Svitlana Romanko, Ukrainian environmental activist, talks with Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign

Svitlana Romanko speaking to Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign from Ukraine. She was in the dark due to electricity cuts necessitated by Russia’s bombing of local power plant.

On January 8, Svitlana Romanko talked with the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity Campaign. Svitlana is an environmentalist lawyer in Ukraine. Just a short while ago, she was kicked out of the Cop 27 conference for disrupting it to criticize the presence of a delegation from Russia. (See video). In summary, she shows how defeating the fossil fuel dictatorship, led by Putin, is part and parcel of defeating the invasion itself. Here is the full video of the meeting. Below it is the transcript of her comments alone.

Svitlana Romanko
Good morning, everyone. I know that it’s morning in the US. And thank you so much for attending this morning forum. I really appreciate this. And I appreciate every single gesture of solidarity with Ukraine, in this very tough period of our life. I have to say that these outrageous war is lasting over 10 months already, every day of the war, it just full of a huge suffering and death and destruction, which you could never imagine living in a peaceful country and democratic country. And it’s really awful to know because even during Christmas, I had just a sharing personal stories. We in our in my regional City Regional Center, each day we have, they have funerals and memorial services for those who came back home, dead and killed by Russian troops on the east and south. And among them are, as you know, are almost children 18, 19, 20 years old, some sons and daughters, and even even now, my friend, a good artist, his son is missing after the Bachmut fight. And the whole community is trying to help and support this family but these families are too many as you know, millions and millions and millions.

And what I see when I speak about these for the first time, I see the blood of Ukrainians, of my compatriots, of the people who live their peaceful lives and hoped for, for the best, a better future for them and their children, which will never be true. I mean, since Russia is attacking us. And they continue. Continue doing that. Starting from my background, just to bring us to bear my background, why I’m here what I’m speaking about interconnections between the fossil fuels, climate crisis, and also dictatorships and Putanism as my good friend Bill McKibben told that he named me as a main spokesperson for connections between these four and Putinism and fossil fuels.

And I’ve been a working for climate movement for nine years already. And I started as a grassroots activist with my first campaign against the shale gas exploration in the western part of Ukraine, almost near where I lived. And I confronted the head of several who came to my area to introduce the public hearings or how how well, shale gas development will be for local communities. But at that time, I was an international expert at the university. And I did a strategic environment impact assessment of the shale gas exploration, and we found out suddenly with many partners, among them, there was a Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and University of Colorado and UNEP, and many others who were in charge of these research. I was just an expert involved in that.

And we found out that 65 amendments need to be made to the national legislation, and they will all worsen the rights of local communities, and they will deepen the climate crisis. It was over a decade ago, and next next day, next day when I found out about this, when we finished our work. And I’ve been to this public hearing, I came to media and we started grassroot campaign against Chevron and we won over them. They never explored for shale gas in our area. And later, there was a Revolution of Dignity where I also participated. And also, after that, I from grassroots activism and pro bono advocating for human rights. I became I started working for 350.org. I’ve been with them for five years, and I’ve been building climate movement across 14 countries of the region of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, if Russia included but we were not able to work in Russia, that much back then.

But I know Russia very well. I know, what civil society was like and what are they doing now because we had many connections. We tried to grow some activism there, but it’s not, as you see, with a huge gap of propaganda and these dictatorships that are really is the largest thing in the world built on the blood and fossil fuels. We can’t do much to weak to waken up the civil society. So we need to act fast still. And after that I’ve been working for [unclear]movement as global campaign manager for zero fossil fuel campaigns, including carbon bombs campaigns, including also a fossil fuel Non Proliferation Treaty and others. So I work basically with all countries or regions, us included and global cells included.

So I know that Tanzania is not a dictatorship, but still, Uganda and Tanzania are very much oppressing the citizens citizens and detaining them. We know it’s quite well, detaining them for for the ICO campaign and for protecting environment. Whereas the Eastern, Eastern African crude oil pipeline, which which is huge, but we hope it will be still canceled.

