Keeping the Soul of Ukraine Alive: Maintaining Personal & National Ideals while Under Fire in Ukraine, with Kateryna Yasko & Vytautas Bučiūnas

Kateryna Yasko Vytautas Bučiūnas Soul of Ukraine

Psychologist and non-violent communications trainer Kateryna Yasko and her husband, Vytautas Bučiūnas, Integral Master Coach and leadership development expert, relate what it’s like to live in war-torn Ukraine, two years since the Russian invasion began. They share why they chose to return to Kyiv from the safe haven of Lithuania, and describe a “special form of happiness” that occurs when the fragility and beauty of life is brought to the fore, as Russian missiles and drones continue to target civilians and cultural landmarks. It is an existential battle being fought for Ukraine, and Kateryna & Vytas are deeply aware of the importance of keeping the soul of Ukraine alive, the cultural code, the foundation of any democratic nation’s identity. Among other things, Kateryna works with theater groups to stage productions that help make meaning of what Ukrainians are going through, help with processing PTSD, and keep cultural expression alive.

This poignant conversation reveals what extraordinary courage human beings are capable of when put to the test: to protect loved ones, country, and the values of truth, justice, freedom, and democracy. Kateryna and Vytas emphasize that love is not enough to protect our innate rights and that pacifism is not an option in this case. They provide us with a glimpse into personal family life in modern wartime, a psychological portrait of where Ukrainians are at, a request for help, and a wake up call for all to understand that democracy around the world is not a given and that there are times, like this, when we need to stand up and fight for it. Recorded January 23, 2024.

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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

Ep. 66 | 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.

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