Rebuilding what is being materially damaged or destroyed by Vladimir Putin's bombs will be an arduous, costly, long-term effort that will require vast amounts of money. But rebuilding or recovering democratic institutions, the social fabric, trust and peace could be even more challenging…and it will require much more than money. What challenges do the Ukrainians have ahead to recover the nation? Will old problems and vices such as corruption and bureaucracy be insurmountable obstacles? What will coexistence between Ukrainians and Russians be like after the war?
In this week’s #Forum2000online Chat, Hanna Hopko, a former member of the parliament and former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, joined Niroshini Nugawela, attorney-at-law and Human Rights Advocate from Sri Lanka, to talk about the challenge of rebuilding Ukraine.
“[Victory] is an existential issue for us”, says Ms. Hopko
According to Hanna Hopko, you will learn that:
- It is important that Ukrainians and the world demand justice. War crimes are documented; there are camps similar to the ones the Nazis had during World War II. This is unacceptable in the 21st century.
- A complete Ukrainian victory is in the interest of the whole world. The priorities are: Ukraine's military victory, international criminal justice, compensation for families, economic recovery, and reconstruction of what was damaged. It is important to discuss the legal mechanisms for receiving compensation and what to do with Russian state and private assets, including those of the oligarchs.
- Ukrainians are united to win Russia’s genocidal war, but the people demand an end to all bad practices that have existed in Ukrainian society, such as corruption. The priorities of this agenda are the rule of law, judicial reform, transparency and accountability at all levels, national and local.
- After the war, how will Russians and Ukrainians coexist? It is too early to ask this question because the Russian society is part of this genocide against Ukraine. It will be remembered for not stopping Putin’s regime and preventing the atrocities it has committed. Russian society, as the Germans did in the past, must pay reparations.
- Without victory, the Ukrainians will have no country. It is an existential issue. That is why weapons are so important today. Surviving is not enough. Victory is crucial.
The interview was recorded in Prague on September 1, 2022, at the 26th Forum 2000 Conference.