Featured image: Юлія Федосюк / Wikipedia
As part of our #StudentsSupportUkraine, aAh!’s News and Features Editor Nathan Eckersley spoke with Ukraine’s youngest ever MP, Sviatoslav Yurash, about his experiences in the war and life on the ground in Kyiv.
On the 24th of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine following months of building Russia’s military presence on its’ border on the Donbas. Two weeks after war broke out, aAh!’s News and Features Editor Nathan Eckersley spoke to Sviatoslav Yurash, the youngest ever member of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, for the Servant of the People party.
Speaking to The Nathan Eckersley Podcast, Sviatoslav discussed the situation on the ground in Kyiv, how he has found transitioning from politician to soldier, the NATO response to the war and how you can help the people of Ukraine.
Sviatoslav describes the “onslaught” that the Ukrainian people have faced during the Russian invasion and how the war is President Putin is “putting in practice what he has talked about for decades”.
He said: “[Putin] wants to destroy our nation, destroy our statehood, and to integrate it into the Russian state that he is building.” He adds: “The reality is that what he [has] faced since the day of the invasion, is the relentless defiance by our people… Everybody from the government to everyday people […] are coming out in droves to join the fence forces that the body of defence units and fight with everything they’ve got for the country, the only country they were born with.”
When asked about his own experiences and the bravery he has displayed, Sviatoslav’s modest personality plays down his efforts: “The fact of the matter is, it’s the reality of it all. I mean, this is this country, the biggest country in the world, which still thinks it needs more land and is trying to destroy my country.”
Sviatoslav also spoke about how people can get involved by giving “simple attention” to what is happening in Ukraine by showing “that you care about the story, that you share news about the story, that you try and follow and tell the world that you care is a step in the right direction”.
Listen to the full interview on The Nathan Eckersley Podcast
The Nathan Eckersley Podcast can be streamed on a number of podcast platforms
Follow Sviatoslav Yurash on Twitter
Follow Nathan Eckersley on Twitter
#StudentsSupportUkraine: Ways to help
Ukraine needs our support and it’s imperative that we all take action. Here are some ways you can help and join our #StudentsSupportUkraine campaign.
Organisations and Charities
Write to your MP
British citizens can write to their local MP. Find your MP’s contact details on Write to Them.
Share stories and information from trustworthy and viable sources on social media and join conversations to spread awareness. Read this thread from First Draft on how to spot and avoid spreading misinformation and disinformation about the Ukraine crisis on social media.
More information on #StudentsSupportUkraine can be found on aAh!