Victor Pinchuk Foundation and YES hosted the YES meeting in Kyiv “Two Years – Stay in the Fight”

24 February 2024

On 24 February 2024, on the second anniversary of Ukraine’s resistance to the full-scale invasion of Russia, Yalta European Strategy (YES) and Victor Pinchuk Foundation held the YES meeting in Kyiv – Two Years – Stay in the Fight.

A group of Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine, including politicians, military and civil activists came together to discuss how to aid Ukrainians' victory in this fight for life, freedom and a rule-based order.

The YES meeting in Kyiv covered the following topics:

- Is the tide against Ukraine?
- Are Ukraine's finances, economy, infrastructure and social systems sustainable?
- Will the US decamp, and who could step in?
- The fight for survival, victory, peace
- The democracy, corruption and unity
- Is it impossible to isolate Russia?
- Ukraine's Future: EU, NATO, Ukraine and Victory.

Victor Pinchuk, Founder, YES, welcomed international guests to the YES meeting  ‘Two Years – Stay in the Fight’ in Kyiv today and asked the audience for a minute of silence to remember the heroes that have died during this war.

“Everybody understands that Ukrainians are not only fighting for their own independence, but also for freedom, for the values of the whole world.

“I really think that very soon we will stop talking about your help, your aid, we will have to talk about sharing responsibility. Here in Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers, Ukrainian people will have to fight and you cannot send your soldiers to be with Ukrainian soldiers. But you can produce weapon not as much as possible, but as much as we need. And you have to send this weapon to Ukraine as quick as we need. And only then we will win.”

All the discussions were held during the Deciding Your Tomorrow exhibition offered an immersive experience, inviting participants to revisit what is at stake in Ukraine. The exhibition was organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and PinchukArtCentre in partnership with the Office of the President of Ukraine.

The Deciding Your Tomorrow exhibition showcases the works of three contemporary Ukrainian artists, Oleksii Sai, Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Khimei, who depict Ukraine through a series of compelling video portraits and stories. It included a film by Oleksii Sai, in which the author showed the clock ticking, looking back at every single day of Ukraine’s defence since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. An impressive moving visual diary of Ukrainians defending freedom, taking losses, and moving to victories was presented. It showed how much was achieved, how much courage and heroism, but also how much suffering and danger had been present for all Ukrainians since February 24, 2022.

Combined with an updated map and statistics of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, this film was put as a juxtaposition to a curated live stream of TikTok content from Ukraine where people defiantly lived their lives, finding joy, love, and moments of happiness while under constant threat.

Another part of the exhibition was a multi-channel video by Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Khimei. The artists presented moving portraits of Ukrainian children who had been kidnapped by Russia and returned home safely. Bringing the world's attention to a systematic War Crime Russia committed in Ukraine. At the same time, this work was a homage to all children in Ukraine who lived under the systematic risk of being taken from their homes.

Photos are available here

Video is available at the Victor Pinchuk Foundation YouTube channel

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Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović
Artist, 14th YES Annual Meeting, 2017
«Politicians need to have a big picture, but artists need to have even bigger picture because they are oxygen of society. And we are free, we don’t discriminate, we don’t belong to anybody. We can do whatever we want.»