The 21st century has marked a massive transformation in the way of life for humanity. In this regard, Ukraine inadvertently assumed the role of a trailblazer, providing meaningful answers to the numerous challenges and threats that humanity is facing today. In our time, the price of civilization’s fracture is defined by the lives of Ukrainian soldiers defending their country from the invading war led by Putin.
Ukraine has become a strong shield safeguarding the Western civilization’s values of rights, democracy, and human dignity against the barbarism and centuries-old darkness carried by Russian occupying forces. For a long time, Ukraine was terra incognita — an unknown land, a quiet province of the Russian Empire. However, the establishment of an Independent Ukrainian state and the fierce struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian oppressors have prompted the world to talk about a “new Ukraine” with its own development vector. It’s a modern, creative country made up of various communities of free people who have their own values. It’s a country of progress and civilization, not one of destructive barbarism and dictatorship. Modern Ukraine can offer many things to the world, primarily a complex set of values that inspire.
Solidarity, mutual respect, and support in challenging situations are at the core of these values. Ukraine has demonstrated robust societal self-organization and mutual aid, allowing its people to withstand the first and most dreadful days of the Russian invasion. Emotional sincerity and openness, a readiness to alleviate the suffering of others, provide refuge, share food and essential items, and save animals—all of these are part of Ukraine’s offering. In a world grappling with global threats such as climate change, pandemics, and the escalation of local conflicts, Ukrainian society serves as a worthy example of effective self-organization and overcoming crisis phenomena. This war has strengthened and consolidated the Ukrainian political nation, raising awareness of responsibility for the country at both the societal and individual levels. This realization has occurred at all levels, from military and managerial to cultural and religious. Perhaps no nation has “grown up” as rapidly in the 21st century as the Ukrainian one. The war has forced Ukrainians to seek new and unconventional managerial solutions, enabling them to think on a grander and more strategic scale, shedding the provincial mindset and moving towards full integration with international trends. Ukrainian politics and diplomacy have become a catalyst for strengthening Western politics and diplomacy, dismantling the system of prejudices and warnings, and overcoming the long-standing fear of Russia as a global dominator. The shattering of the myth of the “second world army” has occurred thanks to Ukraine, which has been engaged in a full-scale war against an occupier with vast resources for a year and a half now. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have become an unbreakable shield against the Russian horde, earning respect and support from the civilized world. This war has created an alternative perspective on the fate of yesterday’s colonies, which for centuries lacked the opportunity to become full-fledged subjects of international relations. In fact, events in Ukraine have contributed to the growing influence of countries from the “Global South.” It has become evident that Russia is pursuing a harsh neocolonial policy not only towards countries formerly part of the Russian Empire and the USSR but also towards countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, which are forced to seek ways to preserve their sovereignty.
Putin has shattered the post-war security system that seemed unshakable for decades and has created a spectrum of hybrid challenges and threats. Therefore, Ukraine, which is currently demonstrating resistance to the aggressor on all fronts — from the battlefield to the information warfare front fueled by toxic Russian propaganda, can become the foundation for a new European security system. It can offer the European Union a fresh vision of security and stability based on real-world experience. This is an important impetus for reforming the EU and further negotiations regarding Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The greatest tragedy of the Ukrainian people, who have been oppressed for centuries, is transforming into a civilizational triumph for Europe, which will restore its historical greatness and be at the forefront of Western democratic trends. The networked organization of society demonstrated by Ukraine, as well as solidarity and citizen support in extreme conditions, can become a new philosophy of European unity. Ukrainian experience in supporting collective mental health and resilience, positive educational and cultural practices in times of war, will be in demand in various countries, especially those affected by pandemics or natural disasters, and will influence the formation of new sociocultural technologies. The Ukrainian experience of the rapid and effective adaptation of Ukrainian refugees in Europe serves as an example of a positive solution to the migrant crisis, which exerts continuous pressure on the policies and economies of European states. The events in Ukraine serve as a powerful catalyst for the transformation of international institutions and international law. The protection of children, civilian spheres, and the prosecution of war criminals all require a fundamental reassessment at the international level, taking into account the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which is becoming a hub for cutting-edge military, particularly defensive, technologies. Consequently, international business and the defense industry have a unique opportunity for effective collaboration with the Ukrainian defense industry, which is actively countering aggression in real-time. Ukraine is fundamentally changing the concept of military science by introducing creative approaches to warfare and army training that align with the technological and organizational realities of the 21st century. The war in Ukraine has compelled other countries to reconsider their approach to the preparation of their armed forces and security structures. The experience of Ukrainian military units, police, and rescuers involves the combined use of modern drones, artificial intelligence, advanced internet technologies, and networked management. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have developed and field-tested the concept of “war of the future,” which is gradually being adopted by Western countries. Ukraine’s experience in civic mobilization can be valuable for overcoming artificial crises inspired by Russia in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. This serves as a potent response to the concept of hybrid warfare devised in the Kremlin, which is already being applied against the West. The experience in overcoming artificial “blackouts” can be utilized by European countries. In 2022-2023, Ukraine was subjected to unprecedented missile attacks on critical energy infrastructure. Ukraine not only withstood these attacks but also managed to quickly resume the sale of electricity to Poland, Romania, and Moldova. This accomplishment was achieved by a country at war, enduring massive missile strikes. The resistance against Russian propaganda is of utmost importance, not only for Europe, which has traditionally been influenced by this propaganda, but also for countries in Africa and Latin America, in order to resist active “colonization” by Russia and overcome the influence of the Russian ideological machine on the countries of the “Global South.” Ukraine can offer the global community a model for successfully overcoming a massive crisis and rallying citizens around the idea of preserving and developing their country. This includes the reconstruction of territories based on innovative energy-saving principles, ensuring the resilience of governance structures, and supporting public order. Ukraine receives strong support from the international community on its path of transformation into a modern, freedom-loving, and innovative state. Kiev benefits from significant assistance from the Western coalition. This assistance empowers the Ukrainian people to resist Russia’s criminal aggression and to chart their own development trajectory in today’s diverse world. The world warmly welcomes solidarity with Ukraine, a country that, despite Russian pressure and blackmail, is increasingly vocal from countries of the “Global South” who are beginning to realize the scale of the Russian threat. This signifies that the entire world has comprehended the depth of the crime committed by Putin on February 24, 2022, and has sided with Ukraine and its warriors who are giving their lives to save their homeland and their children, who are being killed by Russian rockets in the open skies of flourishing Ukrainian cities. Modern weaponry, including tanks, aircraft, long-range missiles, and high-tech drones provided to Ukraine by its Western partners, will enable the liberation of Ukrainian land and the creation of an impenetrable barrier against the centuries-old Russian darkness that seeks to engulf the light and all that is human for the revival of the bloody Soviet totalitarianism. Ukraine defended the common European future on the battlefield, proving its commitment to Western democratic values and the way of life. It is capable of initiating reforms in crucial structures for global security, such as the EU and NATO. The world must discover the new, strengthened Ukraine, which will never be the same again. Ukraine possesses a unique experience of struggle: its Armed Forces prevented the greatest tragedy of an entire nation, unthinkable in the 21st century, when they sought to deprive it of statehood and enslave it. Ukraine has demonstrated how a crisis can be turned into a window of opportunity. The world should be inspired by the cheerful Ukrainian spirit, the beauty of Ukrainian women, the wonders of Ukrainian nature, the diverse talents, and the victorious labor of people who have a tragic history, a rich cultural heritage, and a glorious future. These are people who live, dream, and hope for peace and happiness in their country, despite the evil intentions of their adversaries.