Ukrainian influencer Ilona Chernobai protests the war with fake blood at Cannes Film Festival

Ukrainian influencer protest
While protesting has been officially banned by Cannes local authorities, there were a number of demonstrations in and around the festival. Photo credit: Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

By Leah Dolan of CNN

A Ukrainian fitness influencer claims she has been banned from Cannes Film Festival after pouring fake blood on herself in the middle of the Promenade de la Croisette. 

After ascending the carpeted staircase, Ilona Chernobai removed a bag of red liquid hidden beneath her dress and ripped it open above her head, before being escorted from the premises by three security guards.

Chernobai shared a video of the incident to her one million followers onInstagram, with a caption that read: "I succeeded in fulfilling my mission."

"I took my chance with this act and reminded what is happening in Ukraine," wrote Chernobai, "The action was in support of the occupied territories and our people who live there."

Ahead of the festival, local authorities in Cannes issued a ban on protests and rallies in an effort to protect the glamorous event. Yet despite the official crackdown, Chernobai's stunt was just one of a number of political demonstrations.

On Sunday, demonstrators gathered on the edge of the city to march in opposition of President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms. Last week, an activist from the radical feminist group SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) broke onto the red carpet to stage an anti-surrogacy protest with a barcode painted on her stomach.

At the beginning of the festival, the war on Ukraine was represented by Ukrainian journalist Elvira Gavrilova, who wore a blue and yellow, off-the-shoulder gown reminiscent of the national flag, designed by Kazakhstani label Arunaz Atelier.

Despite the controversy, Chernobai's stunt evoked an emotional response on social media with commenters praising her act of courage. "I have tears in my eyes," wrote one user. "Our Ukraine and our people are invincible!" added another.