So it’s all the whole picture for me. And when the war started, I’ve been working for louder to see movement. But I could not just the very first day of the war, I started to organize as as an organizer as a campaigner started organized for the stand with Ukraine campaign, which became a global framework. And we’ve been able, with many campaigns from different countries, with Ukraine as well, 45, Ukrainian networks, organizations, many of them and actually Nobel laureate, Alexandra, [unclear], I also involved into this campaign, many, many, many people. And we work together to stop to end all investments, interest in fossil fuels, and to embargo all Russian oil, gas and coal to the world because interconnection between the fossil fuels, and the world with been very, very explicit for us.

Since the very first day, we launched the full scale campaign on March the fourth. And we published our press release with a very, very, very sharp quotes, very, very highly quotes. We were able to get it in Russian media. And the next day after we published this press release, just Russian, Putin has adopted this law about 15 years of imprisonment for those journalists and media, who will actually just published the things about the war, but we weren’t able to get our press release and to deliver the kind of chose to just at least try to deliver truth to those. And but, yeah, so that’s how we started and we started. And there were over 850 organizations big and small, mostly, of course, international, but also many local and regional organizations from 60 countries of the world who stepped in, in solidarity with the stand with Ukraine campaign. And we’ve been campaigning for embargo on Russian oil, gas and coal, it was not easy, because as we know, Europe, especially was was highly dependent on Russian fossil fuels. And the Western companies quoted Putin for years and Western governments coded Putin as well for years providing him all opportunities to to enrich himself and to build his reign of power based on oil, gas and coal on this enormous resources, because as just to remind one small thing that Russia, still all that before the war, that second place in the world from the oil to crude oil supply, and the third place on the guest supply. They are basically the largest dictatorship with the largest reserves of oil and gas especially. And, but there are others who are watching them Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Emirates and others are in Iran, we can see all of them, we can see them isolated, in some ways, as Iran from international collaboration and embargoed, but still they’re able to supply drones that hugely destroyed Ukrainian infra energy infrastructure. As of December, we quote now 40% of our infrastructure destroyed and in that, in my area in the city where I leave there is a big power plant, coal power plant, we were fighting against it because it’s extreme, it’s owned by oligarch is extremely dirty, they are very close, they never even let us take monitoring in and to see what’s happening. And they never disclosed the emissions that they’ve been producing. But you know, a part of this power plant, there’s been multiple times struck by by missiles and by drones, so it’s not functional anymore. So we have power cuts, as you see and in many areas, but Yes, there are different sides of the problem.

But I think it’s now time after I introduced myself just to give you more understanding why I am in this fight and why I’m speaking to you because this campaign that I led the stand with Ukraine was able to it was exactly the same that global campaigners, and many organizations were waiting for the call from Ukraine to step in and to fight against the fossil fueled war. And they did it so great in solidarity, we’ve got many campaigns, we’ve got many people in when massive gatherings and protests for example, if to describe what we had back to them.

So Friday’s for Future, united all US movements, and they were organizing tirelessly mass protest, before each European Council summit, to pressure them on the streets, with Avast with many other organizations, many others as well, hundreds of organizations to make pressure on the European decision makers to impose embargo. And we know that this embargo was imposed. And it was really fast and given especially now we are not satisfied with the pace, how they imposed embargo. And I spent all autumn a traveling to almost all autumn to Brussels speaking to a to Germany speaking to Bundestag to many political power holders, and try to persuade them that this should be done much, much faster. And in Germany explicitly, politicians told me “yes, we know. And if we could do that back to April, we, of course, our economy industry would have collapsed.” I said “yes. But we would would have at least have a chance to end this war much sooner, and save millions of our people, millions.” So those who fled and those who who was caught that who that who violated who tortured who killed and that.

And actually just given one small fact into this into this picture, what would have happened if it back to April 20/22, we would have had an embargo on Russian oil and gas completely imposed. German economies a major of the European Union would would experience just a very small up to from 0.3, up to 3% GDP decline annually. But now our Ukrainian economy is experiencing a decline from 35 to 60%. Right now, because of understandable reasons, because we know no country in the world can be resilient to this constant attacks and destruction. And that is happening. But now I think it’s time to I am monitoring time.

