The College is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Mantas Kvedaravičius who was killed in Ukraine while reportedly filming the escalating violence in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The brutal conflict in Ukraine is foremost in the minds of everyone in the Sidney community. It is with deep sorrow that we learn of the death of Sidney alumnus and Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius, 45. According to the Ukrainian Defence Ministry and a colleague, he was killed on Saturday in Mariupol. Mariupol has been a main target of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and is now unrecognisable having been besieged for weeks, with tens of thousands trapped with little access to food and water.

Mantas (2007) received his PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge and was an accomplished documentarist. His documentary “Mariupolis”, portrayed ordinary Ukrainian citizens getting on with their lives while under fire from Russian-backed fighters in 2014. The documentary premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.

His 2011 film "Barzakh", shot in the Russian region of Chechnya, where Russian forces fought two wars to put down rebellions between 1994 and 2009, was awarded a prize by Amnesty International at the Berlin International Film Festival.

"The audience was taken into the villages, into the lives and souls of the people," said Julia Duchrow, deputy secretary general of Amnesty International in Germany.

"Mantas Kvedaravicius has shown great courage for this: The film was shot without permission and at great personal risk.”

"This courage, this unconditional will to show human rights violations and make them accessible to the public, distinguished Mantas."

Our thoughts are especially focused on Mantas’ family and friends, and all those who are most directly impacted by the shocking events taking place in Ukraine. Sidney stands in solidarity with the people of all nations who are affected by the war in Ukraine, and with the Ukrainian citizens, fellow academics and students who are in immediate danger. Sidney has offered accommodation to the Council of At-Risk Academics, an organisation dedicated to assisting academics displaced by the conflict.

Sidney’s Vice-Master, Professor Kenneth Armstrong, commented, “Times of war are the times we most need those like Mantas who are brave enough to report and document what happens in places whose previously unfamiliar names become synonyms for the atrocities of conflict. As we mourn the loss of a member of the Sidney community, we admire the conviction and courage of all those who risk their own lives to act as witnesses for the world.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, commented, “Every death in this brutal conflict is an unnecessary tragedy. Dr Kvedaravičius’ death shows how close we are – as a community of students, staff and alumni – to the atrocities taking place in Ukraine”.

Support and information on the war on Ukraine is available on the University website:

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