On Thursday, September 7, the Atlantic Academy was joined by Ivanna Malchevska, Nina Bondar, and Dr. Franziska Davies to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and its affect on ordinary Ukrainian citizens.
Via Zoom, Nina and Ivanna joined the discussion directly from Ukraine, providing their perspectives of the conflict in real-time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer to the overarching question “Where do we go from here?” was unanimous. In imagining short and long-term futures, both Ivanna and Nina emphasized the necessity for Ukrainian victory. Describing their present day lives, they underscored how profoundly Russia´s invasion has transformed Ukrainian society and the tragic reality of living in a nation at war. Ivanna, a project manager at the Center for Civil Liberties and coordinator of the OZON Public Monitoring Group, described her sadness at seeing so many places in her country destroyed, particularly along the Sea of Azov where she once enjoyed holidays. Nina, Social Media Manager at the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, expressed frustration at continued misinformation and falsehoods spread about the war in western press outlets. To counterbalance the threat of Russian propaganda, both Nina and Ivanna stressed the importance of seeking out Ukrainian news services such as Kyiv Independent.
Towards the end of our discussion, moderator Dr. Davies interjected to assert that even for the most apathetic Western observer, it is still in Europe´s best interests to contain Russian aggression than to permit it to continue unchecked. Overall, the event provided viewers with important firsthand accounts of what is currently happening in Ukraine and how the war is experienced daily.
This event was part of the series "The Invasion of Ukraine: Impacts and Challenges", hosted in cooperation with the German American Institute Saarland and Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg. The event was kindly supported by the Embassy of the United States of America Berlin.
Event report by Sean Kulaga