No, it’s not an epileptic comedic episode from Borat or Saturday Night Live – it was very much real in the tense situation that happened in Lutsk, Ukraine: An armed gunman took hostage for hours without end of 13 innocent people in a bus for the goal of making the Ukrainian president make his people watch a movie. Oh, and not just any movie: the 2005 documentary by Joaquin Phoenix, decrying animal abuse.
44-year-old Maksym Kryvosh, a.k. a. Maxim the Bad posted an “anti-system” manifesto on social media, crying for the contemporary government officials to confess as being “terrorists” themselves, while going on about for lots of different agendas as well.
In the first hours of the siege, Kryvosh took aim at the police with his bullets and grenades, according to the Ukraine Interior Ministry.
The National Police of Ukraine later said its specialists had managed to defuse the grenade and it didn’t explode.
President Zelensky spoke directly to the hostage-taker via phone, resulting in the release of three hostages, the Ukrainian presidential press office said.Others were released after the Ukrainian president posted a short video on his official Facebook page saying: “Everybody watch the 2005 film ‘Earthlings.
'” Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, the movie advocates for humane treatment of animals.President Zelensky’s video was deleted after the hostage issue was safely secured.
Zelensky later thanked the police for the successful operation and justified his decision to meet the hostage-taker’s demands by saying in a Facebook post that “human life is the most important value and we did not lose anyone.
The negotiations lasted for about 9 hours, everyone talked to him, from psychologists to special negotiators, but he wanted just one thing, his demands to be met, and kept threatening (the people),” Zelensky said at a later date.“So we had a council and I wanted to speak to this man.
Before that he spoke to everyone for about 10-15 seconds and then hung up but then we managed to talk for 7-10 minutes and reached an agreement that he will make the first move to release our citizens.”
The Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov said, in a later press brief, with a rather sardonic air: “The film [Earthlings]… is a good one. But you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a terror for the entire country, you can just watch it without all that.”
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