How Ukraine’s invention and resilience confounds Russia

Years of adversity, public unity and private-sector creativity have made Ukraine a formidable enemy, writes Orysia Lutsevych.

The World Today
3 minute READ

Vladimir Putin is waging a war to destroy Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, he invaded the country with the aim of dismantling the Ukrainian state, eradicating its cultural identity and upending its aspirations to join the European Union.

His obsession lies with the medieval history of the Kyievan Rus’ civilization. When he says that Ukrainians and Russians are one people, what he really means is that only one is legitimate – the Russian people. He rejects the right of Ukraine to exist as an independent state, and it is this that drives him to conquer Kyiv.

An existential war

For Ukrainians, this is an existential war. They have mobilized with impressive endurance, revealing a resilience grown out of past struggles against imperial oppression, threats of autocracy in the post-Soviet period and decades of various reform efforts, especially after 2014’s ‘Revolution of Dignity’.

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