The 9th Warsaw Security Forum took place on October 4-5 in the Polish capital. It brought together more than two thousand participants from all over the world. Military representatives,

including defense ministers of NATO member countries, politicians – EU Ministers and US Senators, EU MPs, officials, and experts who come together to discuss solving global security issues.

ICUV experts were involved in thematic panels of the main Warsaw Security Forum’s program. 

Our co-founder Olena Hopko took part in the discussion “Empire Strikes Back: Shaping the Long-term Response to russia’s Imperialism”.

“The deimperialization of Russia is a real security guarantee for Ukraine as a member of NATO”,

— said Hanna Hopko.

Also, this year, for the first time, the ICUV team organized an intense Advocating for Ukrainian Victory component within the framework of WSF. The program we prepared, contained panel discussions, open events, and art installations to engage more support for our country.  

We invited experts, politicians, and media to discuss three main demands for Ukrainian Victory – more weapons and military support to Ukraine, a war crimes Tribunal for russia, and recognition of russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Among our invited speakers were: Michael Carpenter, Ambassador of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Pawel Kowal, Member of the Parliament of Poland, Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Tamila Tasheva, Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Andriy Zahorodniuk, Minister of Defense of Ukraine (2019-2020), Chairman of the Board of the Center for Defense Strategies,  Anastasia Radina, Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy.

During the first discussion “Defending Ukraine: Support for Military Efforts & Future Security Guarantees” with Ukrainian MPs and government officials, we talked about the need to provide Ukraine with modern weapons to fight the enemy. 

The topic of more intense arming of Ukraine was one of the most discussed in Warsaw. The forum allowed us to ask Western politicians the most uncomfortable questions, like, “When will Ukraine get modern NATO weapons, including aircraft and tanks?”

“If you really want to help us, Ukraine, please give us modern weapons and help Ukrainian soldiers to actually guarantee that every inch of Ukrainian land will be free. Recently liberated territories… What did we see in Izyum? Even worse than what we saw in Bucha, in Mariupol. And for Ukraine, this is about saving the lives of people who are facing atrocities, raped children, etc. every hour. Therefore, we must stop the killing of Ukrainians by Russians”

 — said Hanna Hopko.

In the second ICUV panel discussion  “Rebuilding & Reforming Ukraine: On the Road to the EU Membership” together with European and Ukrainian officials, we shared our thoughts on how Ukraine will live after the war. 

The main conclusions – plans for admission of Ukrainian membership in the EU and further recovery & reconstruction programs for Ukraine should be discussed and defined clearly before the end of the war.

The essential part of our advocacy program, the discussion, “Crime, and Punishment. How to make Russia Responsible for Aggression Against Ukraine?”, brought together human rights activists, lawyers, and international law experts. We talked about horrors caused by russians and discussed possible legal ways of bringing russia and its war criminals to justice.

We invited to the WSF a volunteer and paramedic, former russian prisoner Julia (Tayra) Paevska, and the relatives of the Azov regiment soldiers who are still in captivity, to tell their story. Dew to them, relatives often learn about what is happening to their loved ones only through russian propaganda channels. They spoke about the horrors of russian torture and called for the return of all Ukrainian POWs.  They also appealed for help in rehabilitation after the captivity.

“Do you know what I felt when I opened my eyes after another torture? Not anger. Not rage. I felt pity for my torturers. Because everything they are doing is pushing them toward an abyss. Tortured children, women, old people. What they have done demands justice. Not revenge. We only ask for justice. Because if we start to avenge our losses, we will stoop to their level”.

— shared Yuliia (Tayra) Paevska.

The idea of establishing an international Tribunal for russia had a positive response and support in many countries, and we will promote it further.

“One of the ways out of this situation could be the establishment of a special tribunal based on EU principles and created through a bilateral agreement. A bilateral agreement (on the establishment of a special tribunal) between Ukraine as a state and the EU as an international organization could be a quick solution, which, at the same time, would help involve other countries, such as Canada, Japan, and the United States, in the process more easily”,

— ICUV co-founder Olga Aivazovska explained.

In general, in these two days, ICUV experts advocated for Ukrainian Victory – which means no compromise with the enemy. 

We called for:

  • Full control over the Ukrainian territories was recognized in 1991.
  • Security guarantees from the partner states.
  • Recognition of russian genocide against Ukrainians. Justice for Ukraine, punishment for russia.
  • Ukrainian membership in the EU and NATO 
  • Further recovery & reconstruction programs for Ukraine.
  • Sanctions against russia, confiscation of its international assets, and reparations by the aggressor state for Ukraine.

“So, the security of the world today is a matter of Ukraine’s victory. The world is slowly waking up and beginning to realize this. To understand that Ukraine cannot negotiate with those who kill and torture our children and prisoners. That until all Ukrainian territories and people are liberated from occupation, we simply have nothing to talk about with our executioners”.

— summarized afterward ICUV co-founder Daria Kaleniuk.

The artistic element of our program was an installation made by the Ukrainian artist Ksu Kazimirova (“I speak with flowers” project).  It was the map of Ukraine created from flowers and plants, on which the territories liberated from the enemy were marked.

The Warsaw Security Forum is one of the leading European security conferences devoted to transatlantic cooperation and focused on elaborating shared responses to common challenges, with an emphasis on the security of Central and Eastern Europe.

Organized since 2014, this important event gathers annually over 1500 highest representatives of governments, international organizations, industry, think tanks and civil society coming from over 90 countries. 

Since its inception, it has been organized by our good friends, the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, in strategic partnership with NATO and the National Security Bureau to the President of the Republic of Poland. 

We thank the WSF team for supporting Ukraine and for providing us with a platform for our advocacy work. We are honored to have such partners.

ICUV is always open for collaborations with mass media worldwide

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