The National Interests Advocacy Network “ANTS” together with the International Center for Ukrainian Victory organized another advocacy trip for Ukrainian communities. This time community representatives are visiting Germany.
Kateryna Musienko, ANTS Network’s expert on international relations, told about this on Channel 5.
“We now have four community representatives, the schedule is full. Yesterday they visited Munich, today – Speyer and Heidelberg. Dresden is also in the plans. Actually, in such spartan conditions, they agree on certain help for their regions and perform an important diplomatic mission, because they tell the situation here in Ukraine,” says Kateryna Musienko.
This time, the heads of not only front-line communities went to Germany, because the organizers of the visit wanted to tell their German partners how communities in different parts of Ukraine live today.
“Our task was to give as broad a picture as possible: what is the situation in Ukraine. That is why we have both eastern, western and central communities. Some were under occupation, such as the Starosaltiv community of the Kharkiv region, where more than 80% of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. But there are communities such as, for example, Zhovkva in Lviv Oblast, which have essentially become humanitarian hubs, and from the first days of the full-scale invasion, they were engaged in transporting humanitarian aid, receiving it at the border, and also accommodating displaced persons. Our task was to show that there are communities that today have to perform very different functions, but they are all united by a common goal – working for victory. And regardless of the situation in one or another community, they all need international assistance on many issues.”
The expert emphasizes that residents of German communities support Ukraine and admire the heroism of our people, and are also surprised to hear that Ukrainians, in some regions, have already begun to rebuild their towns and villages.
“They know the political situation in the country very well, but, unfortunately, they know little about our communities and regions. Therefore, they are interested in hearing people’s stories, examples of recovery. They are surprised when we tell them that the reconstruction process has already begun in some communities. We explain that people are not waiting for the end of the war, they are already starting to move forward and for the Germans this is a big breath. They are really enthusiastic and at almost every meeting they ask what exactly and how they can help. They tell us what they are already doing on the ground and actually show interest in going to Ukraine now and seeing the situation with their own eyes,” she says.
90% of the mayors of German cities said during the meetings that they did not believe in full-scale invasions.
“And they really apologized to our delegation, to the mayors for ignoring certain facts, certain information that has been available since 2014. Ukraine has repeatedly emphasized the real plans of Russia, and in fact, they apologized for ignoring such information and did not believe it. Now they will show full support and confidence that the country will win. They can really help, share their own experience and knowledge. And, of course, we are talking about more specific help right now, the things that are needed on the ground right now. For example, certain technical support: utility equipment, which cities can already transfer to their partner cities in Ukraine. This is also an exchange of specialists. That is, it is not only about material funds, we are talking about future plans already now. It is necessary to start developing projects, including large ones, such projects of infrastructural significance and joint production, in order to start implementing them effectively after the victory.”
Details in the video:
The visit of the heads of Ukrainian communities will last three days.
Dozens of meetings and communications with journalists are planned, during which the leaders of Ukrainian communities will once again be able to talk about Russia’s aggression and why it is important to support and help Ukraine in this war.
The advocacy visit was organized by the public organization ANTS Network with the aim of helping Ukrainian communities to resist during the war and to find partners abroad for reconstruction and exchange of experience.
In times of war, partnership and friendship with European municipalities is an important tool that will help rebuild Ukrainian communities.