“We are fighting on the defensive against an offensive from Russia for our right to exist and to live.”
“Ukraine is an independent country; Ukraine is not Russia,” says Ukrainian Member of Parliament, Lesia Vasylenko, speaking to Marc Lamont Hill from the capital, Kyiv.
As Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine continues and Russian troops push on with their advance on Kyiv, Vasylenko says she, like most Ukrainians, is preparing for the worst.
“I have learned in these eight years to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, as did many other Ukrainians. But to be honest, nothing can prepare you for full-on war with the biggest military power in Europe, the third-biggest military power in the world.”
Vasylenko says, in her view, it is obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want an independent Ukraine. “Putin wants Ukraine inside of Russia,” she says, adding that the Russian leader’s “master plan is to eradicate an independent Ukraine from the face of the earth”.
On UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill speaks with Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko and asks why she believes President Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and whether the international community is doing enough to support Ukraine.