Today, on January 21, Kyiv is hosting the National Conference on the Temporarily Occupied Territories "Ukrainians are Close Together".
The conference program includes discussions on topics such as preserving Ukrainian identity and possible ways to help in the face of temporary occupation. Discussions on the possibilities of recording russian crimes, countering russian propaganda and information warfare against Ukraine are also planned.
The event is attended by representatives of government agencies, international donor organizations, as well as civil society activists and volunteers who help Ukrainians in the TOT.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.
"On behalf of the Ukrainian Government, I would like to express support for volunteer organizations. Unfortunately, the war is entering a protracted phase. Therefore, we realize that we will need to make even more efforts. I would like to ask the international organizations on which we depend for funding to continue to help us as they did in 2022 and 2023," Iryna Vereshchuk emphasized.
Also speaking at the event were USAID Mission Director to Ukraine James Hope, head of the Center for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk, founder and head of the Ukrainian Volunteer Service NGO Anna Bondarenko; Vira Pasishniuk, Head of program to support volunteers in the temporarily occupied and frontline territories of the Blyzki (Close Together) project.
The event was organized by the team of the Blyzki project, which is implemented with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI).