College to host former IDF service member at Ukraine anniversary event

Russian-born Evgeny Afineevsky became an Israeli citizen in the early 1990s and served in the IDF

College will host a former Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) service member and film director at an evening event on Wednesday to commemorate the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

Born in the former USSR, Evgeny Afineevsky voluntarily became an Israeli citizen in the early 1990s and served in the IDF. He now resides in Los Angeles in the United States.

The event will take place in the Thomas Davis theatre from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm to “send a message of continued support and solidarity” to all those in the college community affected by the war in Ukraine.

In an email announcing the event last Friday, College expressed “support and solidarity” with students and staff who have been, and continue to be affected by the war in Ukraine, and their “sincerest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones”.

The event will include a panel discussion with Afineevsky, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko, Polish Ambassador to Ireland Anna Sochańska, Lithuanian Ambassador to Ireland Marijus Gudynas, and Trinity Professor of European Studies Dr Balazs Apor.

Afineevsky came to international attention with his 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, which covered the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine from 2013 to 2014. His latest documentary, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom explores the lives of ordinary Ukrainian people from 2014 up until the start of the invasion on the 24th of February 2022.  He is also noted for his 2017 documentary on the Syrian civil war called Cries from Syria.

His documentary Francesco about the life and teaching of Pope Francis contained an interview with the Pope in which he supported same-sex civil unions, stating: “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family”. Afineevsky is openly gay and described the Pope as a “role model of leadership”.

Additional reporting by Aidan Cusack and David Wolfe.