But I think it’s it will be really good for me to show you and some visuals of what I’m saying and what we’ve been able to achieve so far. And just to bring more what’s going to happen next and where we are seeking for your solidarity and for for your stepping in and your for your willpower to help us to reach out to us policymakers to make enough pressure on them. Because we know that the elections were quite tough, but they are not that bad. And we are very happy about that hear from Ukraine that we can keep some kind of a good collaboration between governments, but we are on the other level, we are on the level on the civil society and solidarity level. And I believe we can do much more all together. So the main goal for me speaking to you is just really ask you for solidarity in these tough times because we’re raging on and we should know that it’s not over. And we need much more efforts than ever to end this finally, but if we were in this, it will be the most huge wins that we could ever imagine. And it would could save the whole nation and many other nations was suffering as well, from the war. Not that explicitly, like we do but multiple crisises. Of course, this is not just the war. And we know that many people are experiencing the food crisis, the energy’s poverty, crisis and cost of living crisis and many, many, many others. So we are on the same boat and I’m not even saying about the climate crisis and fossil fuel dependency and addictions that made this war happen. Well, now it’s time for me to start and I will I mean, start with this my so called official presentation, which I’m very happy to share with you, too. At one second, I will I will fix this technical issues to enable doing that.

So, yes, I am with you here as well, in the capacity of the founder and director of Razom We Stand, which is international based in Ukraine organization calling for a total and permanent embargo on Russian fossil fuels and immediate end all investment into Russian oil, gas and coal. Still, it’s a successor of the Stand with Ukraine campaigns that I organized for launch. And I talked about the Stand with Ukraine campaign. And these many, many organizations, which acted with us in solidarity in many countries, which I which really makes me happy and being able to move forward as many campaigners in Ukraine, when we just witnesses solidarity and stand with Ukraine, this what you see the picture, on your left, this is our banner, which traveled with me to Cop 27, which I aimed to roll on, just standing in front of these Russian ministers in Russian event, but I was not allowed by security services of Egypt…. But we had multiple actions, even during Cop and in Europe, across Europe. So some of these bilateral has seen the world so far. And we we believe it made a difference as well. So we have to push for fossil fuel phase out in general, because we connect, we interact. As I said, we interconnect this war caused by the largest fuel dictatorship in the world. We call it a fossil fueled war. And we are still looking for a bold climate, an anti conflict and action in main political spaces and countries. And I currently collaborate with many other organizations in the global source and in African countries in other countries, no legend on my record, to work against the positive potato chips in in the where they are as well, because we truly believe that the freedoms part of Ukrainian people for freedom could lead us to what scientists told us we must do to stop burning oil, gas and coal and tackle the climate crisis. So we also are promoting a clean energy revolution. Yes, that kind, revolution, we don’t want to wait, we want this revolution to happen. Now in parallel, when we are trying to not speak about that green recovery of Ukraine, you will see a few slides afterwards in the presentation, but I truly believe that before we will start rebuilding, we need to end this war. And we need to rein over Putin and this evil. And we need also to escalate the clean energy transition and global push for renewables. This is already happening. Because the more we pressure on the governments and industry in the European Union in the US, in Canada, in France, in Italy, because in Germany, we have some target countries, the more we pressure for them to stop and phase out fossil fuels and stop paying Russia especially. So the more they are looking into the renewable energy transition, because they understand the connection, that renewable energy is a freedom of peace.

And I mean, community owned distributed energy, of course, not another monopoly. We’re not looking for that. Just replace one with another community owned small renewable energy generation, which will make us truly independent and resilient in the face of fossil fuel revenues and dictatorships that builds up political power on these revenues on from fossil fuels when they own and established politically represented ambitious green recovery plan of Ukraine that can catalyze the global momentum for change, because we believe that Ukraine after it will be rebuilt from the war as it will it could become a global showcase for the green energy transition. And for that purpose, we involved [unclear] wins, who is Einstein of energy efficiency, as you know, and he he works with us for four outlining steps how Ukraine can rebuild in green and of course, internally in the country. We don’t want to use this moment with the political elites and just don’t let them to to build the countries that we will will repeat an old order will with the huge energy demand and huge fossil fuel supply and demand as well with corruption with a lot of unfinished democratic transformations and reforms. We don’t want this country because we believe that we deserve our right to be rebuilt in green with renewable powers that don’t kill anyone. And we all we are networking and engaged in the movement and connecting many organizations and networks.

