Ukraine needs a reconstruction plan similar to the "Marshal's plan” - Bishop Borys Gudziak at the World Economic Forum in Davos
The panelists also included Vitaliy Kim, head of Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Natalia Humeniuk, founder of the Public Interest Journalism Lab, and Olga Tsilynko, a volunteer from Kherson, together with her son Nazar Tsilynko. The meeting was moderated by Matthew Kaminsky, Editor-in-chief of Politico.
Borys Gudziak explained why it is important to continue supporting Ukraine in its struggle for independence: "the world has never seen such solidarity, which began after February 24. It is important, though difficult, to maintain this enthusiasm. However, we see that there are still pure desires to help. And certain decisions of the US government on the budget confirm this. It is important for us to explain that the war in Ukraine is a long-term challenge.
In his speech, Metropolitan Borys focused on the obligations of the occupation authorities regarding the occupied territories, which Russia constantly violates. "International humanitarian law defines how the occupiers should behave in the territories: provide food, medical care, provide everything for religious rites. People should not be deported or forced to work for the military. And under no circumstances should they be taken to the army of the invaders. All these provisions are grossly violated by the Russians. They torture Ukrainians. People disappear, and many are killed. And the long-term consequences of these atrocities will need to be addressed in the future.
"Metropolitan Borys also noted the need not only to restore infrastructure in the liberated territories of Ukraine but also to restore people: "territories are being liberated in order to free people. And the most important question now is: "How can people recover?”. The trauma caused by this behavior of Russians is very deep. I am the son of parents who survived the Soviet occupation from 1939 to 1941 and were under German occupation. They were refugees for several years. They came from the United States to independent Ukraine, where seven million people were killed. And I know from their experience that it is possible to recover. Ukraine needs a reconstruction plan similar to the ”Marshal's plan". We can't afford to be defeated by fatigue."
The president of UCU shared the experience of the Ukrainian Catholic University, where people with disabilities live on campus together with students in the Emmaus House. According to His Eminence, such experience contributes to the restoration of people, in particular, the restoration of trust in post-Soviet society:
"At the Ukrainian Catholic University, we saw that the presence of people with mental disabilities helps to survive their own injuries. Among the problems that we face after the occupation and totalitarianism are a lack of trust. And our friends from the Emmaus House are helping us restore the bonds of trust."