Dear participants of the Kyiv Security Forum! I am glad to welcome you to this meeting!

Opening the humanitarian panel of today’s discussion, with the permission of the moderator, I would like to call on everyone present to think about the word “justice”.

We all want a just victory and a just peace. This is what unites us now, inspires us, makes us strong.

The desire for justice, caused by russia’s unjustified, brazen aggression, is spreading in society to all aspects of life. We want fair punishment for the attackers, fair behaviour of officials, fair rights and fair restrictions.

Justice, like unity, has become the dominant value in our society.

In fact, without a new understanding around a just world, there will never be a safe world. After all, cynical murderers also hide their aggression under the guise of justice, which is only understandable to them, and which is very appropriately marked by the two arrest warrants for putin and his henchmen, lvova-belova.  

But it is already becoming clear that, due to the many issues, everyone has their own justice.

This war has shown the need to reform the UN. After all, what can we expect from the organisation if the Security Council is headed by a country whose leader unleashed genocide in Europe in the 21st century?

Justice is controversial. And these contradictions will only intensify in all aspects of the humanitarian crisis we are experiencing right now. The biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.

I have always wondered why older people, our grandparents and great-grandparents, were so reluctant to talk about the war. It was as if they were turned off when kids, who had read about the heroes’ victories, pestered them with questions.

Now I understand them. How do you talk about an arrival that you see right from your window? About a missile in a residential building? About the killed and stolen children? About the torture chambers of Bucha and Kherson? About the mutilations? About deaths? It is better for our children not to know.

The total amount of direct documented damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure caused by russia’s full-scale invasion as of April reached $147.5 billion, according to experts at the Kyiv School of Economics.

The total number of damaged or destroyed residential buildings, including private and apartment buildings, is almost 158,000.

The number of damaged and destroyed educational facilities reaches 3,200, including more than 1,500 schools, nearly a thousand kindergartens, and 538 higher education institutions.

The war has destroyed or damaged 806 healthcare facilities, including 367 hospitals and 341 outpatient clinics.

These are not just impressive figures. These are destructions that are directly related to the lives of people who now have nowhere to live, nowhere to study, nowhere to be treated.

All this needs to be rebuilt. This is a huge task that we can only accomplish in cooperation with our international partners, including the UN.

Almost 200,000 square kilometres of our country are mined. Imagine how big this is: it is two Hungary or one Great Britain. This is a territory where you cannot walk, where you cannot sow and where you cannot build.

It all needs to be demined, using the experience and technology that the world already has, including Canada.

20,000 children forcibly deported to russia, where they are re-educated and taught to hate Ukraine. This crime has already been recognised as genocide against the Ukrainian people.

There are millions of separated families, millions of children who have been studying abroad for a year and a half and are forgetting Ukraine. They all need to be returned (or encouraged to return).

We are getting used to new words for social statuses.

IDPs: millions of people who have lost their homes. Widows: very young or our age. Here they are, at arm's length. Orphans: children who no longer have a father or mother, or both.

Veterans. Not grandfathers in medals, but young, beautiful, without an arm or a leg... It is expected that there will be up to three million veterans in Ukraine, whom we simply must return to a normal, adequate life. And this is a common task for the government, civil society, including women’s organisations, and the veterans themselves.

All the figures I have mentioned can drive anyone crazy. Anyone but Ukrainians. We are strong, and we are holding on.

We wake up in the corridors after nightly shelling, iron our shirts and dress up for Vyshyvanka Day. We donate for the Armed Forces. We cry and laugh, supporting each other.

So, I hope we will make it through. Both with the war and the humanitarian crisis.

We need sustainable peace to start rebuilding. We need a strategic vision of the architecture of the future Ukraine. One where the values of justice and unity will be fundamental. It is for the sake of developing such strategies that such forums are held.

 Glory to Ukraine!

Return to posts

Printable version