April 2021 – Ukraine: 100,000 Russian troops mass along the country’s border. Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia seven years ago and the outbreak of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass, the country has been struggling for peace. Now Russia is threatening a new attack. Europe fears an escalation in the conflict and together with the U.S., calls on Moscow to pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border.
Why has Europe’s largest country, which aspired to a future in the EU, been trapped in a war for years? And what is the way out? This two-part documentary “War in Europe: Drama in Ukraine”, co-produced by LOOKSfilm with RBB and SWR for ARTE, explores the search for answers. In an exclusive interview with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, plus international political actors, this documentary creates a multi-perspective view of the country caught in the geopolitical centre of East-West politics.
With his promise to finally free Ukraine from war, in 2019, former actor Volodymyr Zelensky wins by a landslide to become President. The political novice meets the most powerful in the world to get support for Ukraine and even manages to meet Vladimir Putin for peace talks. Can he succeed where others before him have failed? Where at first there is hope, there is soon stalemate, followed by provocation and the threat of escalation.
For this multinational series production, British director Claire Walding not only speaks to the Ukrainian President – and captures a wide variety of Ukrainian voices, but also talks to American, Russian and European politicians, journalists and observers who help us understand how crucial the future of Ukraine is for Europe’s security.
They all tell the story of a divided nation, simultaneously looking both East and West. Much is demanded of the country for admission to the EU, while the EU is divided over how to deal with Russia. The two-part documentary shows how Ukraine has been and remains a pawn of its neighbours – and gives an idea of how difficult it will be to chart a new course.
Bettina Offermann | firstname.lastname@example.org
A co-production by
LOOKSfilm, rbb, SWR
In cooperation with
Author & Director
Christin Schutta, Veronika Christmann