We do live campaigning that we try to fulfill also the needs of our partners trying to push on their governments. For example, Canada to stop this tar sands production and to the US to stop the expansion, especially, especially on pipelines. And we think we do it well, especially in terms of strategic comms. And here we can see that the main message of the complaint has been that Russian war machine has been founded and fueled by the coal, oil and gas industries from Russia. We know them and we confronted them directly and openly – Gazprom, Roznat, Transnetz, Lukoil, many, many others. They’re having bad times, because we are confronting them in many countries publicly tagging into Twitter, and also protesting against them and their partners. And currently, we made a systematic pressure on the Total energies who are evil everywhere. Because they are to the oil major who really does not want to respect the climate crisis and human rights. So we, they just announced in December after our campaigning, and after we filed the case to the French prosecutor on a war crimes and terrorism against them with some partners from France. And after we organized a few protest action started from May, that shareholder gathering in Paris, which we and our partners blocked, and we didn’t let this happen. So they announced this cutting ties with Russian gas company Novatek. Before that, they were saying no, we complete with Russian gas. But now they said they announced that it will take their billions of right off one eight stake in Russian group Novatek and withdraw two members from the company’s board.

So that’s the only one example change is not happening fast, especially when the fossil fuel lobbyists were able to, to really build that power for years. And existing political and economic systems grounded in fossil fuel addiction have enabled deep social and climate crisis that have proliferated conflict and wars, and fueled by revenues from fossil fuels. And I truly believe that the system of oppression must be dismantled. And we are those who will dismantle this system forever. And I just checked before we spoke, I just said how much Europe sent to Russia and to Putin since the war started. And this number is 134 plus like it’s all 134 billion of euros. And this number is growing. They are still buying Russian oil, especially in kind of, until until the seaborne oil embargo is enforced since that, since January the fifth. And Russia tries to find the ways to import the oil. It was a hidden vessals and so on. But we are demanding the secondary sanctions and we will get those on in an insurance on registration of those vessels across the European Union. And we will try to cut from that side.

But even in the US, just giving you a brief understanding of what’s happening in the US: US is a major investor in Russian fossil fuels. And currently there are as our partners found out in their database – our partners lingo. So there are 124 Plus US financial institutions and pension funds and others who keep billions in Russian fossil fuels and they they say they can’t get them out because the stock are not working, but we don’t believe them. They can And and they must end funding in Putin’s war machine. And we demand this from them as well. And Putin still spends 900 million Euros per day to keep the war raging on. But I’ve actually seen at least three reports, one of which is leaked from from the Russian side, that are saying, and they are proving that Russian economy is collapsing, it will collapse just for this year in 30% of their GDP decline, which is huge for Russia. And we are getting to where we want to be we are cutting off their financial supply and financial support. And we need to go on and to keep keep doing that. And so 87% of Europeans want massive investments in renewable energy. We all want it. But do the politicians and governments want it. It’s it’s not so easy, I would say.

Now, I just want you to zoom in what what distraction in just to see is this numbers, please look into the screen and see. And these numbers are now now much higher. Because it says as end of December, more than 60% of missiles, trucks and 97% of all targets that Russian army targeted with their missiles and bombs were civilian facilities. Can you imagine that? They just precisely target civilian facilities, maternity hospitals, hospitals, schools, universities, and in our cities, which I love. I love to visit the so much Kharkiv and all other cities on the east there is nothing left. Nothing left. And do you remember this Mariupol theater, which has been hardly bombarded and we accused actually Total for supplying kerosene for Russian warplanes, which was actually used, you saw some writing off. So it was proved by the partners in the report. So it was really an accusation, based on fact, and this theater has been destroyed with Russian army, specifically to hide the proofs and the highest evidence of the crimes that they are committing. And to now is this number is much higher energy infrastructure facilities.

And this is very true that people in Ukraine don’t have access to energy supply to water to heating of their houses. And I don’t know how would we… When you want to walk in my city, for example, which is not on the very front line, but it’s all the time dark and people are staying in their homes, and only generators on diesel are working in the small shops and small businesses are trying to stay afloat, but for how long they will be able to do that. And so you see, the destruction is huge, and many millions of people fled the country, we have a lot of internally displaced people, we have infrastructure destroyed, and the deficit of system is so high in power supply. But before the start of full invasion, we had enormous growth in renewable energy. And our government was even thinking to limit it somehow because it was too fast. And they did not have absorbing capacity for that. But we demonstrated record levels, as the slide says for key indicators. And we were on a good track as well with a second national determined contribution so we were aiming to cut our emissions and join the European Green Deal.

