Evgeny Afineevsky, the director of the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary on the 93-day long 2013-14 Ukraine revolution Winter on Fire, lied about and completely made up injuries and his experience in Ukraine during the revolution.
It gets worse: he faked his involvement using stolen footage from actual Ukrainians who were on the ground. Afineevsky is Russian-born, was raised in Israel, and is now an American citizen who lives in Los Angeles.
Lying Afineevsky claims to have gone to the Maidan square in Kiev, Ukraine “for two weeks and stayed for six months.” Just ask Trevor Noah from the Daily Show:
The real, proved truth is that Afinveesky went to Ukraine well after the 93 Maidan revolution days (which were November 21, 2013 to February 22, 2014). Yet Afineevsky claims to suffer from a host of serious injuries (tear gas related respiratory problems, PTSD, and scars from shrapnel) during the time he falsely alleges to have been on Maidan.
Afineevsky’s lies are proved to be lies by his own Facebook postings. The social media loving Afineevsky posted often to Facebook during the 93-day time in question, but not once during the 93 days does he mention being in Ukraine.
But Afineevsky did manage to post, during the 93 Maidan days, each visit to the gym, numerous inspirational quotes, and photos of himself at the Directors Guild of America award ceremony on Jan 26, 2014.
His Facebook lists him as “checking in” to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Atlanta, Georgia; and Montreal, Quebec in 2013, but not in Kiev, Ukraine, where the Maidan protests occurred. Why is that?’
Suspiciously there isn’t any mention of him dodging bullets or “bodies falling all around him.” Nor is there a single photo of him on Maidan during the 93 days. See this archive of his Facebook pictures from the 93-day period.
It’s understandable a documentary filmmaker wouldn’t be there to take selfies, but not one single picture of the man who said he was there for 6 months? Not even a photo with anyone on “his team” of 27 cinematographers?
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Lying Afineevsky’s story gets even worse. (Link in Russian, we explain below.)
UkrStream.tv is a collective (filmmakers, soldiers, and regular people on the front lines) that, in addition to streaming 24 hour action on Maidan, compiled hundreds of hours of footage on the Maidan revolution in Kiev during and after the 93 days.
This footage was originally put together as the non-profit film Pray for Ukraine. Sometime in 2014 (after the Maidan revolution), Afineevsky went to Ukraine and met with the UkrStream.tv collective.
Kostyantyn Ignatchuk had already begun editing the footage when Afineevsky took over the editing. Pray for Ukraine was near completion, and Afineevsky was supposed to shop around for distributors for this non-profit film.
One afternoon members of the collective went to their offices, and not only was Afineevsky gone, so were all their hard drives. Afineevsky walked away with the UkrStream.tv footage, and American filmmaker Damian Kolodiy’s copyrighted footage as well. Just read this.
To have someone who blatantly lies about putting his life in danger as the public face of the Maidan revolution not only tarnishes the memory of those who really did risk and give their lives for the cause, but also gives people reason to doubt the truthfulness of Winter on Fire.
This movie was filmed by real people who put their lives on the line, people who wanted to share the truth about the Maidan revolution with the world, for free.
They did not do this only to have it taken to the USA by a lying foreign con-man and sold to Netflix.
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