Our Voices

Kateryna Yushchenko on “war fatigue,” ongoing peace agreements, and Ukrainian perseverance

We in Ukraine continue to be angry, worried, sad and tired, but, as before, hopeful.

Angry because the death and destruction continues. The Russians are targeting port facilities, thus limiting grain shipments and exacerbating the world food crisis, especially in Africa and the Middle East. They continue to target schools and hospitals, and to kill civilians and young soldiers.

Worried because we keep hearing that politicians and voters in other countries are feeling war fatigue and calling for us to negotiate to end the war. They do not understand that so-called peace agreements will lead to sacrificing not only land but dooming the people on that land, creating instability and opportunities for future attacks, and rewarding aggression. Letting Russia keep land it gained through bloody war would set a precedent that threatens our neighbors or countries like Taiwan. Meanwhile, Russia continues to get arms and important components to build more weapons.

Sad because we get news every day of another brave soldier, singer, teacher, athlete or doctor getting killed or maimed. More children are hurt or become orphans. We are sad because we know that every day this war drags on, fewer of our refugees will return and there will be more to rebuild.

We are tired because the air raids are constant, we are sleep-deprived because we must go to shelters several times in the night, and because we are not able to achieve the full results of our work. For example, my husband and I are now flying to Chicago. Instead of taking 12 hours, the trip with trains, planes and automobiles takes close to 40 hours. Such a waste of time and energy. And this is multiplied hundreds of thousands of times. Our children and young people are losing their ability to learn and thrive.

But, don’t worry. We are confident we will win because we know our strength and will will overcome, and we know that most democratic and free nations are still with us. We know we will not give up. We know the enemy is growing weaker and losing support. Our victory is inevitable, it is just taking so long.

So again, thank you for caring. And again, I can’t wait to see many of you in Ukraine in the future!