International Relations

Ukraine’s Fight for Democracy: An ALEC Women’s Leadership Episode

A conversation with Kyiv City Council Member Dinara Habibullaieva.

As part of ALEC’s Women Leadership Series, ALEC Federalism & International Relations Task Force Senior Director Karla Jones and ALEC Health & Human Services Task Force Senior Director Brooklyn Roberts recently interviewed Kyiv City Council Member Dinara Gabibullaeva. Also serving as Chairwoman of Solidarna Molod, and President of the European Democracy Network, Gabibullaieva discussed the ongoing challenges facing Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

I remember at the beginning of the invasion, it was just people ready to bring anything they could to protect their city and their land, and it was an unforgettable moment. I’m so happy that we did not give up. In March 2022, we held a council meeting in Kyiv. Other councils just met online or canceled the meetings altogether. As members of the Kyiv city council, we decided to go in person. It was so dangerous because the situation in Kyiv was so bad, but we managed to change the budget and give money to the territorial defense forces.

We showed that we were here and we stood for our land and our city. It was so important to show to the people that we were not on the run, but that we were there. A lot of Kyiv City Council members even became part of the Army detail defense forces.

I’m so happy to represent that political organization. We are an organization that understood the situation and gave our lives to protect our land. There was a lot of loss within our organization and our party as more than 70 people died due to Russian aggression and their atrocities; both on the frontline and within this peaceful city.

Ukrainians are incredibly strong... The positive aspect is that we are trying to return to normal life. If you come to Kyiv, you can notice the difference.

Watch the full interview.