Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker who has joined fighting against Russian forces, said Monday he has been treated for shrapnel wounds after coming under artillery fire on the southern front.
The 47-year-old film director from Crimea spent several years imprisoned in Russia on a terrorism charge. He was freed in a prisoner swap and joined Ukrainian special forces when the war broke out.
Sentsov, a junior lieutenant, was injured shortly after receiving France’s Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) from the French Ambassador to Ukraine on Friday.
“On the first combat mission after our return, during the landing, we came under artillery fire. Bradley saved our lives again. Three wounded, mostly shrapnel,” Sentsov wrote on Facebook on Monday, referring to a U.S. Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.
He posted a picture of himself sitting in an ambulance in his military uniform with blood on his face.
“They have already removed the shrapnel from my face, the small pieces in my arm and leg will stay with me forever. The other guys are also doing well — Zaporizhzhia doctors know their job, thank you!” Sentsov wrote.
French Ambassador Etienne de Poncins tweeted footage of a ceremony on Friday in the grounds of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral, awarding Sentsov the Legion d’Honneur, France’s top honor.
Calling him a “true hero of Ukraine,” the ambassador said Sentsov had already recently been wounded but was well enough to attend. Sentsov wrote on July 9 that he was at a hospital, without giving details.
Sentsov presented his latest film, “Rhino”, at the Venice film festival in 2021. His first film “Gamer” was shown at several European festivals.
He told AFP last summer of his decision to join Ukrainian armed forces: “I’ve had several lives and I regret nothing.”