This episode was recorded as a live broadcast on the 11th April 2022.
A cloud of uncertainty hangs over Ukraine’s future – as a sovereign state, as a democracy, as a European nation. The Russian military offensive has devastated towns and cities, and 4 million Ukrainians have fled the country so far. Ukraine is fighting for its existence, and huge questions remain – how can a peaceful solution be found, and how can such atrocities be prevented in the future? What will the rebuilding of Ukraine look like, and how will the country change?
Ukraine is home to an extraordinary generation of future leaders, and young people are already affecting change in the upper levels of government, business, and civil society. Aspen UK has assembled a panel of young Ukrainian leaders from different sectors, for a public online discussion about the future they envision and want to create for Ukraine.
Paul Mason – Paul is a journalist, writer and film-maker. He is the author of seven books, including his latest How to Stop Fascism: History, Ideology, Resistance. Paul has worked as the Business Editor of Newsnight, and as Culture and Digital Editor then Economics Editor for Channel 4 News. He writes a weekly column for the New Statesman, and contributes to The Guardian, Der Freitag and Le Monde Diplomatique. He is a frequent guest on opinion-forming TV and radio shows, including BBC Newsnight, DemocracyNow!, Politics Live, Any Questions and BBC Question Time.
On the panel:
Olya Kudinenko – Olya is the Founder and Chair of the Board of the Tabletochki Foundation, a charity helping Ukrainian children to fight oncological diseases. Olga is on of the most successful fundraisers and most influential women in Ukraine, according to FOCUS magazine and a graduate of the prestigious Fortune-US program for women leaders. Olya is also the Member of the National Children’s Hospital’s OHMADYT Board of Trustees and Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center’s Public Council.
Yegor Lanovenko – Yegor is the Founder and Chairman of Opora, a charity helping Ukrainians fleeing the war to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways for the long-term. As well as providing emergency travel and financial assistance to refugees fleeing the war, Opora has built a platform for Ukrainians to connect with UK sponsors who are willing to help under various UK government schemes. Opora’s platform aims to facilitate access to employment opportunities, business grants for refugee-led businesses and other resources for successful integration and resettlement. Yegor was born in Odessa, Ukraine and is based in London; his background includes senior strategy and product development roles in banking and financial services as well as advisory roles to student-led start-ups.
Olena Sotnyk – Olena is a politician, lawyer, and human rights defender. She is a Policy Advisor to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and was a member of the Parliament of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019. She is a well-known legislator and public policy maker in areas such as rule of law, judicial system reform, anticorruption, and youth policy. Olena also represents Ukraine in the international arena and is one of the leading the voices of Ukrainians against Russian aggression. She has held prominent positions in the working bodies of several international organizations, including the Council of Europe, and focuses on issues including Euro-integration of Ukraine and female empowerment.
Olga Tokariuk – Olga is a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and an independent journalist and researcher based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Her professional interests include Ukrainian politics, international affairs, and the study of disinformation and its impact on democracies worldwide. Olga has vast experience working with Ukrainian and international media, such as EFE news agency (Spain), RAI, ANSA (Italy), BuzzFeed News, NPR (USA), ABC (Australia), RSI (Switzerland). She is a former head of the foreign news desk at the independent Ukrainian Hromadske TV. Olga co-authored an investigative documentary about a controversial trial of Ukrainian soldier Vitaliy Markiv in Italy and published a research paper on the role of Russian disinformation in this case.