On December 6, the “War Up Close” team had the honor of opening the Ukraine Victory Summit as part of the two-day event “Supporting Victory for People of Ukraine” at the US Congress.
The project was presented by Nadia McConnell, President of the US-Ukraine Foundation, and speeches were also given by Mykola Omelchenko, the photographer of “War Up Close,” and founders Yulia Matiash and Oleksiy Syvak. Through our immersive videos, panoramic photos, and cardboard displays, visitors were able to witness the scale of destruction to civil infrastructure, cultural heritage sites, and educational institutions in Ukraine caused by Russian military aggression.
As Mykola Omelchenko stated during the presentation: “Usually, world leaders visit places that have been deoccupied, and now we have brought all the pain and destruction of these places to another continent”
We extensively discussed the genocide of Russia against Ukrainians, child abductions, military, economic, cultural, environmental, and other crimes committed by Russian invaders in Ukraine, as well as the slow reaction of the world. A separate panel was dedicated to the topic of mental trauma and humanitarian issues. We called on our partners and allies to mobilize efforts to assist Ukraine and defend the values of democracy. We all agreed that unity is needed, as it is a prerequisite for our victory, and this unity needs to be demonstrated.
“The “War Up Close” exhibition serves as a portal offering a deeper understanding of the enormous impact of war on people and society. It provides an opportunity to safely experience what we, Ukrainians, have gone through and continue to experience every day”, – commented project founder Yulia Matiash.
The exhibition continues for the second day in the US Congress building, followed by visits to new cities such as Virginia, Houston, Austin, and others. It is worth noting that the first event in this tour was the presentation of the project at the Naval Postgraduate School.