KUALA LUMPUR: On the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine on Saturday (Feb 24), the nation’s resilience stands out as a beacon of hope amid the challenges in confronting the invaders and in the process of rebuilding the country.

Former Ukrainian Ambassador to Malaysia, Olexander Nechytaylo, shared with BERNAMA that his government is tirelessly working to rebuild and sustain the nation amidst adversity.

“It is a monumental task, given the magnitude of destruction. However, we have managed quite well, and credit is due to the efficiency of government policies and the international assistance that has helped us persevere.

“As the second anniversary of the invasion approaches, Kyiv stands strong. All transport facilities function as usual, children attend schools, shopping centres are open, and people are determined to defend our homes and our ways of life,“ said Nechytaylo, who returned to Kyiv in June 2022.

He highlighted two pivotal factors contributing to Ukraine’s resilience, particularly in sectors like agriculture and energy: the unwavering spirit of its citizens and the bravery of its military personnel.

Furthermore, he emphasised that the successful repulsion of the Russian Black Sea fleet has secured vital shipping routes, facilitating international trade and fostering economic revival.

“Our people made it possible to push back the Russian Black Sea fleet, ensuring that important shipping routes are now fully functional.

“Since August 2023, more than 700 commercial vessels have sailed through the Black Sea from Ukrainian ports, carrying various cargo, including over 20 million tons of wheat to our partners in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Thus, international trade remains a major driver for reviving our economy,“ said the former envoy.

Regarding the displacement of nearly five million people within Ukraine, predominantly women and children, along with over six million citizens seeking refuge abroad, Nechytaylo pointed out that the situation underscores the scale of the humanitarian crisis concerning the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

This is a top priority for the government, with concerted efforts to provide assistance and incentives for IDPs to engage in economic activities, including establishing their businesses, he said.

“As of now, most of the IDPs are settling quite well, but the ultimate goal is to help them rebuild their lives completely.

“In the long run, the government is expected to create other incentives and opportunities to encourage Ukrainians overseas to return and contribute to rebuilding the country,“ he added.

Previously, BERNAMA reported that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that nearly 6.5 million refugees from Ukraine have sought refuge globally, with 3.7 million people remaining forcibly displaced internally since the invasion.

In light of the continued challenges posed by the conflict, Nechytaylo said Ukraine remains open to partnerships aimed at bolstering its defence capabilities.

“Ukraine will certainly welcome any partnership that helps us strengthen our defence capabilities,“ he said.

On Feb 24, 2022, Russia initiated a comprehensive invasion of Ukraine, occupying significant portions of the country. The conflict has persisted since then, with Ukraine steadfastly resisting the Russian aggression. - Bernama

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