On the morning of February 24, 2022, Russian troops blasted Kyiv with heavy artillery and missile strikes focusing their assault on several main targets, including Boryspil International Airport. While apparently intending to overtake the capital city quickly, Russian troops, instead, retreated after weeks of difficult fighting. Today, home to 3.6 million people, Kyiv remains a hotly unwon part of Russia’s wide-scale military campaign. In “Defending Democracy: The Battle for Kyiv ”, we take a closer look at all that lies there, the damage that has been done, and the dangers that still exist.
Plus, the country’s most famous mayor, the former world heavyweight boxing champ Mayor Vitali Klitschko returns to the podcast with a candid account of what it takes to lead his hometown in war. The son of a Soviet Union Air Force Officer and survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Klitschko is a true defender of democracy who knows all too well what’s in jeopardy for his nation.
Plus, the war has turned more than 9 million Ukrainians into refugees. One proud Kyvian who made her way to the United States sits down with Adrienne at the Washington, DC campus of Florida International University to tell her story and to share just what it means to leave your family, flee your homeland, and all that you know in the midst of war.
Democracy! The Podcast is brought to you by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) with support from the United States Agency for International Development through the Democratic Elections and Political Processes Award.
Natalia Yakymchuk is the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Program Officer at The International Republican Institute in Washington DC.
Natalia has more than 8 years of experience in providing MEL support to programs throughout the program grant lifecycle. She is familiar with the MEL requirements of USAID (CEPPS, IREX), the National Endowment for Democracy, and Global Affairs Canada. She is also a co-founder and Member of the Board (2012-2015) of the Ukrainian Evaluation Association.
Since 2020, Natalia has coordinated the work of the Ukrainian Women’s Democracy Network in Ukraine.