I believe we will still be joining the European Union and the European Green Deal but the prices we are paying for that it’s awful and it’s not acceptable at all that you see here are some economic data just to understand where we are and it’s really hard but most of the people are in poverty, not just energy poverty because half of the country is expressing experiencing energy poverty, but in the poverty itself they lose the means for living and the jobs. There is huge inflation, and total damage to physical infrastructure was estimated at 600 billion euros, but I think these numbers are not true. It is much higher since the since the time flies and destruction mounts. And there is some money to commit to to rebuild the country but it’s still not enough for fulfilling these promises and provide people some immediate relief and help.

So here you have very briefly what we’ve done just in pictures, without much more than that. We installed this huge banner, it was really huge. You can see the scale me standing in front of this boiler. And we been having this in France of the European Parliament in Brussels for two days, saying “stop buying fossil fuels and the war.” And after that, we’ve got some secondary sanctions and embargo on oil confirmed. And the bank campaign which our partners had to help us, which ended with Citigroup banks come in the next day after our actions and our open letters and our [unclear], says, just said that they will wind up the commercial credits. For in Russia, it’s not enough, of course, but we are pressuring them to end all financial support for all Russians as well, you have seen this right now, I won’t repeat it. And actually our interconnection of the war, and sustainable development goals, if I might say that, because I’ve been a co author of the report of fueling our future, which has been presented during Stockholm plus 50. And this report is public, I can share a link with you where I made the connections between the war and sustainable development goals and we are much much behind of achieving those goals and with the war and fossil fuels, we will be not not being able to take or tackle that conflict and also with industry, which is making the killing on our on the huge prices, they were were doing it all over basically. And now we started demand them to just to send all this dirty money blood money to rebuild Ukraine, which they made on Russia. And total even promised you see me on the right to tell is even promised that they will do that. And challenging.

So just more back what we did in in Cop we try to get more people in and try to persuade more people to help us with with moving forward for the full embargo on Russian oil and gas. But not only Russian oil and gas. It’s a primary goal, but for what we would like to envision, and what we envision the free energy system that serves all people. And in parallel, we are just pushing for phasing out all fossil fuels and not neocolonialist African countries or other countries looking for a cheap gas to keep the economy running for Germany or for other countries. It’s not appropriate, it cannot happen when we witnessed this awful war. And we don’t want the fossil fuel startups war to be unlimitedly continued and been able to affect many other nations.

And we’ve made an agreement with the members of the European Committee of Regions who are official representatives of different European cities. And now we try to build the connections between states people to people to help to to relieve what is happening and to help to end the war from their side and to help cities rebuild. And we made some conversations with the US Bureau of Energy and they committed to help us in fight and fossil fuels as well and participant.

So I see many questions. Maybe I could. I just will say that the more here is the high profile event in Berlin I attended with a few civil society members. But it was not easy for us to to attend such a high profile event. We just got our registration approved just before the event itself, because we organize the press conference and the government reacted and approved our registration that let us in. But the more we are present and disruptive in these high profile political spaces, the more we have a chance to talk to politicians directly say more we can make an impact as well. And before in the very morning we organized an action and with the projection saying the build peace in Europe and fossil fuels and rebuild Ukraine Green Watch, we are going to have other support can help us achieve much more. So first of all, we want to build involvement in the global movement and the fossil fuel era and wartime mobilization to revamp energy transition globally. We plan to double pressure on the US EU and G7 governments. And we know that this year India is chairing the presidency at [unclear] and if we would like to effectively enforce the global energy sanctions against Russia to reduce global fossil fuel supply and demand, including China, India, and South Korea, which are the biggest importers, which are non US based and non EU based. And we aim to force a powerful and compelling Green Revolution pathway for recovery of Ukraine’s economy, and make it a global showcase. And these are details, which I believe I probably would note, to serve these details. So you will have this presentation at your hand, I will send it to you afterwards.

Also, there is a huge proven potential for Ukraine to become become a green inclusive economy and produce a lot of wind and solar power, especially offshore wind. And it could cover most part of Ukrainian need, and demand. In the end, we could also import it after the war ends. And these are four transformations, how we how we see our future with hope.

