“I remember the first day of the war very well. It was the darkest morning of my life,” says Nataliia Anoshyna. Russia launched its offensive against Ukraine on 24 February 2022. One year later, Delano’s sister publication Paperjam met Anoshyna, the Ukrainian chargée d’affaires to Belgium and Luxembourg since September 2021.
Mathilde Obert: How do you view Luxembourg’s support for Ukraine?
Nataliia Anoshyna: I would like to express my gratitude to Luxembourg: the prime minister, the government, the Chamber of Deputies, the local authorities and the people. The grand duchy is an incredible country with wonderful people, who opened their hearts wide at the beginning of the war and their homes to welcome refugees. We received their assistance in all spheres: financial, humanitarian and, most importantly, military. The country has spent about €90m in this area, 17% of its defence spending. This is what we need most, to stop the Russian attack. Luxembourg will always be in the hearts of many Ukrainians. Thanks to your support, we will celebrate our victory together.
What more can be done?
We have a very hard fight on the front line. Russia is still committing atrocities against Ukraine. Our price for freedom, for our identity, independence and European values is our lives. Russia must be brought to justice. Russia must be isolated from the civilised world. In all spheres: business, culture, sport.... No Olympic Games, for example, for Russia. It must be excluded from all international organisations, including the United Nations (UN) [for this, it is necessary to obtain the approval of the five permanent members, including Russia itself, several media explained]. We cannot sit at the same table with representatives of a terrorist state.
We don’t have days or months to stop the war. We have today.
More pressure and sanctions must be applied against the aggressor. It is targeting our critical infrastructure. Residential areas, schools, hospitals. It launched an unprecedented wave of bombing on 10 October, when it was getting cold in Ukraine. For several months, Ukraine has lacked heat, electricity and hot water. Millions of Ukrainians remain in damaged houses or even without homes. That is why it is important to rebuild Ukraine now. We cannot wait until the war is over. We are asking for a lot of support from our foreign friends.
We are counting on Luxembourg's support at the international level, which it is already giving us, especially at the UN.
How is the relationship with Luxembourg working out?
We have an incredible relationship with the local and national authorities. We are in daily contact and the dialogue has intensified this year. We would like to keep it active for the next few weeks.
How have your missions evolved?
Since the beginning of the war, our main mission has been to receive all the necessary support. And to show that we are not alone. We are in daily contact with the Ukrainian authorities as well.
What are the prospects for the coming months?
We want it to stop as soon as possible. We are losing our citizens. But for us, what is very important is to win this war.
With what involvement from the West?
The most important thing is to continue to receive military support. By that, I mean weapons. The end of the war depends on that. We have to protect our country. We don’t have days or months to stop the war. We have today. Our soldiers are the best in the world, they can do anything to protect their country, but they need weapons.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.