Kyiv Security Forum

Vitaly Portnikov: If we cannot build a successful state even in this situation, we’ll all be doomed

23 January, 20:13

The victory over russia will be worthless, if we fail to build a democratic rule-of-law state.

This was the statement by journalist Vitaly Portnikov during the Honorary Lecture of the Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation “Open Ukraine”.

"Our victory, by and large, will be worthless if we fail to build a democratic rule-of-law state, the state of civil liberties, the state of free mass media, the state of economic freedoms, the state respecting its people,” he said.

The journalist noted that there is a lot of talk about territories during the war, however, the state is about people.

“We have been talking about “little Ukrainians” for years, as if there were some big ones. Now, if these “little Ukrainians” did not sacrifice their lives every day, every hour, every minute, let me ask you this, where would all these big important people be, the ones giving orders, recording video addresses, signing decrees, gathering large audiences in session halls? There would be no one anywhere!” he emphasized.

Vitaly Portnikov stressed that the victory will be worthless, with the state not being Ukrainian.

“If the Ukrainian language is unspoken in the streets, if Ukrainian culture fails to grow and develop, if funds are not allocated to develop science and Ukrainian culture as civilization factors, if people do not go to Ukrainian churches – then it is not a state, it is just a recaptured territory,” he said.

Mr. Portnikov emphasized that it is during this war that it is resolved who we side with following the clash of dictatorships and democracies.

”We were siding the other side for much too long, despite the fact that the Ukrainian people with their values, with their virtues, with their historical desire for discussions and debates, commencing all the way back in the history of popular assemblies – viche in the times of the Kyiv princes, the Ukrainian people wanted to side with another side. And now all these people sacrifice their lives and health to make all the above happen. All for Ukraine to succeed,” he said.

“If we fail to build a strong, democratic, successful state even in this current situation, it will be a sentence for all of us and degrading the memory of all those who gave their lives for this,” Vitaly Portnikov summarized.

The Kyiv Security Forum, founded by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s “Open Ukraine” Foundation, is the major platform in this country to discuss issues of war and peace, national and global security.