Kateryna Yasko & Vytautas Bučiūnas – Ukraine, One Year Later: Finding Meaning, Purpose, and Ways to Contribute Amidst the Hell of War

Vytautas Buciunas Kateryna Yasko Ukraine one year later

Ukrainian psychologist Kateryna Yasko and integral leadership development expert Vytautas Bučiūnas share their first-hand experiences of the war in Kyiv now, one year after the invasion by Russia, as well as their penetrating perspectives on Russian imperialism (“Russia needs to lose this war so they can reinvent themselves”), on why there is comparably less PTSD among Ukrainian soldiers, and the implications for the world if Russia were to win or if it were to disintegrate. They acknowledge the relatively recent “awakening of Europe” to the fact that Putin won’t stop with Ukraine if he wins, and warn that “democracy needs to be fully ready for a possibly long-term battle for its values.”

Kateryna and Vytautas have witnessed how having an overriding mission and purpose has changed Ukrainians, and describe perceiving an unmistakable shift in energy upon crossing the border into Ukraine, where the heightened appreciation for life and the strength and solidarity of common purpose are palpable. What does the struggle for democracy, freedom, and dignity actually feel like? Find out on a planned pilgrimage to Ukraine this fall—both a spiritual journey of awakening and an opportunity to embody the experience of being invaded by Russia. This podcast is also a call for help—if you feel inspired to support the efforts in Ukraine, below are links to three trustworthy organizations working hard on Ukraine’s behalf. Recorded February 13, 2023.

“Democracies need to have guts. Who knows how many battles between democracy and autocracy lie ahead?”

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Topics & Time Stamps

  • Introducing Ukrainian psychologist Dr. Kateryna Yasko and leadership development expert Vytautus Bučiūnas (01:51) 
  • Thank you to people who gave via iAwake in support of Ukraine (04:23)
  • Update on what’s happening on the front lines thanks to the support of Western countries and especially the U.S. (06:01)
  • President Zelensky, his speech to the United States Congress, and the qualities that make him a great wartime president (06:58)
  • The metamodern cultural code and using force to protect ethical values (10:06)
  • The awakening of Europe: democracy needs to be ready for a possibly long-term battle for its values (11:42)
  • Ukraine has integrated the extremely important polarities: love and power, and the Battle of Antonov Airport (13:01)
  • This is an existential war; there is no choice for Ukrainians (17:40)
  • Things are getting a lot worse in Russia socially, economically, and among the elite (20:01)
  • Russian imperialism needs to die for the benefit of all, including Russians (21:09)
  • Because the defensive war in Ukraine is a just war, levels of PTSD among soldiers are much less (25:04)
  • There are more than 100 small nations under Russian control who seek autonomy, independence, dignity, and respect (25:55)
  • What will happen if/when Russia disintegrates? (26:34)
  • Every country has its Nazis (30:25)
  • The spirit in Kyiv now: solidarity, purpose, meaning & an extraordinary appreciation of life (32:30)
  • You are invited on a pilgrimage to Ukraine in Oct 2023 to experience the vital spirit of the struggle for democracy firsthand (37:33)
  • Co-host John Dupuy’s riveting song: Ukraine! (45:59)
  • How to get involved and support Ukraine (see links below) (51:39)
  • A call to be with Ukraine in spirit (52:57)
  • In gratitude for the support of the United States and a heads up to Americans: the outcome of this war will affect each and every one of us (54:09)

Resources & References

How you can help – Trustable charities working hard in support of Ukraine:

  • United24, the official fundraising platform of Ukraine, initiated by President Zelenskyy, founded to protect, save, and rebuild Ukraine: https://u24.gov.ua/
  • The Foundation for Competent Assistance to the Army, “Come Back Alive,” has launched a fundraiser to purchase equipment that will help the Ukrainian military defeat the occupiers in cyberspace: https://savelife.in.ua/en/
  • Serhiy Prytula’s Foundation is a charitable organization with a military headquarters focused on providing the Ukrainian army with means of communication, optical devices, drones, UAVs, transport, and means of tactical medicine for the military, and a humanitarian headquarters,  providing assistance to civilians in the occupied territories and within a radius of 70 kilometers from the front line, including the “NEST” project, with the mission of bringing life back to de-occupied towns and villages by providing people with free mobile homes on their land: https://prytulafoundation.org/en

Kateryna Yasko Ukraine One Year Later

Kateryna Yasko (Ukraine) is an organizational psychologist, a trainer for the development of emotional intelligence, trust, cooperation, effective communication, and peaceful conflict resolution, and co-founder of the consulting company U-Integral. Her academic background is in the area of international relations and law (MSc), business (MBA), and psychology (MSc). She bases her programs on the principles of Ken Wilber’s Integral approach and Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, and is certified in Spiral Dynamics Integral and in Susanne Cook-Greuter’s Maturity Assessment Profile. Kateryna is also head of the public association “International Institute for Integral Development” and a founder of the educational initiative EMPATIA.PRO, specializing in bringing  holistic approaches into educational leadership and learning cultures. 

Vytautas Buciunas Ukraine One Year Later

Vytautas Bučiūnas (Lithuania–Ukraine) is a co-founder and managing partner of U-Integral, an integral leadership development company. Vytautas also has vast experience as a top manager in the banking sector including working as the Head of Resident Office, Senior Banker, Associate Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Russia, Ukraine). Vytautas’ professional profile includes building organizational units from scratch, carrying out large-scale transformations, and managing crises. Vytautas is a certified Integral Master Coach™ (Integral Coaching Canada), an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC)™, and the only business consultant in Ukraine certified in Leadership Maturity Framework – Maturity Assessment for Professionals (LMF-MAP) and Global Leadership Profile (GLP). Vytautas explores the development of human consciousness and complex social systemsfrom a holistic perspective. He considers the growth of a critical mass of mature leaders with systemic thinking and transformational capabilities to be the key to society’s healthy development. 


Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell


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