Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Documentary film on Dhaka-Moscow ties premieres

Marking the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Russia, an exclusive documentary film titled "Freedom Does Not Breathe Money" has been recently premiered in Moscow based on the removal of mines at the port of Chittagong by the Soviet Navy from 1972-1984.

The movie, directed by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Barkhanov, had its opening show in presence of Russian celebrities on December 28 at the Central Cinema Hall in Moscow.

Kamrul Ahsan, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Russia, alongside Evgeny Barkhanov, the director of the documentary, and Captain (retd) Nikolay Nikolayevich Koloskov, who was involved in mine clearance as a young Navy officer were present. 

Addressing the audience, Ambassador Kamrul Ahsan said, “This 44-minute documentary contains some rare video footage of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which many of us have never seen before.”

The documentary showcases the incident after the 1971 Liberation War, as the Chittagong seaport could not be opened for sinking ships and mines and no western country showed any interest in helping Bangladesh in this matter at that time. 

Addressing the problem, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman requested then Prime Minister of Russia Alexei Kosygin and the Secretary General of the Soviet Communist Party Lunev Brezhnev during his state visit to Moscow on March 1-3, 1972, to cooperate in clearing the mines in the Bay of Bengal as soon as possible and clear the fairway of sunken ships in order to make way for ships with humanitarian aid.

The “Soviet” government, in response to Bangabandhu's request, immediately dispatched about 900 naval personnel from their Pacific Naval Base at Vladivostok to Chittagong with military vessels capable of removing mines and rescuing sunken ships.

The documentary interviews Admiral Yuriy Konstantinovich Senatskiy and two other senior officials of the Russian Navy and featured relevant incidents with mine clearance and other circumstances during that operation. 

Admiral Yuriy, who passed away during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 shortly after giving the interview, served as the second-in-command of the Soviet Navy stationed at Chittagong seaport.

The documentary is now available for the audiences at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO6ObsqSj9c.