The Blast interviewed Igor Novikov, former advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to hear his unique perspective on the current crisis in Ukraine. Novikov, who has a degree in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial, and policy perspectives to the dialogue of innovation in Eastern Europe.
In the second article about Ukraine, Novikov discussed the ongoing animal crisis in Ukraine.
Igor Novikov Asks For Help With Pet Food & Supplies Amidst Ongoing Crisis In Ukraine
Novikov called it the “one of the most heartbreaking” sides of the whole situation. He pointed out the heartbreaking photos from the Kyiv rail station that have gone viral online. In the photographs, refugees were leaving small cages with their dogs, cats, and other animals behind as they fled their homes to escape the encroaching Russian military forces.
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“There is a shortage of pet food in Ukraine,” he continued. “That is one of the things that you, if you want to help us in a humanitarian way, then don’t forget about our pets as well. I have two dogs and two cats and I made the decision that if I ever have to move, they move with me, regardless of the cost or the trouble.”
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In one photograph shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on Instagram, a woman could be seen saving disabled dogs from a shelter in Irpin, located in the region of Kyiv. The picture had supporters from around the world scrambling for more updates on the fate of people’s pets.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Novikov added.
Igor Novikov Describes Animals Suffering In Kyiv Zoos
Although many photos of people’s pets have gone viral online, animal lovers have not forgotten about the many animals that still remain behind in zoos all throughout Ukraine.
“Two of the tragedies that we’re witnessing is happening in our Kyiv zoos,” he continued. “We have a state-run zoo in central Kyiv, which is going slightly better and [there has] even [been] some animal births since the war started.”
“And there’s a private zoo to the north of Kyiv which is in the middle of the warzone at the moment,” he went on. “The owner and manager are actually screaming, you know, daily, saying ‘We need diesel and pet food’ because they have plenty of animals. It’s a huge and amazing zoo and, you know, they’re dying of starvation, of lack of heat… for those animals that need it.
“But, at the same time, the real tragedy here is that you can’t really bring it up as much as you’d bring up the human side of the tragedy because I cannot scream at the world that a couple of lions are dying of starvation if yesterday in Mariupol a six-year-old girl died of dehydration because Russian forces circled the city and wouldn’t let any humanitarian aid in.”
‘There Aren’t Enough Tears Left For The Animals’
“It’s 2022,” he said. “It’s not like it’s 1355. In European countries, a six-year-old girl dies of dehydration. There aren’t enough tears left for the animals and that’s the real tragedy. That’s one of the tragedies that we’re going to face when this is all over because it’s still going to catch up with us in ways.”
“The adrenaline is going to go away, we’re going to mourn the dead, and then on a daily basis we’re going to see something else that’s been demolished or destroyed or lost,” he added.
In another viral photograph, a man returned to his destroyed home in his hometown of Markhalivka in the Kyiv region. Sadly, the man’s wife, daughter, two sons-in-law, and mother-in-law were killed. However, he managed to find his beloved pet cat, Marsik, still alive in the rubble of his former home.
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If you are able to donate time, money, or supplies, please visit the World Central Kitchen or check out this list of reputable organizations. Also be sure to watch Igor Novikov’s first interview, where he reveals an extraordinary find he made in a Kyiv supermarket while discussing Ukraine’s food shortage.