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Ukraine wins its first Oscar for war documentary '20 Days in Mariupol'

Ukraine wins its first Oscar for war documentary '20 Days in Mariupol'

Ukraine awoke on Monday to another day of war - Russian drones blasted buildings in the Kharkiv and Odesa regions - but also to news that it had won its first Oscar.

The best documentary victory for Mstyslav Chernov’s “20 Days in Mariupol,” a harrowing first-person account by The Associated Press journalist of the early days of Russia’s invasion in 2022, was bittersweet.

“This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history, and I’m honoured,” an emotional Chernov said on Sunday at the Academy Awards.

“Probably I will be the first director on this stage to say I wish I’d never made this film, I wish to be able to exchange this to Russia never attacking Ukraine,” he told the audience.

Back home in his native Ukraine, the award was lauded for exposing the brutal devastation of the war, and for the message Chernov sent from one of the biggest stages in the world.