Ukraine – Inside the counteroffensive

In June 2023, with new weapons in their hands and fire in their bellies, Ukrainian soldiers began their counter-offensive.  Despite being supplied with modern weapons from numerous Western countries, they are struggling to gain any significant ground. The Russian army stands firm.

This combat is defined by trench warfare. The opposing armies face each other, just like the First World War, fighting for every last inch of ground. They create makeshift weaponry, such as the pick-up trucks fitted with rocket launchers used by the Ukrainians. 

Charles Comiti has been embedded in this conflict for months, and this film shows the conflict as seen through the eyes of two young soldiers. Plombyr, 24 years old, and Sergey, 29, both belong to the Arey batallion. The first is a one-time business studies student and the other was a history teacher. Since 22nd February 2022, they have fought on every front, seeing friends killed before their eyes, barely escaping death themselves. In particular Charles Comiti spent ten days with them at the end of the winter, in the trenches on the frontline. 

These soldiers are just a few hundred metres from the frontline, under constant heavy fire. They are short on rations, weapons, and ammunition, and faced with the powerful Russian army. They use their knowledge of the terrain and their determination, which are their best defence against the Russians.

Charles Comiti’s unique access creates an exceptional testimony on this war of attrition. In the trenches, the only objective is to endure, with no promise of what the next day will bring. The war in Ukraine drags on, with each side struggling to make the best of what are often meagre resources. And for Sergey and Plombyr, young men who led ordinary lives before the invasion, the fighting has left mental scars which might last for the rest of their lives.


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Tony Comiti Films
  • Director: Charles Comiti
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France


  • Award for Best Foreign Film at Golden Gate International Film Festival 2023 (USA), Best Director Nominee at Golden Gate International Film Festival 2023 (USA), Little Venice Film Festival 2023 (UK)

Related Programs

Prosecuting War Crimes in Ukraine

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Ministry of the Interior and Justice formed a new division to investigations cases of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. We follow the prosecutors, forensic investigators and cyber police through the course of three specific investigations.

More info

Ukraine: The Road to War

This documentary traces the geopolitical history of the Ukrainian conflict from 2014 onwards, uncovering its roots in history. Archive is interspersed with interviews, including major political players from past and current negotiations.

More info

Ukraine: Women in War

Although women are exempt from conscription in Ukraine and granted asylum abroad, many of them have chose to stay and act. We meet the mothers and girls, combatants and carers, politicians and resistance fighters who are involved in the daily struggle for survival in Ukraine.

More info