Film “How to Survive When You Are Being Killed” will release on Ukrainian STB

The premiere of the documentary “How to Survive When You Are Being Killed” will be on Ukrainian STB TV channel on February 24. This is a film of the Organization of Ukrainian Producers, which films the causes, progress and conclusions of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“How to Survive When You Are Being Killed” is the story of 40 strangers who happened together in an abandoned Gostomel house in the spring 2022. All of them are civilians and were not prepared for extreme conditions: shellings, armed enemy nearby, lack of water, food, heat and communication, life under the gun. But they are united by a common goal — to get out of this situation alive.

“The film is a ‘survival manual’: 10 rules that give a chance to absolutely unprepared people to survive in extreme war conditions,” says Yuliya Fedets, ideator and creative producer of the film: “Every rule is illustrated by our history. I believe that the ability to unite and everyone’s proactive readiness to take care of others ensured the success of the group. They survived.”

The film idea immediately engaged the producers. “It was a story of a miracle rescue thanks to responsible neighbors. They survived because EVERYONE cared about others,” says Ilona Shneider, the film’s producer. She recalls when she first got to the filming location, she thought it may be a Hollywood location for a movie about the apocalypse. There was not a single centimeter of house or street that survived. Everything was completely crushed. “It seemed that it was simply impossible to survive in such a place. But our characters succeeded. Day after day, getting to know the characters, their lives and circumstances better, the entire film crew felt such compassion that secretly thanked God that these people survived,” Ilona says.

“For me, this project is a kind of metaphor for Ukraine’s vitality and desire to win,” comments Yuliya Fedets: “Despite the terrible reality in which we all found ourselves, Ukrainians have an extraordinary will for life and freedom and try to support each other as best they can. Some defend the country and at the front, some reimagine their business and volunteer, some donate, some are active in the information front or help in other ways. But we all are united, and we have a huge will to persevere. And win. As the people have done in an abandoned house in Gostomel. They united and survived.”

Most of the film subjects now live in Kyiv, some live in the destroyed residential complex in Gostomel. Some are abroad, but with their thoughts, feelings, they are all there, in their mutilated dream houses. Before the Russian occupation, it was a new, beautiful residential complex, in which successful professionals bought apartments. Like our entire country, they  built their prosperity for years, until the invasion of Putin’s Russia on February 24.

Ilona Shneider: “We started filming in summer, and one morning we arrived at the location, and saw that the whole street had blossomed overnight, it’s full of flowers. At that moment, I realized that we all will succeed. Ukraine will win.”

STB viewers will be the first to see this story of an incredible will to live. The film will be a part of the broadcaster’s special programming for the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.


Film crew

Ideator and creative producer — Yuliya Fedets

Executive producer — Ilona Shneider

Directors — Anton Shcherbakov, Kateryna Lysenko

Screenwriters — Victoria Mukhina, Yulia Fedets

Cameraman — Dmytro Plyuta

Producers — Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP), Volodymyr Borodyansky, Viktor Mirsky

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