'100 Days of War in Ukraine Is 100 Days Too Long'—Vital Voices Leaders Share Bold Solutions to War

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian human rights activist Oksana Horbunova, former President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson speak out

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Friday marks the 100th day since Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, a group of world leaders close to the conflict recently shared their insights into events on the ground in Ukraine at the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership. They laid out the bold steps they believe nations must take to stop Putin and contain the conflict—and why failure to do so could affect people around the globe.   

Vital Voices President & CEO Alyse Nelson:  

“One hundred days of war in Ukraine is 100 days too long. These attacks must be stopped. We know that women and girls are the greatest victims of this devastating conflict. But at the same time, we have witnessed the tremendous strength of women and are supporting a network of leaders throughout the country by providing emergency shelter, food, medical care and trauma support,” said Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. “As we opened the doors to our Global Embassy for Women in May, we heard a clear call from former heads of state, diplomats and civil society leaders on the frontlines who are offering bold solutions to this war, and it's about time we listen up and step up before things get worse.”    

Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova:    

“Putin has been very clear… It’s not only about Ukraine. It’s about redrawing the map of Europe. It’s about rebuilding—whether it’s the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire, whatever they have in their sick plans. So, nobody is safe,” said Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova.   

“Anything anyone can do matters. One person’s protest in front of the Russian embassy matters and one person’s Tweet or Facebook message or Instagram post matters,” said Ambassador Markarova.    

Former President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė:  

“We need to understand that, today, Ukraine is protecting Europe and protecting the world with the bodies of their women and children ... It is very clear that Putin needs to be crushed on the battlefield. No sanctions will stop him … He will not stop the war. He can be stopped only by force because he only understands force,” said President Grybauskaitė.  

“Even before the war, the reaction of the West was very, very weak. We, in December of last year, said that there would be no NATO feet on the ground—before the war. Instead of putting our feet on the ground before the war to avoid the war ... We invited Putin in to invade,” said President Grybauskaitė. “It’s our responsibility that we didn’t support Ukraine on time and appropriately.”      

Ukrainian Human Rights Activist Oksana Horbunova:    

“We will never accept the dictatorships. We will never give up our fight. Ukrainian women, they’re in the front lines to defend democracy,” said Horbunova.  

“My heart is overloaded with pain and anger,” said Horbunova, who escaped the war a few weeks ago and is now seeking asylum in the U.S. “I was lucky because Vital Voices proposed for me to be evacuated—and, actually, I was hesitating for a long time, ‘Should I go or not?’ But my husband told me, ‘You have to go. If you survive, you will help others.’”  

The discussion took place during the Women Leading in Crisis panel at the grand opening of the new headquarters of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-partisan, non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1997 by former First Lady of the United States and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the late former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and a host of other women leaders. Vital Voices recently opened its new space – the world's first global embassy for women—with female world leaders from across the globe in attendance. The Women Leading In Crisis panel drew a crowd of well over a hundred business and political leaders, and a worldwide audience via a livestream of attendees who are troubled by the global implications of the war in Ukraine and who are moved by the tragedies of ordinary Ukrainians.   

Watch the full video recording of the panel on YouTube: https://youtu.be/l0gAGpE6fSs?t=719



About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and that nations can’t move forward without women in leadership positions, the Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 changemakers across 184 countries and territories over the last 24 years. It’s provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, Prime Ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman, Malala Yousafzai, and more.

Serving as a “venture catalyst,” the non-profit identifies leaders with a daring vision for change and partners with them to make that vision a reality. It provides connections, increased capacity, a peer network, financial support, skills training, and increased visibility for their work, which ranges from gender-based violence to the climate crisis and economic inequities to political disempowerment, and more.


The Women Leading In Crisis panel at the grand opening of Vital Voices

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