Voices of Ukraine

Since the Russian aggression against Ukraine, in solidarity with Ukrainians we are working for European support for their fight for freedom. We give voice to the citizens of Ukraine by organizing together with weekly magazine “Polityka” a series of debates “Voices of Ukraine”. We talk to Ukrainian experts, journalists and people of culture.

We also publish analyzes devoted to the Ukrainian state and society, their place in the world and Europe after the war, and most efficient forms of support for those Ukrainian citizens who found shelter in Poland.

The Voices of Ukraine series of debates

Russian aggression and the war in Ukraine have dominated media coverage in recent weeks. With great suspense, we follow the news from the battlefield each day. We watch in horror as cities are bombed and civilians suffer. The news and the sight of people fleeing war arouse sympathy, resulting in gestures of unprecedented solidarity.

Given the abundance of news and information, the voices of the Ukrainian people often get lost. What makes the Ukrainian resistance so effective, and why is the Ukrainian society so resilient? What goals have the Ukrainians set for themselves in their armed resistance against the Russian aggression? What are the limitations of a peace agreement? What do the Ukrainians want with regard to the European Union, NATO, and other alliances? What is the reconstruction of the country following the war supposed to look like? What will the relations between Ukraine and its neighbouring countries be like? These are just some of the questions we are going to ask Ukrainian experts, journalists, artists, and politicians. There is no doubt that the future is now being shaped in Ukraine, and, to a great extent, its final form will depend on the men and women of Ukraine. Let’s hear what they have to say!

September 14, 2022

Voices of Ukraine: #6 How is the war changing Ukrainian society?

The main topic of the sixth discussion in the series was the changes that the war has caused in Ukrainian society. Research and sociological surveys conducted just before the invasion and during the war show that the Russian attack led to the consolidation of society and its integration around the Armed Forces, state institutions and public authorities at the national and local level. The people of Ukraine remain very optimistic and are convinced that they will win this war, even if it lasts a long time. However, war is also a constant stress resulting from threats to life and safety, economic difficulties, problems with provisions, material damage, difficulties in accessing social services, separation from relatives and fear for those fighting at the front. How to explain the phenomenon of high morale of the Ukrainian society despite all these difficulties? What might be the further evolution of moods and attitudes? How is the attitude changing towards Russia and Russians, towards allied countries, as well as towards structures such as the European Union or NATO? How has the national consciousness and value system been transformed?

The discussion took place on September 14, 2022 with the participation of Natalia Chernysh (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv), Oleksandra Deyneko (National University of Kharkiv), Olexiy Haran (scientific director of the Foundation for Democratic Initiatives, professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), Yevhen Holovakha (director of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Edwin Bendyk (president of Batory Foundation) as the interviewer.

English transcript

June 15, 2022

Voices of Ukraine #5: Developing cyber resilience

The main topic of the fifth discussion in the series was the question about the sources of Ukraine’s digital resilience. Ukraine is seen as an example of a country that has systematically approached the digital transformation. The decentralization model was not only implemented in the context of local government reform, but was also used in the construction and implementation of technological solutions. This determined, among others things, the success of the Diia (Дія) application, not only in peacetime, but also in war. Technologies have also helped the Ukrainian state to increase its effectiveness in the fight against corruption and to involve citizens and social organizations in public life. They form the basis for the widely admired commitment of Ukrainians to supporting the war effort also on the Internet. Are Ukrainian citizens themselves satisfied with the digital transformation? What the cooperation of various sectors in its introduction looked like and how does this model work in wartime?

The discussion took place on 15 June 2022 with the participation of Mstyslav Banik (Director of the e-Services Development Directorate, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine), Olena Hunko (director of the IT Office at the Lviv City Council), Nadiia Babynska (expert on open data and civic tech projects coordinator), Viktor Nestulia (head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia department at Open Contracting Partnership) and Krzysztof Izdebski expert of the Stefan Batory Fundation ideaForum and Open Spending EU Coalitionas) the interviewer.

English transcript

May 4, 2022

Voices of Ukraine: #4 Ukrainian identity reflected by war

The main topic of the fourth discussion in the series was the question of Ukrainian identity as reflected by the war. What does the war, and especially its newest edition, i.e. the attack of Russia on February 24, say about the identity of Ukrainian men and women? Is the tragedy of recent months, as some argue, another – after the Holodomor, the Executed Renaissance, the Chernobyl catastrophe and the Revolution of Dignity – breakthrough that shapes contemporary Ukrainians? Can it be said that the experience of disasters of almost apocalyptic dimension marked the Ukrainians with special awareness?

The discussion took place on May 4, 2022 with the participation of Vira Ageyeva (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), Sofia Andrukhovych (writer, translator and essayist), Andriy Portnov (European University Viadrina Frankfut), Mykola Ryabchuk (writer of prose, literary critic) and Edwin Bendyk (president of Batory Foundation) as the interviewer.

English transcript

April 20, 2022

Voices of Ukraine #3: Ukraine after the war

The main topic of the third discussion in the series were the plans for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. Is it at all worthwhile to devote intellectual resources in planning the future when all resources are needed on the front? On what certain resources can Ukraine base its post-war plans now, when hostilities are still ongoing, increasing the scale of destruction every day? What is the significance of the enormous outflow of people who have fled Ukraine? What historical analogies should the Ukrainian reconstruction be inspired by – the Marshall Plan, the reunification of Germany after 1989, the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan?

The discussion took place on April 20, 2022 with the participation of Andriy Dlihach (co-founders of the Center for Economic Recovery), Hennadiy Maksak (director of the “PRIZM” Foreign Policy Council), Maria Repko (deputy director of the Centre for Economic Strategy), Yaroslav Zhalilo ( deputy director of the National Institute of Strategic Studies) and Edwin Bendyk (president of Batory Foundation) as the interviewer.

English transcript

April 13, 2022

Voices of Ukraine: #2 What does Ukraine need the EU for?

The main question of the second discussion in the series was: What does Ukraine need the EU for? Where does the Ukrainian pro-European enthusiasm come from? After all, the Ukrainian media have shown that, since the war started, the assistance provided by the EU member states has been several dozen times less than the money they have paid Russia for coal, oil, and gas. What kind of European Union does Ukraine want to join?

The discussion took place on April 13, 2022 with the participation of Pavlo Klimkin (former Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs), Veronika Movchan (Head of the Kyiv Institute for Economic Research) and Edwin Bendyk (president of Batory Foundation) as the interviewer.

English transcript

April 6, 2022

Voices of Ukraine: #1 What is Ukraine fighting for?

The main question of the first discussion in the series was: What is Ukraine fighting for? The Russian offensive in Ukraine began on February 24, but the war has been going on since 2014. It is still not known what the outcome of the armed struggle will be. The Russians use the method of total war with complete ruthlessness. The Ukrainians responded with a total defense – the Ukrainian Armed Forces, supported by territorial defense and self-defense units, put up extremely effective resistance. Peace negotiations are also underway. What is their rate? Should Ukraine give up NATO aspirations in exchange for security guarantees? What terms of peace are negotiable and what can Ukrainian society accept? What are the limits of social mobilization and determination? What is the source of the resilience of the Ukrainian state and society?

The discussion took place on on April 6, 2022 with the participation of Yevhen Hlibovytski (Member of the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine), Natalia Humeniuk (Public Interest Journalism Lab), Yaroslav Hrytsak (Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv), Maria Zolkina (Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation) and Edwin Bendyk (president of Batory Foundation) as the interviewer.

English transcript