And we would like to, as I said, completely dismantle the political systems that enabled the Putin build [up] of power. And he was military built up for many years. And that these kinds of economies and mono economies based mainly on the revenues from fossil fuels, as Russian economy was 40% of their federal budget is based on revenues from fossil fuels. And also 60% of the of the profit in general is from fossil fuels. So that’s not acceptable in the modern world. And we need to change this dynamic significantly, and what we thought what could happen afterwards, when we isolate Russia completely from the global markets, we envisioned that no one else, no one else is taking Russia in fossil fuels. We just caught them. And we caught and we phase out fossil fuels, starting from Russia, the biggest one and then gradually, we do it to all fossil fuel dictatorships, because we will decrease demand and we will just escalate Renewable Energy Transition everywhere. And we will empower people to being able to want feeling independent and building their own renewable energy smart grids. And not being dependent on a state renewable policies or so far, just being being a producers of clean energies. That will will make us all free. And of course, this is our details we know right now we will need to rebuild and what what we are and rebuild rebuilding is already happening. It’s just scenic, but it’s happening.

I often get questions how we can just many of us from Ukraine, how you can even discuss about building on green rebuilding, as the war is so is so dreadful and the consequences and we don’t know when it ends, and we say we we wanted this for to be ended in three months, when we started campaigning — we just see that it’s not happening. Unfortunately, it’s not happening overnight. But we are very close to that as all democratic societies and we are very close to, to capture this historical moment and to break free from the fossil fuel addiction. And as the feedback I’ve got the EU completely, the main addicted to the fossil fuels to cheap Russian gas, they build basically the economy on these gas and oil as well. And they build the economic power and that, but even they are completely recognising the need to switch to renewable energies. And Germany now celebrates that they are 0% dependent on Russian oil, gas and coal as of the beginning of this year. I just only have one question for them. For me one year is not that fast, they could do much better, much faster and help us much more than they did to these four because they were main barrier to embargo in many, many senses.

And so these are all good things when we will build when we will end the war as the best to resilient society, circular economy, improving quality of life, including environmental quality of life, of course. And we need huge investments in green infrastructure in deploying innovation. So that’s the other part of what we are doing across the U.S., and [what] we will be doing this year. It’s just speaking to U.S. government officials and also some think tanks to help us to create a so called Marshall Plan for Ukraine. And to help us to divert investments from the fossil fuels, especially Russian fossil fuels, and to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine in green, this is our primary task when we will be able to isolate them financially.

And these days, of course, this won’t happen. If we don’t create and cause a paradigm shift from large scale centralized conventional power generation towards flexible, renewable based distributed and decentralized energy systems that says all people and two directional flows of energy and data, and these must happen as well. Now, these are some. I want to stop here now. Of course, is the destruction is huge. And now I guess the destruction caused by Russia, to all Ukrainians is much higher than 1.5 trillion of US dollar equivalent, but to rebuild, we will need much more. Thank you so much for your attention and for your patience. Of course, if I did not cover your the things or questions you’re interested in, you’re very welcome to ask quite clarifying questions. And I’m really happy to hear your feedback, and do any things you would like to thank you so much.

Thank you so much for questions. And I will start from the first one, about how you can get involved and act against their investments interest in fossil fuels in Canada. And in petro state itself as well. I know I worked in Canada with my colleagues from [unclear] movement, so it’s not easy at all.

But there are a few financial institutions that keep funding and keep providing some financial services for Russian fossil fuel companies. I will just name a few but I will send you more detailed data because we have database which I will need to look through. We’ve been working in Canada with involvement of few Canadian organizations including the [unclear] Canada and many others and the latest we we’ve we’ve been are planning to have a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is here [and] who has Ukrainian roots. But she’s also very much pro fossil fuels and we wanted to talk to her about how to phase out in Canada and stop just as you said exactly, just trying to get into the Russians here and split it between a few other power holding countries. So among them there are Manulife financials or Sunlife. Financial there. These are like really wide institutions which you might not have heard of because I didn’t before. We started analyzing them [whose] partners is Scotia Bank Bank. Still it’s a [unclear] capital. Now there are a few more which B.M.O. Financial Group and many others. AGF management is mainly asset managers financials you’ll see there’s a different range of them. And if you would like to we could try and have an organized a conversation chart with those whom we go to involves already into the conversations with Krista Friedland and try to enter out more organizations who signed the standards Ukraine campaign. We have contracts with them and we can try to connect you to keep doing a great work in international solidarity and caught in the financial supply of Russia’s War Machine.

