Confronting Russian Aggression: Voices of Ukrainian Women ROUGH EVENT TRANSCRIPT Speaker 1 (00:00:00): And welcome to today's event, confronting Russian aggression, the voices of Ukrainian women, I'm LAN reer, the director of the Georgetown Institute for women, peace and security. The crisis in Ukraine is at a critical moment with the unprecedented buildup, Russian troops, some 130,000, as well as offensive equipment, a buildup on the three sides of Ukraine. They are poised to attack because Ukraine's commitment to democracy and its aspirations to be integrated into Europe is unacceptable to the Russian present, whether they will attack remains to be seen, but Ukraine has already paid a price and continues to pay a price in 2014 Russian president Putin, a next creea and went on to occupy the dun BOS region in the east. For eight years, the Ukrainian people have been struggling against this ongoing aggression and the toll it has taken on their country more than 13,000 lives have been lost. Speaker 1 (00:01:14): And almost 2 million Ukrainians are internally displaced. They've also suffered from hybrid warfare, sustaining massive disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks, constant efforts to wear down the Ukrainian people to destabilize and demoralize. Ukraine has a very strong civil society. That was much in evidence during its revolution of dignity that people striving for, genuine and democracy integration with the west government reform and freedom. Its civil society continues to play a vital role. And in our discussion today, we will focus in considerable measure on civil society Ukrainians on the front lines, women and men, women leaders in government, in the security sector in building trust across ethnic lines at the great grassroots level and so much more have been demonstrating great commitment and expertise. Ukraine has a national action plan focused on the role of women in peace and security. It acknowledges the disparate impacts of conflict on women and men, and it calls for women's participation across government at all levels, including at the grassroots level, we will hear from some of the women leaders, uh, and their call to the international community. This discussion is very much about what is happening in Ukraine, but it is not only about Ukraine. It is about freedom democracy and the people's right to determine their own destiny. Speaker 1 (00:03:09): We are pleased to be joined by over 700 viewers on zoom and more who are joining us on Facebook and we welcome each and every one of you, we have already received many pre-submitted questions from our audience members, and please know that you will also have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers throughout the event. This event is being carried in English and Ukrainian. Please go to the bottom of your screen, where it says language interpretation and select the language you prefer and also click mute original audio. I am now so pleased, uh, to turn to ambassador bill Taylor, the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, an exceptional leader who has long been committed to a secure, peaceful and democratic Ukraine. He has held many important positions in government has frequently testified before Congress and currently serves as the vice president for Russian Europe at the United States Institute for peace. The ambassador Taylor was just in Ukraine with the delegation there. He met with president Linsky and he met with others in government and civil society. Ambassador Taylor, welcome. And thank you so much for being with us today. We look, we look forward very much bill to your assessment of the situation in Ukraine, as you see it at this critical moment, um, what is at stake and why does civil society matter? Speaker 2 (00:04:57): Milan? First of all, thank you for the honor of joining you today. It is, it is indeed an honor to join you Buster larva, the other members of this, uh, uh, of this, of this event, uh, which is, which is a true tribute to exactly the focus that is Ukrainian, civil society, Ukrainian women, Ukrainian people who want independence, they want their freedom. They want their democracy. They want the right to be a normal European country. This is not so much to ask. And yet there's this threat that you just described, there's this threat to take that away. Um, and you're right. I was just in Ukraine last week, um, and met with brave Ukrainians across civil society across the government, um, who are ready to def

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