Ukrainian Supreme Court Judge Ivan Mishchenko returned to Kyiv after helping his family members evacuate, joining a Territorial Defense Force unit in the fight to save Ukraine from invading Russian troops — and NPR’s Mara Liasson joined with several others on Twitter to discuss casting the movie that they said Hollywood should make about his life.
The Ukrainian Supreme Court judge, Ivan Mishchenko, evacuated his family from Kyiv and returned to volunteer for one of the Territorial Defence Force units. pic.twitter.com/ZykpIdMury
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) March 7, 2022
Seeing a resemblance between the judge and Australian actor Russell Crowe, one Twitter user remarked, “Russell Crowe can play him in a Hollywood movie about this war. I will be ‘entertained.'”
“And daniel craig will play putin. zelenskyy as himself,” Liasson, NPR’s national political reporter, tweeted in response.
and daniel craig will play putin. zelenskyy as himself. https://t.co/zMv9JKA3yG
— Mara Liasson (@MaraLiasson) March 8, 2022
A number of critics quickly fired back, calling for National Public Radio — which receives federal funding — to be defunded or asking Liasson who she had in mind to play the thousands of Ukrainian civilians who were being killed by Russian shelling every day that the war continued to wage on.
“NPR’s dream casting a war that’s in the first quarter. Gross & weird,” reality tv star Chet Cannon tweeted.
Conservative pundit Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) added, “Innocent people are being shot and bombed in the street and Mara from NPR is like ‘can’t wait for the movie!'”
Mishchenko was far from the only high-profile figure to take up arms for his country. Former professional tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky returned to Ukraine last week in order to join the fight.
“I just told them I’ll be right back, and I hope I will be,” he said of leaving his wife and children behind.
“I just told them I’ll be right back, and I hope I will be”
Retired Ukrainian tennis player, Sergiy Stakhovsky has returned to his home country to fight.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 3, 2022
“I have three kids and a wife and we were on vacation in Dubai when this happened … It was not an easy decision, but for me in these circumstances, it was not a decision which would be right for me — if I would stay home I would feel guilt that I didn’t come back and now I’m here and I feel guilty I left them at home,” he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar in another interview.
"I love them very much and they understand the reasons why I'm here. Because the country which I love … I would like it to still be on the map."
Former tennis pro Sergiy Stakhovsky explains why he left his family to return home to Ukraine and join the fight against Russia. pic.twitter.com/W4BgqH2gun
— CNN (@CNN) March 3, 2022
He went on to say that his young children had not been told where he was, hinting that he’d explained his absence by saying he’d gone to a tennis event — but he added that his children were smart, saying, “I guess they will figure out soon.”
“I was born here, and my grandparents are buried here, and I would like to have a history to tell to my kids. If I would stay home and Ukraine would fail, there would be no Ukraine … I love them very much and they understand the reasons why I’m here. Because the country which I love … I would like it to still be on the map,” Stakhovsky concluded, saying that if Ukraine fell to Russia, the only history that survived would be the revisionist history that has been so often repeated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.