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FANVoices | Ukraine 2

 

Transcription of Oleksandr Ivanov’s statement announced during the EFA #believeineurope Community Call on 28 February 2022. Oleksandr acts as activist and is member of Kyiv Initiative Group Alpbach.

 

Dear Alpbach family,  

dear souls and minds standing for European values, democracy, justice and freedom. 

Ukraine is on fire today! It’s a real tragedy of the 21st century just in the heart of Europe, but also a legendary act of resistance from the whole Ukrainian population. Our people are fighting here for our independence, our freedom, our European choice. 

My name is Oleksandr Ivanov, and currently I am on the outskirts of Kyiv where active fights are going on. At this very moment, we are in a basement of our private house, hearing explosions every 20 minutes. Just in 5 km, Ukrainian forces are giving a fight to Russian tanks. It’s scary, it’s humiliating, it’s unbelievable. But we try to keep calm and resist to Russian aggression by all means available. 

Five days ago, I woke up in my apartment in Kyiv because of rocket attacks. Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  To be honest, like most of you, I didn’t believe till the very last moment, that Putin and his propagandist machine will do this to us. I thoughts it’s a bluff, a geopolitical game. Why did he dare this cruel invasion? Does he believe that the civilized countries are helpless with their sanctions? Did he manage to set a terror in his own country, so all my friends in Russia are afraid to speak up and go to the streets? He probed international reactions through all these years… Abkhazia or Northern Osetia, annexation of Crimea, Donbass, protests in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The world kept being “deeply concerned”, most countries tolerated Putin’s regime, as a result we see what happens in Ukraine today. 

But let’s leave analytics and reflections to the next Alpbach Forum, where people will debate, freely express their opinion, and think through more resilient strategies. Right now, you need to ACT. Immediately. We expect our partners in Europe to help us in political, economic and social areas, first of all, to stop Russian aggression. We need weapons to defend ourselves, we need NATO to close the air, we need severe sanctions to Russia, including blocking their oligarchs, financial institutions, and propaganda. Russia Today, Sputnik and other media constantly brainwashed Europeans with misleading information, making them believe that Ukraine has a “civil war”, “conflict”, “fascists in power” and other surrealistic concepts. 

That all should be blocked immediately.  

The war is the most horrible thing. It destroys many lives and brings a humanitarian crisis. Right now, we have thousands of people on the borders. Those are mostly women and children trying to save their lives. They seek for temporary shelter (and I mean it) and assistance in Europe. Please, let them in, help them, consult, support. I know already that in the cities of Donbass – Volnovaha, Schstya, in Chernihiv, in Kharkiv, there are many cases when people are sitting in bunkers with limited food, water, sanitation.  

Please, help us with respective supplies to mitigate human suffering. And not only human.  

Just 20 km from the place where I’m currently based, in the Gostomel shelter for animals, hundreds of dogs died because of heart attack. The situation is very critical. The volunteers in that shelter experience lack of water, food. And last but not least – when all that nightmare will be over, we need your solidarity and full-scale support with a rebuilding plan. Of course, it links to civil infrastructure, first of all. As we need to rebuild our houses, schools, bridges, roads. But most importantly, it is our democratic institutions, dealing with human rights, media.  

I am sure that the European Forum Alpbach has a huge potential for education and cooperation in that area. Needless to say, we are still optimistic about our European perspective, in terms of further integration to the EU. We are EUROPE. Please, remember about this and stand for us. 

I send you our wishes from resisting Kyiv, independent Ukraine, and all Alpbach members who are in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Lviv and other cities right now. 

Slava Ukraini! Heroyam Slava! 

Oleksandr Ivanov