Answering the second question: I can share my email in the chat after I answer your questions. So below please feel free to contact me if you just feel the necessity or you see some points when we can collaborate and when when we can amplify urge don’t call for phasing out fossil fuels and which is interconnected Of course with fight and fossil fuels capitalism. And the second would I would like to respond it’s quite it’s quite tough one because it’s about nuclear and but I will respond to them to this and we have our official position as Razum We Stand on our website. And I am a Chernloby child. Actually Chernobyl exploded. I was seven years old and what I know for sure is that I will have problems with a cancer after a turned 45 or so because there is proven research proving the interconnection between the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and the health issues with the children who were between seven and 10 at the time when that Chernobyl exploded. So we see one thing, why we can’t support nuclear, it’s a direct harm that it causes to environment and to human health and human life, even if it’s kind of co2 friendly. It’s lower emissions, but a huge hazard on the other side of the chain. And what actually, we as these issues are outside of my main work area, because I am anti fossil fuel activist and climate activists. So I’m not really into nuclear work, but we have our partners working on that. And what we can say that the only reason that nuclear energy has made profit for private nuclear energy company investors is that public subsidies have been shaped, shaped to cover all external costs. And nation states have played the role of private insurance covering all risks. That’s why, but that’s why nuclear is still going. And even Ukraine, I know what you probably mean, because Ukraine used to get 63% or so of the energy supply, energy generation from from nuclear power stations, but it’s not efficient to keep them any longer. As we saw some separation of power station is still seized by Russian troops. And we don’t know the very first weeks of the war, we had real risk of explosions on the Zaporizhzhia power plants. And we are still unsure that the weapon of mass destruction that nuclear weapons were will be activated against Ukrainians and against all of us.

And I would like just to continue this thought was a very simple sentence, I told it many times, and it became really, really captured everywhere in media, but that fossil fuels have also become a weapon of mass destruction. And we can’t keep them as exactly as nuclear, nuclear energies, even for energy production, we must secure ourselves and generations that will come to replace us, and to live in better environment. And nuclear is not a part of the plan. I know that many lobbyists, and we actually were against a big part of our campaigning was to just against the keeping gas and nuclear, in the EU taxonomy, green taxonomy amongst the green kind of green activities. Unfortunately, nuclear lobby was able to, to reach out to our Minister of Energy who who is a former Chief of nuclear of the biggest nuclear estate company in Ukraine, and he just sent a letter to EU parliamentarians to EU MPs saying no, nuclear is really good. We are not supporting gas. But we don’t want gas in nuclear to be a transition fuel. None one of them and we have we must get rid of gas and nuclear, and not to prolong the the life fought for transition. And so that’s, that’s an answer.

Answering next question, how did they file – if I did felt support and solidarity of environmental movement? Without any doubt, undoubtedly, yes, we were so grateful for the solidarity of a climate movement, especially an environmental movement. And people are doing incredible things being on the other side of the world. And they’re doing this in solidarity with us. And because they understand that fight and fossil fuel dictatorships should be done should be done by us all together. Because it’s all interconnected, we won’t be able to save our environment. Just bringing in one example about Ukraine: 1/3 of our national protected areas has been destroyed and the damage to the environment is huge. And as an environmental lawyer, I know that it’s very hard to assess this damage and to compensate for this damage, but we will make Russia a compensate this damage. But you know, environment is not the thing that you can compensate just like this, overnight, because you need trees to grow. You need land to water it to be cleaned off. And this takes time. But environmental movements are great friends and I can name hundreds of organizations who supported the Stand with Ukraine and who are reaching out to us to help and I am really grateful. And we, Ukrainians, because there are much more on behind me, many people on behind and who are in the stand with Ukraine campaign and who support our work. We all are grateful because we are the power when we are together. And even the name of the organization I’ve chosen. It’s Razom in Ukrainian means together. Together, we stand and together we will we stand, I believe, as well.

Thank you so much, everyone who attended and who brought their contribution and heart and passion towards fighting Russia and Putin and fossil fueled wars and rage against us. Just saying, and summarizing that keeping the world dependent on fossil fuels will always prop up dictators and human rights abusers. You rightly mentioned about Myanmar and Syria and the range of other countries and the way right there is Yemen, there was Namibia, there are many, many others who suffer for many years with the wars caused by fossil fuel dictatorship, not always visible, not always as large as Russia is. But still, the more global demand there is for oil and gas, the easier it is for dictators, like put into profit and grow their armies.

