Woman talking with two Ukrainian female soldiers

News from Ukraine, which is bracing for an attack of 100,000 Russian troops massed at its border, made me think of the Ukrainian veterans who attended our VBC breakfast in November 2019 as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Six Ukrainians joined our breakfast and spoke about Ukraine’s trauma during World War II, in which the country lost about 20% of its population, and about the ongoing threat of Russia, their neighbor to the East.

The Ukrainian veterans presented a photobook that their country’s Ministry of Defence had published called The World We Defend. You can view that book as a pdf here.

We recorded that breakfast, and you can listen to Lt. Col. Iryna Makarchenko speak through an interpreter about the invasion she knew was coming.