Ukrainian panel discuss the reality of two years of war with Russia in exclusive Independent event

By Isaac M February 24, 2024

To mark two years since Ukraine was invaded by Russia, The Independent brought together a panel of Ukrainian experts to voice their experiences of the war.

Bel Trew, The Independent’s award-winning chief international correspondent, photographer and documentary filmmaker, hosted the panel, part of our Virtual Events series, live from Kyiv in Ukraine.

She was joined by Tymofiy Mylovanov, President of Kyiv School of Economics and an advisor to Ukraine’s presidential administration.

Speaking just moments after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s mother confirmed she was finally shown his body almost a week after he was confirmed dead, he said: “These are dark times for Ukraine and Europe.”

He added: “We have to push back and fight back to secure Europe and defend democracy.”

Also on the panel was Orysia Lutsevych, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia Programme and head of the Ukraine Forum at Chatham House.

Lutsevych called Ukraine “a theatre of war” and said Putin “wants the US to abandon Europe,” adding it will be a “dark, dark world” if he succeeds in his aims.

“What is Ukraine defending? Readers should understand this is beyond Ukraine,” she told our viewers.

Two years of war have sparked a multitude of repercussions across Europe and the world – and has left the nation at the heart of it in utter devastation, with $75 billion dollars worth of destruction in Ukraine.

Alongside the monetary damage, our third panellist Mykola Kuleba, founder of Save Ukraine and former Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, shed horrifying insight on the human cost of war in Ukraine.

He called out “Russian genocide on the Ukrainian nation,” adding: “Russians are weaponising stolen children and teaching them to hate not just Ukraine, but the West.”

Watch the entire Q&A event for free below.

Two years of war in Ukraine

To find out about our next virtual event and how to sign up click here.

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