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The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) launched Voices of Ukraine: Volume I in Vienna, Austria on 15 May 2023.
The launch was supported by the Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and opened with addresses from:
• WINS Executive Director Lars van Dassen
• Ukrainian Energy Minister German Halushchenko
• Energoatom Director General Petro Kotin
• Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organisations
• Ambassador Laura S H Holgate, US Ambassador to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency
The book comprises direct testimony of nuclear workers in Ukraine speaking in their own words about impact of the Russian war on the personal level as well as on global and nuclear security.
“Our job as diplomats here is to make sure that those voices are loud and, despite circumstances, are heard everywhere in the world,” said HE Ambassador Tsymbaliuk.
In the book, individuals share their experiences and deeply personal choices – when to seek refuge abroad; whether to continue their work or join the armed forces – as well as their insight into the impact of the war on the nuclear sector.
“The ongoing attacks on Ukraine’s power grid are putting Ukraine’s other power plants at grave risk. The international nuclear safety and security framework was not built for this kind of energy war,” said HE Ambassador Holgate.
The event also featured a panel discussion of five Ukrainian nuclear workers who contributed to the book. They spoke about the impact of the war on both their facilities and their lives as well as their efforts to continue their work under difficult circumstances.
“I am still alive, so I believe I have not yet fulfilled my mission in life,” said Renata Yaresko, Head of Public Relations at Energoatom.
“Voices of Ukraine: Volume I is a poignant and eloquent testimony recording the brutal, criminal, and violent attacks that the Russian government and armed forces are inflicting on Ukrainian nuclear workers and facilities. […] These crimes violate the laws of war and the most basic standards of human decency. Those in the Russian government and military who ordered, committed, or abetted them must be held to account. We in the international community must record, remember, and prosecute those acts, but that will not be sufficient. We must also highlight and honour the courage, perseverance, skill, and fortitude of Ukraine’s nuclear workers,” said William H. Tobey, WINS Board Chair.
The governments of Canada, Norway, Sweden and the USA funded this project.