The premiere of the documentary film “Bashtanka. The City of Cossack Victory,” which tells the story of the city and its residents during the onset of the full-scale war took place in Bashtanka, Mykolaiv Oblast on May 13, 2023.
The film was produced with the support of the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) as part of the all-Ukrainian project “Cities and Their Heroes”, which aims to show the heroism of the Ukrainian people and the transformation of an ordinary person into a hero. As part of the project, documentaries about Ukrainian cities and their residents are being shown throughout Ukraine, as well as a thematic photo exhibition featuring the work of leading Ukrainian photographers.
Last week, the “Cities and Their Heroes” project started in Bashtanka, with a photo exhibition of photographs taken in different cities of Ukraine that had been affected by Russia’s invasion. On display, there were cityscapes and photos of some objects, as well as images of city residents who played an important role in defending their land from the Russian invaders. The exhibition featured works by leading Ukrainian photographers, including Vladyslav Sodel, Valentyn Kuzan, Arsenii Herasymenko, Roman Pashkovskyi, Oleh Totskyi, and Ihor Tyshenko.
In the documentary, which was filmed in Bashtanka last fall, Bashtanka Mayor Oleksandr Berehovyi tells the story of how the Bashtanka city survived and how 100 Bashtanka residents were able to change the course of the entire war in the southern part of the country at that time.
The heroes of the “Cities and Their Heroes” project from Bashtanka are, among others:
– Vitalii Butuchel, pastor of a local Protestant church, who created a shelter for the victims in the church building, providing them with food and shelter, helped local authorities evacuate the victims, and provided food for the defenders.
– Dmytro Chornyi and Oleksandr Babin, doctors at the Bashtanka hospital, who saved many lives of military personnel and civilians despite the destruction of the hospital.
– Hanna Ziuzko is a pensioner, deputy and employee of the city council who has been volunteering since 2014, visiting our defenders in the East on several occasions and has been taking care of vulnerable people for over a year.
– Inna Homerska is a city council secretary who has been coordinating the work of the humanitarian center since the first day of the full-scale war and has been helping both the community and our defenders.
– Oleksandr Kovryha is the head of the Yavkyne starosta district. On March 1, he and his fellow villagers stopped a convoy carrying the Russian occupiers’ equipment with their bare hands, thus buying time to prepare the defense of Bashtanka.
– Oleksandr Vasyliev is a deputy mayor who has been providing the military with everything they need within the limits of the community since February 24.
– Serhii Fedorko is the director of the Dobrobut municipal enterprise in Bashtanka, who joined the volunteer organization for the defense of the city on the first day of the full-scale war and has been providing humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of the residents.
The project “Cities and Their Heroes” is moving further across Ukraine. On May 20, the documentary “Okhtyrka. A Place of Power” will be shown in Okhtyrka, Sumy Oblast, where a photo exhibition will also be open for a week. After Okhtyrka, the project will be demonstrated in Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Ivankiv, Kyiv, and Lviv respectively.