Los Angeles, March 4 Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov (aRhino’) has issued a powerful statement from the frontlines of the Russia-Ukraine war.

According to Variety, the statement read: “In 2014, I was unlawfully imprisoned in Russia and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for fighting against Putin regime and annexation of Crimea. Back then, the whole film industry stood up to support me. And I am immensely grateful for it. Now I’m asking you to support my country,” Sentsov said.

“Exactly two weeks ago, my movie, which I shot after I was out, was released in Ukraine. For a week now, I have been standing in the trenches as a participant of the territorial defence of Kiev, which is a part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Life has changed in an instant with the fall of the first bomb on the territory of Ukraine. Everything we knew about Hitler’s invasion has now become real again.”

Oleg Sentsov gestures as the verdict is delivered as he stands behind bars at a court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. A court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don convicted Sentsov, a prominent Ukrainian filmmaker, of conspiring to commit terror attacks and sentenced him to 20 years in prison in what critics called a politically motivated show trial. (AP Photo)

“My motherland is mercilessly shelled from the land, sea and air. Russian bombs are falling on Ukrainian children. Millions are sitting in bomb shelters. Millions are suffering from cold and lacking food. My country is being ruined, but our spirit is strong. We are going to fight until our victory.”

“For this, we need your support. The support of intellectuals and artists who oppose Putin’s bloody regime. People who value human life more than anything. I request your support for the boycott of Russian cinematography in all dimensions, including film cooperation: co-production, distribution and festivals, as requested by the Ukrainian Film Academy. Please sign the petition!”

“Stand with Ukraine! We will stop Putin together!,” the statement said.

Sentsov has also shared a video shot earlier this week, the location of which cannot be revealed for security reasons.

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