“The Ukrainian nation, with its language and rich culture, has existed for centuries. Millions of lives were lost just in the 20th century as a result of failed attempts to create an independent Ukrainian state,” Olga Tokariuk, an independent journalist and researcher who has been based in Kyiv, wrote in an op-ed for The Post this month.
Tokariuk, a nonresident fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, has valuable perspective as a member of the generation that has come of age since official independence was gained in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Born in 1985, she participated in the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity that began in 2013.
As Ukraine faces its greatest threat yet, from a revanchist Russia that no longer recognizes its right to exist, Tokariuk says she and her countrymen stand ready to fight for their freedom. She spoke with James Hohmann on Tuesday ahead of the full-scale Russian invasion and offered historical context.
After Russian missiles hit targets in her hometown, Tokariuk tweeted on Thursday: “I was staying strong today, not letting my emotions prevail. But I just read a post from my friend and burst into tears. As she and her 5-year old child woke up at the sound of explosions in Kyiv today, her daughter asked 'Mom, so is this war? Have Russians come to kill us?'”