With Pride and Hope, Ukraine Celebrates Oscar Win for Mariupol Documentary

Streets and squares are being changed from Ukrainian names to those from the Soviet era. Only Russian passport holders will have access to health care and social services. Teachers have been forced to switch to Russian curriculums.

The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been a symbol of Russia’s brutal invasion and occupation of vast areas of Ukrainian territory. But as the war drags on and Moscow tries to turn the city into a model of Russification, Mariupol’s fate risks slipping away from the world’s consciousness.

So it was with satisfaction and hope that Ukraine on Monday celebrated winning its first-ever Oscar for the documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” which recounts the ferocity of the Russian siege of the city in spring 2022.

The Oscar for the film, Ukrainians said, may help refocus attention on the martyred city and the war in general, at a time when aid from allies is uncertain and Russian troops are retaking some ground.

“‘20 Days in Mariupol’ is a film that shows the truth about Russian terrorism,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement on Telegram on Monday. It “allows us to speak out loudly about Russia’s war against Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Zelensky and other officials said the documentary, filmed by Associated Press journalists, had helped debunk Moscow’s claims that its troops have committed no crimes. It shows medics desperately trying to save children hit by Russian shells, residents boiling snow for water and digging ditches to bury corpses.

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