Youth during the war: Polish-Ukrainian visions

20 квітня 2023 року



During the year of a full-scale war, it is possible and necessary to conduct an analysis, draw conclusions and make certain forecasts about how Ukraine and the world will live in the near future.
Ukrainian society and the European community have shown a high level of mobilization of all resources to resist russian aggression.
As the most mobile part of society, Ukrainian youth showed their best qualities, quickly responding to military challenges – some took a direct part in the defense of their native places, others were actively engaged and engaged in volunteering. At the same time, representatives of the Polish community – students, teachers, ordinary citizens contribute to the victory over the russian federation, actively helping refugees, raising funds to help the armed forces of Ukraine and the remaining Ukrainians, activating Europeans by holding various actions and events in support of Ukraine.
On April 18, the department of historical anthropology and history theory of the Jagiellonian University Institute of history organized and held a seminar "Daily life of young people during the war in Ukraine". The event was co-organized by the department of international relations and social sciences of the faculty of hHumanities and pedagogy of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv).
The Polish side was represented by students and lecturers, scientists of Jagiellonian and Warsaw universities, the University of Warsaw after Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Humanitarian and Natural Sciences University after Jan Dlugosz at Czestochowa, Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk.
On the Ukrainian side there were representatives of students and research and teaching staff of Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University (Mykolaiv), Cherkasy National University after Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Poltava state Agrarian University.
The meeting was held in the form of an open exchange of experience of participants and participants who shared their experience of perceiving the initial stage of the war and changing views and behavior a year later.
Professor  Natalia Zemzyulina and a student Oleh Kachan (Bohdan Khmelnytsky Cherkasy National University) spoke about the reactions, emotions that were experienced, and actions that were committed at the beginning of the war. Prof. Tamara Sharavara (Poltava state agrarian university); student Pavlo Khoydenko (Poltava state Agrarian University); head of the department of international relations and social sciences professor Olexandr Shevchuk, associate professor of the department of international relations and social sciences Viktoria Khvist and students of specialty "International relations" Anastasia Kutsolabskay and Valery Shyshkin (NULES of Ukraine); student Alina Lishunova (Jagiellonian University), student Viktoria Berezovska (Secondary school No. 132 in Kyiv), associate professor Olena Shepotilova (Odessa Maritime National University), doctor of philosophy Valeriya Pitenina (National Academy of Fine Arts and architecture in Kyiv), undergraduates Yulia Kreminska and Vladyslav Horokhov (Black Sea National University after Petro Mohyla / Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk), Prof. Evheniy Sinkevych (Cherkasy National University after Bohdan Khmelnytsky / University after Yan Dlugosh in Czestochowa), a student Yevhenia Virlych (Black Sea National University after Petro Mohyla / Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk).




The head of  the department of international relations and social sciences professor Olexandr Shevchukaddressed the participants with a welcoming speech. He noted that such events are extremely important, because they demonstrate the unwavering support and understanding of the international community of the processes that Ukrainian society is experiencing today. The reaction of young people to the events of the war is a marker of future transformations.
Reflecting on the beginning of full-scale military operations, the associate professor Viktoria Khvist noted that the management and lecturers managed to establish the educational process, quickly prepare shelters in the university buildings not only for students and teachers, but also for residents of the houses of the micro-district. In fact, two weeks after the start of training at the university, training was resumed online. Autumn and winter became the most difficult, when in conditions of constant power outages, lecturers and students held pairs and made up a winter session. However, this only united young people and the older generation, and became an additional incentive for unity.



Anastasia Kutsolabska, 3rd year student of specialty "International relations, public communications and regional studios" supported these claims, noting that the level of trust and understanding between teachers and students has significantly increased. Watching the state and reactions of the teachers on the other side of the screen, everyone understood that each of them himself was in a difficult situation, but continued to play the role of mentors and curators who remained in touch throughout the academic time ... "Recalling the events of that time, first of all, I would like to emphasize the operational work of the University. lecturers quickly got their bearings and found opportunities for conducting pairs for students who needed to be released from the non-stop flow of information. Despite the initial shock, we kept in touch even in the most difficult conditions, using all possible means of communication. And finally, the beginning of full-time training has become a new stage in our own struggle for victory on the educational front. Today we are afraid of the unknown, but we continue to persistently acquire a specialty, realizing all the responsibility for the future. Listening to the reports of my predecessors, I realize how difficult it was for those who were abroad at the time of the start of the full-scale invasion. Understanding everything that happens at home, but not being able to help, is a test. This speech helped me better understand people who were in unforeseen circumstances in a foreign country and did not know what to expect in the future."
Student Valery Shyshkin, thanked for the opportunity to international students of NULES of Ukraine to join a large-scale discussion on a topic that aims not only to show our foreign friends and colleagues the real life of Ukrainian students in the face of a full-scale russian invasion, but also to convey to the same students that everyone has their own unique history and that we have enough strength to influence the course of events and bring Ukraine's victory closer on all fronts of the struggle.
"February 24, 2022 was a turning point for all of us, regardless of age, gender or social status. It was a date that really divided life into "before" and "after". After this date, the only dream was peace and the return of life to the past state, when the only problem was the usual "gray routine". It is a great credit to the lecturers who continued to give calmness and self-confidence, demonstrating confidence in the future and faith in victory. They continued to give us knowledge, even as enemy missiles destroyed critical infrastructure one by one.
This event once again reminded us, the younger generation of Ukrainians, that every contribution to our victory is significant. In addition, I personally found it interesting to observe the reaction of our Polish friends and colleagues when they heard our stories. I am sure that they understand the meaning of what they heard, and then they will be able not only to tell the truth to their family and friends, but also to find their own inspiration in our stories, so that in the future they can go together to understanding and joint projects...».



During the discussion, participants drew parallels with the Second World War and the statements of Putin and Hitler, as well as shared their experience of volunteer work.
The Ukrainian side ended all its speeches with words of gratitude to the Polish people, who stand side by side with the Ukrainians. Poland has provided invaluable assistance in the struggle for our freedom, democracy and independence, ensuring the preservation of the existing world order. As one of the participants put it, the master's student Olexiy Koval (Black Sea National University after Petro Mohyla in Mykolaiv / Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk), Poland has become the Copperfield of the modern world, magically providing much-needed assistance to our military men.
Summing up the above, I would like to note that today's young people perfectly understand the importance of such social/political/spiritual institutions as the state, nation, family, language, faith, history, culture.
We express our sincere gratitude for the invitation to become co-organizers and participate in such an important event, which helps to better understand and establish contacts between the scientific and student communities of both countries. Special thanks to Prof. Olha Morozova, who professionally performed the duties of moderator of the discussion.




Olena Kropyvko,
associate professor of the department of international relations and social sciences


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