Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, some 200 streets in Kyiv Post’s hometown have had their names changed from various Russian- and Soviet-themed ones.

For example, Kyiv’s Volhohradska Street is being renamed after Roman Ratushny, a 24 year old environmental activist and soldier killed in battle near Izyum in June. The street is in a part of Kyiv called Protasiv Yar, which Ratushny spent years defending from developers.

Some long-term Kyivans joke they don’t know how to get around their own city anymore, but they certainly don’t complain.

During the invasion, Kyiv Post has put its best efforts into sharing Ukraine’s and Ukrainians’ voice with the Anglo-phone – and now Arabic – world. Our readership has quietly grown to its highest level ever. We’re honoured by our readers’ trust, and our journalists and editors have serious responsibilities.

However, we remain a ‘local paper’ that has served local readers since 1995. And, we observe that Kyiv – like the rest of Ukraine – is fast evolving during war-time.

One indicator from everyday Kyiv are the posters in bus shelters. They now feature psychological support services, education against domestic violence, and outreach for veterans. 

The challenges of war – such as ever-present news of the deaths of Kyivans’ loved ones including nine tragic sacrifices in our own oblast this week at Rzychiv – have brought forth strength and resilience the world admires.

Perhaps, though, it’s also giving rise to a kinder, more inclusive and equitable Kyiv and Ukraine. Topics that were taboo or stigmatised are now part of daily conversations – unthinkable only five years ago.

It also reflects generational change. Vibrant Kyiv is a city of young people and young Ukrainians are as modern as any peers in Seattle or Sydney.

They have modern expectations of their city and their society – and their representative governments. Ukrainians are unprecedently united in their defense of their country and the liberation of occupied territories. It is a shared mission to save life and sovereignty – but also for a better and more just future.

From that perspective, Kyiv Post knows it’s role isn’t only to report on the war, especially its more nuanced aspects, but to do what good journalism has always done. To find the truth and to hold authorities accountable for their actions.

So, it is indeed great that the Kyiv Municipal Rada and others are pursuing Ukrainianization; symbols and calling things by their right names matters.

It’s greater still that President Zelenskyy and the national government ably mobilise and motivate all Ukrainians toward victory; he and his team have set an international benchmark for 21st century leadership.

Yet, none of it negates the need for necessary reform of Ukraine’s public and corporate governance practices. Without the promise of that true transparency, Ukraine’s victory will only be partial.

As incredibly important as it is, victory is more than defeating Ukraine’s genocidal enemy. It is about continuing to create a more just future for Ukrainians.

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