сivic leaders
at war

The Culture Fights Back project to share stories of artists and civil society representatives who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The heroes of this section themselves went through the Revolution experiencing and personally participating in building the Ukrainian state after the Revolution of Dignity. Moreover, they took up arms in order to defend their country.

Roman Vintoniv

Roman Vintoniv is a Ukrainian journalist, screenwriter, actor and musician. He is known under the pseudonym Michael Schur – the host of a weekly satirical news digest, Television of Toronto. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion in 2022, Roman Vintoniv has been part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Roman Vintoniv has worked on the TV channels “K1”, “Inter”, “1+1”, “Ukraine”, “ZIK”, and “”. In 2012, Roman first appeared as Michael Schur on his YouTube channel, now called Television of Toronto. Charismatic, Schur was not afraid to openly mock politicians and ask uncomfortable questions.

From 2017 to 2019, Roman was a member of Suspilne (the Board of Ukrainian Public Media), which helped develop new and independent Ukrainian media. In 2017, Roman became a laureate of Oleksandr Kryvenko’s  For Progress in Journalism award, and in 2020 – a finalist of the Georgiy Gongadze award.

If Roman continued to work together with the Television of Toronto team,  the weekly programme’s 300,000 to 500,000 viewers would have yielded a powerful influence. Immediately after  the Russian Federation’s February 2022 invasion, however, Roman joined the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine, with which he’d signed a contract a year before these events.

“Back then, I’d analyzed the emotions that were driving me at that moment. There was definitely a sense of injustice. The Russians can afford to attack us, but in fact, they have no reason. They have weapons, oil, and gas, so they think they can do anything. And it endlessly annoys me,”  explained Roman.

Roman constantly emphasizes that the Russian Federation had no objective reasons to start a full-scale war in Ukraine. It, instead, is the result of many years of propaganda work, which zombified Russians and made them believe and support an image formed by their authorities.

Michael Schur Facebook-page
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