Danish filmmaker and provocateur Lars von Trier defended himself on Thursday, August 24, after a controversial social media post critical of Denmark's donation of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine caused a stir.

"Russian lives matter also!", he wrote in English on Instagram on Tuesday after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Denmark, where he and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen inspected the F-16s to be delivered to his country.

Von Trier's post was addressed to "Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Putin, and not least Mrs. Frederiksen (who yesterday, like someone head over heels in love, posed in the cockpit of one of the scariest killing machines of our time, grinning from ear to ear)."

Von Trier had disabled comments on the post, but it attracted the attention of Russian and Ukrainian media.


"I was just stating the obvious: that all lives in this world matter!" the 67-year-old filmmaker wrote on Thursday.

"A forgotten phrase it seems, from a time when pacifism was a virtue," he said.

The Danish press also questioned the remarks from the director, who in 2011 caused a storm when he said he "understood" Hitler -- for which he later apologised.

In an interview with Danish daily Politiken, university lecturer Jakob Baek Kristensen said Russia would welcome von Trier's first post "with open arms".

"He supports the idea that Russia is not a heartless aggressor, and that it is a legitimate conflict in which Russia is just as unhappy each time it suffers losses," the social media researcher said.

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One of the biggest stars of Danish cinema, von Trier has directed more than 14 feature films, often disturbing and violent.

Known for his dark humour, the Copenhagen native won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 for "Dancer in the Dark".

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