Ukraine-Russia War: Recent News – The New York Times

KYIV, Ukraine — He spoke to two movie stars via video call from the bombed and besieged city of Kyiv.

His aides lobbied for support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscars night show. He re-released his own TV show on Netflix in the middle of the war.

President Volodymyr Jelensky, the actor who became Ukraine’s wartime leader, has devoted most of his public appearances to appealing to the West about deadly weapons to fight the Russians: tanks, jet planes and missiles.

But, before becoming president, Mr. who starred in romantic comedies and performed stand-up routines. Zhelensky stressed that celebrities and artists should have a voice for his country. Better than Russia.

“We live in a modern world and we know that commentators and celebrities are important,” said Ekaterin Schulatse, a former deputy interior minister who has been involved in the Ukrainian government’s efforts to gain support from artists, musicians and celebrities. “Politicians aren’t the only ones shaping the world.”

Ms. Zguladze added: “Now Ukraine is truly in solidarity with the rest of the world.

But Ukraine’s appeal to the Academy, the organization that awards the Oscars, Met his own game.

Prior to the event, organizers said the war would be marked and the number of men would be honored, but Mr. Bryan Keith Etheridge, a Los Angeles-based sitcom writer, said Jelensky was not appearing in the video. With the help of Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher, she helped coordinate the Ukrainian Government Academy.

“The concern we’ve been told is that they don’t want to politicize the show too much,” he said. said Etheridge. “If Jalensky says ‘thank you,’ it will remind people and it will bring in millions of dollars. It’s a great platform to show your face.

debt…Angelos Tzortzinis / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Sean Benn, who was filming the documentary War in Ukraine, Mr Zhelensky has called for an Oscar boycott if he is not allowed to appear on video, and has promised to melt down his own awards if the academy ignores the Ukrainian president. The award statues are made of gold-plated bronze.

The creators of Oscar “take the lead in Ukraine, taking bullets and bombs for us and the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, I think every one of those people, that little. This decision would be the most most obscene in Hollywood history,” Mr. Ben told CNN in an interview.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, the producers said they intended to call back the number from the war, but Mr. They also said they did not guarantee Zhelensky’s video footage.

“We’re going to be very careful about how we recognize where we are in the world,” Oscar producer Will Packer said at a press conference Thursday.

debt…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

One of the festival’s co-hosts was comedian Wanda Sykes, Mr. “Isn’t he busy now?”

Mr. Zhelensky did not appear on the show. Ms. When Reba McEntire appeared on television to launch the song “Four Good Days” from Kunis’ film, Ms. Kunis spoke about the war.

Before handing over the show to Ms McEntire, Ms Kunis said: ‘Recent world events have left many of us depressed.

“However, when you look at the strength and dignity of those facing such a disaster, you can’t help but be moved by their resilience,” Ms Kunis continued. “One cannot be afraid of those who find the strength to keep fighting in unimaginable darkness.”

Three screens of gold text were displayed on a black background after Ms McEntire’s performance, inviting the public to donate to the humanitarian effort.

“Although cinema is an important way to express our humanity in times of conflict, it is true that millions of families in Ukraine need food, medicine, clean water and emergency services,” says The report. “Resources are scarce, and we – collectively and the global community – can do more.”

Mr. Zhelensky’s aides insisted on getting support in any form during the event, looking for a way to win public support in the West, because the value of celebrity support in the shooting war doesn’t was not universally recognized in Ukraine.

“At the end of the day, what happens on the ground matters,” said Oleksandr Daniluk, former secretary of Ukraine’s National Safety and Security Council. “Everyone is doing what they can. I don’t know if Gelensky’s last speech will make a difference. But to start with, it’s better to want to do it. Everyone wants to help in any way possible.

But, like fighter jets, tanks or missiles for the Ukrainian military, “in the end, you need decisions,” Daniel said.

Mr. Zelensky urged broad audiences on all fronts, especially arms suppliers, to convey the moral imperative to support Ukraine in the war.

debt…Charabeth Mani/The New York Times

“In general, Zhelensky really follows Hollywood news and looks for support opportunities,” Sergei Leshchenko, adviser to the president’s chief of staff, said in an interview.

In thanking the couple for raising $35 million for Ukrainian refugees and humanitarian aid, Mr. Kutcher and Mrs. M. with Kunis. After speaking on a video call from Zelensky Kyiv, the campaign to support Ukraine during the Oscars began a week ago. GoFundMe campaign, Mr. Leshchenko said.

Ms Kunis recently starred in ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ and plans to release ‘Lucky Girl Alive’ via Netflix.

“Ukrainians are proud and brave and deserve our help when they need it,” he wrote in a fundraising appeal. “This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity is catastrophic and the people of Ukraine need our support.”

After the video call, Mr. Zhelensky’s aides were scouting for a last-minute spot at the Oscars.

Mr. Zhelensky has always had a strong sense of figure and storytelling in politics. Earlier this month he said he was aware of repeated calls on television for protests and that his continued presence in the beleaguered capital had made him a symbol of courage in many countries.

debt…Lincy Atario for The New York Times

The Oscars fit naturally with his government’s request for humanitarian aid, as many of his top aides are also seniors in the film industry.

Andrei Yermak, the head of the presidential administration, was a media lawyer and filmmaker. Ivan Paganov, head of the Internal Intelligence Agency, was the director of Quartel 95 Studios. Sergei Schaefer, a top presidential adviser, was a screenwriter and producer, and his major credits include the hit romantic comedy film “Eight First Dates” and the television series “The In-Laws.”

Before becoming president of Ukraine, Zhelensky starred as president in his own TV series, “Servant of the People,” which hit Netflix this month. After fighting corruption, a teacher’s character was made president, and the video filmed by his students went viral.

Maria Varenikova from Kyiv and Matt Stevens from New York contributed reporting.

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