Ukraine official: Hardships tempered by signs of stability, hope

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — Ukrainian Parliament member Inna Sovsun spent her day at the funeral for the son of one of her friends who was killed on the eastern front of Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.

It was another day filled with hardship and heartbreak for Sovsun and Ukrainians trying to survive in a country being torn apart by the bloody invasion. But even after the difficulty of a funeral, it was back to planning the war effort for Sovsun and her peers.

European leaders announced they will be sending more aid to Ukraine this week as the country inches toward membership in the European Union, which would be a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war effort. But full EU membership is still what Ukraine feels it really needs to turn the tides of war.

“I think that is important on two levels,” Sovsun said on “NewsNation Prime.” “First of all, on a symbolic level, it is important for people to have a future to see where all this is going and to see we are welcomed in the European family. Then also, it means on our side there will be a clear framework of what we need to do to change the country internally.”

Sovsun said a “majority” of people in Ukraine are relatively OK in terms of food and water supply, apart from the eastern region, where the heaviest fighting is taking place. She said that is where aid is needed most at this time.

“That is where the situation is getting really, really bad,” Sovsun said. “That is where people do not have access to water, people do not have access to proper food and nutrition.”

Ukrainian service members fire a shell from a M777 Howitzer near a frontline, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk Region, Ukraine June 6, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

Sovsun said, however, feeding those people is not an issue of money, but rather an issue of supply chains, which have been heavily bombarded by Russian forces.

The eastern region is crucial to Ukraine because it delivers access to crucial ports the country needs to export grain to countries around the world. Without access to the sea, Sovsun said many countries will go without Ukrainian grain.

“That will be a huge loss for those countries and that’s why the issue of food security has grown,” Sovsun said. “But it will be a big hit economically for us because we depend on those supplies of money and those sales. Unless this problem is dealt with, that will be a problem for most of Ukraine and the rest of the world.”

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the world to be prepared “for the long haul” in this war. Sovsun said she did not know when the war might end, but said Ukrainians have been testing their mental endurance and preparing for a war that could last longer than one year.

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