When Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine over one year ago, seemingly everyone was shocked, but not Garry Kasparov. Kasparov has warned about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine since 2014, but his calls fell on deaf ears. For two decades, the West tolerated Putin despite his hostility towards sovereign nations. They believed that friendly behavior towards Putin could contain an aggressive Russia. They were wrong. 

Noor Greene, RDI’s Director of Operations & Strategy, traveled to Ukraine to visit the liberated city of Izium and meet with Ukrainians who experienced Russian occupation. Greene spoke with Ukrainians whom Russian soldiers viciously harassed, civilians who were permanently maimed by Russia’s wide-scale bombings, and volunteers who were uncovering Russian atrocities like mass grave sites. 

Mariya Soroka, Co-Founder of the organization Razom, embodies Ukraine’s sense of resilience and community. Razom brought together a group of surgeons who provided critical humanitarian support and medical care to survivors of Russia’s violence, returning Ukrainians to normalcy. In previously occupied cities, it was apparent to Greene that Russia had tried its best to destroy Ukraine. But the Ukrainians around her told a different story. They were proof that Russia had failed. 

As Western arms continue to give Ukraine momentum and Russian troops retreat to defensive positions, Soroka and Kasparov predict the impending collapse of Russia’s war machine and Putin’s empire. Like many dictators worldwide, Putin is waging a war against freedom, and the Ukrainian people are his latest target. The war in Ukraine enters its second year, and Ukrainians stand firm in the face of dictators like Putin. They demonstrate what free people are capable of when fighting against tyranny. 

Executive Producer:
Noor Greene 

James Lewis
Sohan Mewada 

Regan Taylor 

Post Production:
Regan Taylor

Road Production Cameras:
Ruslan Batytski
Greg Harriott
Noor Greene 

Photo Credits: Kremlin.ru, CC by 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons 
Manhhai, Flickr

 Additional Graphics:
 Gabriel Strobel 

Music Credits:
“Convolutions,” by Ardie Son via Artlist
“Fury,” by Ardie Son via Artlist
“Aftershocks,” by Ardie Son via Artlist
“The Farewell,” by Break of Reality via Artlist
“Circularity,” by Brianna Tam via Artlist
“One Word,” by Christopher Galovan via Artlist
“Fear No Evil,” by Ardie Son via Artlist “It All Begins Here” by Borrtex via Artlist

Aaro Berhane

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