Every nation must prioritize diplomacy, cooperation, and peaceful conflict resolution

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Winnipeg, August 9, 2023: Ukrainian journalist Yuliia Kovalenko speaking at Winnipeg Lanterns for Peace on the need to prevent war through diplomacy. Photo: Paul S. Graham

by Yuliia Kovalenko

I stand before you today as a woman who knows the horrors of the war all too well. I was forced to move from Ukraine to Canada, leaving behind everything I held dear. I have witnessed the devastation it brings, the unbearable loss of lives, and the irreparable damage to my beautiful country

Today, I stand before you to address an alarming scenario that threatens global peace and stability. The possibility of Russia starting a nuclear war against Ukraine is a grave concern that demands our attention and collective action.
The causes behind such a dire situation are complex and multifaceted. Historical tensions, territorial disputes, and geopolitical ambitions have played a significant role in escalating the crisis. It is essential to recognize that a nuclear conflict would have devastating consequences not only for Ukraine but for the entire world.

In the face of such a grave threat, it is imperative for the international community to come together and act responsibly. Diplomatic efforts must be intensified to promote dialogue, find common ground, and seek peaceful solutions to the underlying issues.

The United Nations and other international organizations must play an active role in mediating between the parties involved.
Furthermore, we must continue to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, including Ukraine. Collective security measures and strategic partnerships must be strengthened to deter any aggressive actions that undermine global peace.

Nuclear war knows no boundaries; it does not discriminate between gender, age, or ethnicity. It tears families apart, leaving behind a trail of suffering and despair. We must understand that the consequences of such actions extend far beyond the battlefield, affecting generations to come.

War, in any form, is a tragedy, but the use of nuclear weapons escalates the devastation to unimaginable levels. The radiation lingers, causing long-term health issues and environmental degradation. Our world becomes a place of fear and uncertainty, where hope and peace seem like distant dreams.

We cannot allow the destructive power of nuclear weapons to be unleashed upon humanity again. Instead, let us come together to build bridges of understanding, to foster diplomacy, and to find peaceful resolutions to our conflicts. Our collective strength lies in unity, not in tearing one another apart.

Let us remember that the pursuit of peace is not a sign of weakness but an emblem of courage and wisdom. We must strive to break the cycle of violence, to embrace empathy and compassion, and to ensure a future where no one needs to flee from the horrors of war.

It is essential for every nation to prioritize diplomacy, cooperation, and peaceful resolutions in resolving conflicts. The prospect of a nuclear war is a reminder of the catastrophic consequences that we all face if we fail to work together to prevent such a scenario.

In conclusion, let us remember that we are all interconnected in this world, and the security of one nation is intertwined with the security of all. By addressing the root causes, engaging in dialogue, and upholding international law, we can build a more secure and peaceful future for all nations, free from the fear of nuclear conflict.

Together, we can make a difference and create a legacy of peace for generations to come. Thank you.


Yuliia Kovalenko spoke at the Winnipeg Lanterns for Peace Ceremony, held on August 9, 2023 at the Manitoba Legislature.

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