Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director and producer, writer, activist, and military officer, and former political prisoner of the Kremlin, posted on Facebook that he had sustained a concussion from enemy artillery fire at the front during his first combat mission upon returning to the frontlines in the Zaporizhzhia region on July 8.

Sentsov is a renowned filmmaker from Crimea who directed the feature films Gamer (2011) and Rhino (2021), with the production of the latter film delayed due to his participation in the Automaidan and Euromaidan protests of 2014 and his subsequent imprisonment in Russia for delivering food and supplies to Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea.

Amnesty International and other international organizations said the charges of terrorism were fabricated, but a Rostov-on-Don court sentenced him to 20 years. While in the Russian prison, he was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.


Sentsov’s release in a prisoner swap in 2019 allowed him to resume his film directing and production projects. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, Sentsov joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense Forces and then became an infantry platoon commander in the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade. He has taken part in battles at Bakhmut, Balakliya, and Kupyansk.

On his first outing recently, Sentsov received minor injuries as he reported in his Facebook post:

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“The week didn't go well. During our very first combat sortie after returning, we came under artillery fire,” he said.

He said that the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle once again saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. According to Sentsov, three Ukrainian defenders were injured, primarily by shrapnel fragments.

“Shrapnel has already been removed from my face, while the smaller fragments in my arm and leg will stay with me forever. The other soldiers are also doing well – the Zaporizhzhia doctors are skilled, and I’m grateful to them!” Sentsov said.


In a video, the filmmaker-turned-soldier mentioned that the battle had ended but had left three Ukrainian soldiers wounded.

“I have a concussion, but it’s not serious,” Sentsov says in the short film he narrates, directs and stars in.

Sentsov was recently promoted to the rank of junior lieutenant.

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