I think we all have fitness towards it can lead us. And it’s extremely tough for me, as Ukrainian to see what’s the what’s the price that we are paying for that and, excuse me, Cheryl, but for me, there are no good Russians. Before the war. I had many, many friends who lives there. But there are no good Russians that allows these dictatorship to to happen and to attack us for so many years, so many months and months. And just got recently, while we’ve been speaking, I’ve got two notifications, the two people whom I knew were killed, just killed. They were they were alive yesterday, but they are not alive right now. So that’s why I am really, really subjective charging on our watch, what what could be done, and I just call on us to act faster, and to try to help and stay in solidarity with Ukraine and really stand with Ukraine. Because as you said during the meeting, where someone said, it’s very important point that we need to change, we need to change the status quo. And we need to end fossil fuel dictatorship forever and otherwise, that peace would want to be impossible because the war in Ukraine affects not only Ukrainians directly about also some other countries. And I don’t think that we want these times to come back. As long as we as we are addicted to fossil fuels [those times] will continue to empower dictators like Putin to launch devastating wars and terrorize their own people. And the best way to reduce Russia’s power is to get off oil and gas and that’s how we will be able to find the fossil fuels everywhere in the world. It does not matter what country they are. And just responding to a few questions. I did not want to left it on responded about Yes, Ukraine really aims, and Ukrainian civil society many networks organizations and people, are really looking forward to rebuild Ukraine in green and we are campaigning hard inside of the country as well not just outside, just really get our government in this we are really, really excited.

Categories: environment, Europe, war

2 replies »

  1. Pure rubbish by an immoral opportunist. She ignores the big picture — of the capitalists to destroy (annihilate Russia) from 1919 onward for their assets. This was seen by the US attack to destroy the Russian Revolution in 1919, the support of Hitler financially in the buildup for WWII, Truman’s recommendation of letting the Russians and Nazis destroy each other before the US intervenes. Then since Hitler could not destroy the Soviet Union it planned to destroy Russia at the end of 1945, again in 1957 and in the worst case committing the largest genocide in history in 1961 with the Pentagon planning to wipe out Russia, China and some East European countries killing some 450 million people so the US could then rule the world. For certain reasons the attacks did not occur but the imperialist plans continue. For example, Zbigineau Brzezinski authored the war in Afghanistan by getting Russia to aid the Afghan government against the US-backed terrorists and get Russia into into own “Vietnam” war. Then again Brzezinski recommended war with Russia through the Ukraine as early as 1998. And the United States elite have continued its policy of war against Russia ever since. It present policy is to weaken Russia by embargoes and military supplies through NATO to encourage the Ukraine Neo-Nazi for war against Russia. The Ukraine government was overthrown and the Neo-Nazis ruled as a dictatorship, threatening everyone who disagreed with it, and launched the war against the Russian-speaking Ukrainian people in the Donbas and Luhansk Republics killing some 14000 people. It then made attempts to join NATO and put US missiles in the Ukraine which could destroy Russia within five minutes. This was unacceptable to Russia which finally intervened to stop the ravaging US dog at its door. Almost all experts in the world (except in the US and its puppet governments), agree Russia has legitimate rights for its security — just as the US had during the Cuban crises in 1962. To anyone who thinks differently, is unfit for any serious analysis of events.
    JJRousso, Author, Capitalism: World’s Greatest Fraud, Fascism or Socialism Next?

    • Oaklandsocialist usually does not allow this sort of pro-Putin ranting, but we’re allowing this one for a reason: It is a perfect example of the mind set of those on the “left” who oppose any aid to Ukraine. The author, JJRousso, seems to think that Russia in 2023 is the same as Russia in 1919! Nothing has changed (according to him). And if it’s simply a permanent war against Russia itself, no matter what the regime, then how does he explain the fact that prior to the Russian Revolution, US imperialism was allied with Russian imperialism? But facts and changes in the actual situation don’t matter to these Putin-supporters, no more than they matter to Putin himself. It’s why Oaklandsocialist doesn’t bother debating with Trump supporters also.

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