We Are Fighting for Our Freedom, Our Happiness and Our Future — Military Officers

10 September 2023

Our goal is to preserve independent Ukraine and give our children the opportunity to choose their future, said Denys Zaikov, Assistant Chief of Section S-2, 25th Independent Airborne Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, when answering the question about what he was fighting for at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting “The Future is Being Decided in Ukraine”, organized by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

“We must achieve our goal: free Ukraine. We have to preserve our land, our families and our children. I don't want my children and the children of everyone present here to see what my eyes and the eyes of those heroic people next to me have seen,” he said.

Yehor Firsov, junior sergeant, combat medic of the 109th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that he fights, in the first place, for the freedom and right to be happy for himself and his compatriots.

“We are fighting for our right to be happy. We have been unhappy for so long; now they are destroying everything which is dear to us, our freedom. If we don't have freedom, we will never be happy”, he emphasised.

According to Dmytro Finashin, senior sergeant of the National Guard, Hero of Ukraine, it is important to make sure that as many people as possible return after the war and continue building their country.

“We need to get our victory. Our best people are dying, those who should shape the future of Ukraine, that is why it is necessary to reduce our losses; the world must help us, because we are fighting for global democracy”, Hero of Ukraine Dmytro Finashyn.

Alina Mykhailova, officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, member of the Kyiv City Council, and public activist, noted that every military person needed support in order to find the strength to oppose the enemy on a daily basis.

“Each of us needs personal support, every soldier should have support: family or a loved one, or any person who does not avert their eyes and understands what we are fighting for”. 

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Jared Cohen
Jared Cohen
Founder and CEO, Jigsaw, 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«In the process of helping Ukraine we’re going to learn about the most recent tactics that are deployed by outside actors to disrupt the democratic process.»