in the movie, meaning in the audience? Or on the screen?

      1. On the screen. It was part of the script.

  10. Also OT: From what I’m hearing, the new BattleFront game is terrible. Great graphics and sound, terrible everything else. Thanks EA.

  11. That shows a soldier using a shotgun. I thought those are ineffective against modern armies.

    1. “I thought those are ineffective against modern armies.”

      Its OK, he’s shooting unarmed fascists.

  12. Does this Netflix movie include all the people who we’re giving the Hitler salute at these protests or contain footage from people in Kiev telling Western journalists how great it is in America.

    1. ” all the people who we’re [sp] giving the Hitler salute at these protests “

      You know this because you were there and because you’re a very smart person who is very informed. We welcome your valuable insights.

      1. No, I wasn’t there, but they have this thing called youtube, which is awesome. q-dHVZTtTxQ&feature;=player_embedded

        At the time of the protests, I was traveling on business with a Russian national and we spent our nights rolling our eyes at the self-serving circle jerk that was going on at FoxNews. We bonded a little so that was nice.

        1. Ah. So you saw something on youtube. You really do your research.

          your link is broken there.

          1. Do right-wingers not believe there are neo-nazis in Eastern Europe?

            1. Of course there are. The idea that the Euromaidan was dominated *(or even significantly influenced) by Neo-Nazis is retarded and ignorant.

              but then, we’re talking about you, so that’s redundant.

            2. Should have said = “find some right-wingers and ask them. but since you’re here…”

        2. “…we spent our nights rolling our eyes at the self-serving circle jerk that was going on at FoxNews….”

          Can we presume you were breathless at the accuracy of the coverage on Russia Today?

          1. It provides a different perspective certainly. In that respect it’s not that much different from the VofA.

            Do right-wingers think they are getting truth from FoxNews?

            1. Do right-wingers think they are getting truth from FoxNews?

              You’re the National Socialist, you tell us.

        3. You may be the only one here other than strike that watches Fox news.

    2. Tell us more about your saluting of Hitler.

  13. More OT
    Yep, Obo warmed ’em up for Kanye:

    “Obama offers advice to future candidate Kanye West”
    “As if rapper Kanye West’s ego needed a boost, now he can say that President Obama opened for him Saturday at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco.
    The two men never shared the stage during the fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.”…..563814.php

    Fortunately, he got out of town before he caused any real traffic problems.

    1. I thought he was in a spa in San Diego. Huh.
      Fuck that guy.

      1. Good chance he is. According to reports, he got out of SF ~9:30 or so, headed to LA for a pocket-picking, and that was to be ‘brief’ also, so why not head to SD and see if anyone is fool enough to give him some more?

  14. I’m trying to see why we should prefer a Ukraine aligned w the EU rather than w Russia. Is it just on general principles, a sense that over the past few centuries Russia’s been on avg. much more authoritarian than the rest of Europe, so better to get away from them? Or a rxn vs. Putin? Or something specific about the factions in Ukraine that make this one more desirable?

    1. “why we should prefer a Ukraine aligned w the EU rather than w Russia”

      I think you are framing the question wrong.

      What “we” prefer isn’t really the point. Who’s “we” anyway? The US? The EU? Poland? NATO?

      What the majority of Ukrainians prefer is more the issue.

      And the majority of Ukranians – including the yukkier parties like Svoboda, and the Pro-Russian constituencies in the East – want a more democratic and representative government.

      Even the Pro-Russians don’t necessarily want to secede and join Russia – they want to have better independent self-determination *as Ukrainians*. The pro-Westerners want the same thing.

      What they both opposed was a corrupt autocracy which largely served itself and occasionally Russian interests, depending on the mood. The process of transforming itself into a more-representative State was begun during the Orange Revolution in 2004-5… the Maidan was sort of a breakdown of that process as people perceived that popular will was being openly thwarted.

      If the US/Nato support a “more independent” Ukraine (as opposed to a Russian satellite state), its for obvious security & economic reasons. Ukraine is the doorway to the west. having a friendly buffer-state there eases the security concerns of people like Poland.

      Another issue is the energy reliance that many States have on Nat Gas that flows through Ukraine. A Western-Friendly Ukraine would probably be preferred – or at the very least… a stable and unified Ukraine.

      1. Even the Pro-Russians don’t necessarily want to secede and join Russia – they want to have better independent self-determination *as Ukrainians*.

        So, useful idiots, then. I suppose they probably have something of a tradition of that in the Ukraine.

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