Opening Speech by Olga Rudenko, Editor-in-Chief The Kyiv Independent

Potsdam, 15 September 2022

“Dear journalists, editors, and guests of the conference,

It’s an honor to be able to address you. I’m here as a journalist, as an editor of an independent news site, the Kyiv Independent, and as a Ukrainian.

If this event had taken place seven months ago, the trip here would have been an easy and pleasant one. I would have come to the airport in Kyiv, checked in, had a cup of overpriced coffee, and boarded my flight to Berlin. Two hours later, I’d arrive. It would be normal and safe. Now, to come here, I have to spend nearly 20 hours on trains, and then take a flight from another country. The trip takes at least one whole day. I don’t feel safe for most of it because Russia has attacked trains in the past. There are no more flights from Ukraine. We don’t know if any of our airports have survived, as Russia targeted them with missiles in the first days of the invasion.
Seven months ago, my life changed forever.”
Please read the entire speech here.