“Resilience and Unity are the key characteristics of Ukrainians,” — Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Kyiv

Russia is attempting to commit genocide in Ukraine. This is clear from what the occupiers did — they demolished Ukrainian cities, tortured prisoners, and committed war crimes in temporarily occupied territories. 

Due to the full-scale Russian aggression, Ukraine’s needs continue to grow. The online dialogue “Philanthropy for Ukraine — Global Philanthropy’s Crucial Role in Ukraine on the Second Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion” aimed to raise the issue of increased assistance to our country and sustainable global support. 

The speakers of the discussion were: 

  • Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Kyiv;
  • Timothy Snyder, Yale University Historian and Author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America;
  • Ondřej Liška, Regional Director, Europe, Porticus

During the online dialogue “Philanthropy for Ukraine,” Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Kyiv, spoke about Ukraine, the challenges facing the society, as well as ways to solve them.

Internal challenges and how to address them

The country’s economic situation is a significant challenge that requires a balanced and strategic response. Currently, the Ukrainian economy is in bad condition. For example, our country’s GDP has seriously fallen, and half of the national budget is directed to defense. 

“What do we see in Ukraine’s budget for 2024? An increase in spending on security and defense is more than half of it. On the other hand, social policy and healthcare also need funding, particularly from international partners. And here, Russian frozen assets can help. We understand the complexity of the procedures for accessing funds, but these $300 billion should be used to support and renew Ukraine”. 

Yuliya Tychkivska said the socio-political situation in Ukraine is also quite complicated. At the same time, both opinion polls and the experience of the Aspen Institute Kyiv events show a readiness for further resistance.

“On February 3, we held the Good Governance Forum “Ukraine 2024: Dimensions of Resilience” with the Frontier Institute and the CEO Club Ukraine. We managed to bring together more than 150 leaders from various fields to synchronize them. The unity around unification and belief in victory remains despite all the exhaustion. And strong horizontal connections and interaction at the community level are significant”. 

Yuliya Tychkivska noted that civil society is now demonstrating high unity: 

“A few weeks ago, for United 24, Ukrainians raised $8.5 million in 36 hours to strengthen the defense forces. It is incredible. People are poor now, but everyone supports Ukraine. This is how we inspire each other. It shows our resilience”.

Transformations inside and outside – what each of us can do

Yuliya Tychkivska believes that sustainability is critical in the long run. It is also essential to understand the demand for trustworthy and honest communication between the state and society: 

“President Zelenskyy recently announced about 31,000 dead soldiers, not including those who are missing or wounded and cannot continue to fight. This honesty is the first step to start an open and sincere dialog between the state and society”. 

Internal reforms are also crucial in strengthening resilience and development: “Transparency of the public service, prevention of corruption, and a new economic framework are important for the country’s development.” 

Yuliya Tychkivska also says that sincere dialogue is crucial in international communications.