Riot disrupts showing of Oliver Stone film

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Pro-Ukrainian activists in Leipzig, Germany disrupted the showing of a film about the 2014 Maidan coup, police said on Friday. A group showed up at Thursday evening’s screening of ‘Ukraine on Fire,’ a 2016 documentary produced by Oliver Stone, and got into an altercation with the organizers.

The documentary screening was part of the globaLE film festival, which runs from July 27 to November 1. The open-air festival shows works critical of globalization. ‘Ukraine on Fire,’ produced by Stone and directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Igor Lopatonok, takes a critical view of the 2014 Kiev protests that resulted in a violent overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.

The German-Ukrainian artist group Ostov Collective showed up at the screening on Thursday evening, calling the documentary pro-Russian. 

According to preliminary police reports, six people disturbed the screening by beating their drums and attempting to seize the microphone out of the organizer’s hand. The resulting fight required police intervention, and delayed the screening by several minutes.

Activists with the Ostov Collective told German media that they were in fact the victims, after an organizer punched one of them in the face. 

A spokesman for Leipzig police said no injuries were reported, and that the authorities were investigating the activist group for attempted bodily harm, according to Der Spiegel.

Lopatonok’s documentary takes an in-depth look at the protests that began in November 2013 and culminated in the violent coup that deposed President Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014, triggering civil war in Ukraine and a referendum in Crimea on joining Russia. In the official narrative of the US-backed government in Kiev, the Maidan was a peaceful “revolution of dignity” by pro-Western democrats.

Western governments have denounced ‘Ukraine on Fire,’ as did the city council of Leipzig ahead of the screening. It was removed from YouTube in March this year, ostensibly for featuring “violent or graphic content.” 

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