Famous filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk and her friends were attacked in the center of Kyiv. Exclusive details

Iryna Tsilyk: "Three strong men rushed to us and did not let us get into the car"

The famous Ukrainian filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk and her friends were attacked with threats in the center of Kyiv. The incident occurred near the Ukrainian House.

In a commentary to OBOZ.UA, the director told the details. Iryna and her three friends were walking down the street to a taxi after watching her film Me and Felix, which was recently released on wide screens.

Famous filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk and her friends were attacked in the center of Kyiv. Exclusive details

"We went out in a group after the screening of my film at the Ukrainian House," says Iryna Tsilyk, "and had to get into a taxi. We are me, Sofia Cheliak (program director of the NGO Publishers' Forum - Ed.), soldier Serhiy Hnezdilov, and director Maksym Nakonechnyi. The attackers were obviously waiting for us or following us from the entrance, but we did not realize it right away. Three strong men rushed to us and did not allow us to get into the car. They behaved aggressively towards Gnezdilov, provoking him into a fight. They demanded that he apologize for his post on the Internet. The guy who had the most contact with him said that he was a military man, now on vacation. They said that Gnezdilov's post was a lie about their friend Karas not being at the front."

It is known that the attackers introduced themselves as "people of Karas," an activist and soldier named Yevhen Karas, who was one of the leaders of the right-wing radical public association C14, which is now part of the Basis of the Future movement.

"There was also a girl with them who was filming everything on her phone," Iryna continues, "We only realized later that she was with them. At first I thought it was just a random passerby who started filming the conflict. You know how it is: you react because you want to help. But when they finally left us alone, she caught up with them and they left together."

"I think they hoped that they could easily intimidate us and force us to record a video apology," adds the director, "but when we started calling the police, they somehow quickly 'deflated'. And they left. It was an ugly episode, it was very unpleasant. At first, Sofia and I (you know, as a first reaction) almost started pushing the aggressive guy away. From the outside, it probably even looked funny: two thin girls rushing to protect their friend. But it was an emotional reaction. And then I realized that I had to record everything, and I started filming with my phone. At the same time, I tried to reach out to some logic in the incident, but it was not effective, because when people are set up for conflict, they do not hear you. I was not afraid of them, but I realized that this was a fine line, because you never know what to expect from such people. And things could have turned dangerous very quickly."

Famous filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk and her friends were attacked in the center of Kyiv. Exclusive details

Serhiy Hnezdilov is a journalist by profession, and has been in the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2019. He is currently a soldier of the 56th separate motorized infantry brigade in Mariupol. He is also the organizer of the Ukrainian culture festival "vylylkafest" and host of the "++ podcast" on hromadske.

Yevhen Karas told the media that his conflict with Hnezdilov has been going on since the summer of 2022: "Gnezdilov has repeatedly defamed my honor and dignity. He claimed that I was not a military man and that my masters were in Moscow. However, as a man, he is not ready to take responsibility for his words. So he's not a man, he's just a leftist. On April 27, 2024, I was sentenced in Moscow in the case of counteracting the Russian center for Russian Cooperation in Ukraine. The center was connected with the special services, and there we once caught people who later fought with Girkin. I was sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia and put on the international wanted list."

However, why Karas did not try to resolve his relationship with Hnezdilov through legal means is an open question. According to Iryna Tsilyk, Serhiy Gnezdilov filed a police report on the attack: "And if we, as witnesses who were there, are required to testify, we will provide them."

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