Battleground: Ukraine

A history podcast that explores the narratives, turning points and characters that shape conflicts, encompassing a blend of social and military history. Following on from the series on the Falklands War, best-selling military historians Patrick Bishop, and Saul David turn their attention to the war in Ukraine.

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49. Stop Tanks With Books

49. Stop Tanks With Books

Wed, 10 May 2023 00:00

Joining Saul for this week's Big Interview is award winning British photographer Mark Neville. He emotionally describes his personal experience of the war as a resident of Ukraine in Kyiv, his recent book project - Stop Tanks With Books - released a matter of days before the full scale invasion, and his work helping those most in need, with the charity - postcode Ukraine.

If you would like to know more about Mark's charity or help out with donations, you can find more information at

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Producer: James Hodgson

Twitter: @PodBattleground

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From the gas pump to the grocery store inflation is everywhere Seriously, they could stop Thankfully, there's one company out there that's giving you a much needed break It's Mint and Mobile as the first company to sell premium wireless service online only Mint and Mobile lets you order from home and save a ton with phone plans starting at just $15 a month All plans come with unlimited talking text plus high-speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network To get your new wireless plan for just 15 bucks a month and get the plan shipped to your door for free Go to slash switch. That's slash switch switch Hello and welcome to Battleground Ukraine's big interview with me Saul David This week we're talking to award-winning British artists and photographer Mark Neville who has been documenting life in Ukraine since 2015. He currently lives in Kiev and recently set up a charity postcode Ukraine with Ukrainian writer Tanya Logacheva to support communities affected by the war So Mark, tell me about your connection to Ukraine. How did that all come about? Well Saul, I initially became aware of Ukraine through a different project So I was an official war artist for the British government I guess in Hellenburg, Afghanistan in 2012 2011 2012 and I came back actually with post-traumatic stress disorder I was there embedded I guess is the term with 16-air assault brigade the paratroopers for about three months And I came back quite heavily disturbed I would say and I refused to admit I had a problem with it with PTSD until about six months when all my friends were telling me this in Mark you're not the same person as you were before you'll be having quite irratically, irrationally and go and do something about it well I don't you in a lovely way they said And so I realized at that point you know that I really had to and I sought professional help counselling I was recommended Certralin which is a kind of drug that they use to treat a lot of troops returning from war zones and antidepressant and both worked very well I have to say in my case But I really wanted something very positive to come out of this experience of being a war artist in Afghanistan so I decided to make a book called Battle Against stigma the aim of which was to encourage troops suffering or veteran suffering from PTSD to come forward and seek professional help So it's trying to fight the stigma of mental health issues in the military And I went to the Ministry of Defence and who knew me already because of my trip to Afghanistan who had helped facilitate it in fact and said I've got this great idea for a book It's not about criticizing the Ministry of Defence in fact you can even write a chapter in it celebrating your own achievements in this field And you can you can put your logo in it whatever you want to do the only thing I'm interested in is getting these books out to veterans who are still suffering who haven't sought professional help And if I found it so difficult to come forward and seek professional help imagine how it must be for a soldier who's been told to man up all his life since he was 16 so I made it very clear that I had a kind of altruistic Intention with this book and that it wasn't meant as a criticism of the powers that be However initially they were very enthusiastic about this publication the Ministry of Defence But they're in a second or third meeting they said actually we refuse to give you permission to reproduce Your images taken in out helmet Afghanistan With stories from veterans or current servicemen about their experiences with PTSD Because it will imply that everyone you met or talked to or photographed in helmet Afghanistan has PTSD And I said well actually most probably they do have PTSD but I'll structure the book in such a way that I don't imply that And it's really important we get these stories out to other veterans So they they recognize that they're not alone, you know They see a version of themselves in these stories And they said We absolutely forbid you to reproduce the images and these stories in the same book And so my way around this which they Clearly got very upset about was to reproduce One book in two volumes So in other words there was one book with two volumes in one slip case So I went to a company in Barcelona in Spain and said Can you make this book for me one volume of stories from veterans and one book of images of my pictures of Afghanistan And they said yes and they made a beautiful job of it battle against stigma two volumes one slip case And the first consignment of books came over in early 2015 so what's that eight years ago And were seized by UK border force who go figure have strong connections to the Ministry of Defence And I contacted the border force and I said you know What's the problem? There's no graphic material and these books. There's nothing you know offensive. It's just people's stories and some Non-graphic photographs, you know And they said listen we don't have to give you a reason about why we're going to release these books or if we're going to release them But we're holding on to them for now However a second consignment came via a different route and arrived safely in my studio in London In summer 2015 and then I furiously spent all summer sending out that book to mental health charities to homeless centres to prisons I did a tour of prisons and prison libraries Trying to get this book into the hands of people who would be encouraged to come forward and seek help veterans Would fall them through the cracks with somehow lost everything through self-medication And that's what happens when you develop PTSD you quite often lose your family friends and you start drinking yourself medicating So anyway, all this was going on around me in 2015 a great big storm of activity and controversy and so forth And then out of the blue I received an email from Kiev military hospital Saying we heard about your book about water or ma. Do you have a Ukrainian language version of it? And I was like what? Where's Ukraine? The Ukraine in Russia? You know, I was totally ignorant But then I did some research and I was so blown away that this post-Soviet country would be so forward thinking and it's desire to treat Water or mental health issues in their own military Because by this time of course they'd already had a year of the invasion From Russia and people coming back with these awful injuries from Don Bass Not just physical injuries, but psychological injuries as well of course deeply traumatized I was so impressed by their desire to treat their their troops that I Said I don't have a Ukrainian language version, but I'm gonna get it translated into Ukrainian Send you a copy as a PDF and I thought no, that's not enough. I'm gonna go and I'm gonna visit and I went to Ukraine for the first time I got a Ryanair flight for I don't know very little money from London to To Kiev and I immediately fell in love. I fell in love with the country the people the architecture the food And I started coming back regularly ever since then basically. I gather Mark You're now married to Ukrainian is that right? That's right. Yes, Lucira. So we live together Incredibly happy and it's a big reason for living here Although I have to say I was always saying before I moved here in 2020 that I would You know, I'm telling all my friends for five years. I'm gonna move to Ukraine one day And it was like yeah, yeah, of course you are Mark. Yep. Yeah, of course you are you're gonna leave London and go and live in Ukraine Yep, yep. Yeah, of course and you know, I was literally spending more time in Ukraine than I was in London for quite a long time And then you know when Lucira and I met during the pandemic actually that was it That was the final thing that took me over of course into into coming here and and setting up my life here So I moved everything. It's not like I have a home in France somewhere or in London or that was it I moved everything my studio my home my belongings and And everything can set up a new life here nearly three years ago Now the odd timing of I suppose the culmination of some of your work Since you moved over to Ukraine was was the book stop tanks with books Which obviously has a collection of your photographs um It came out all I you know terrible sort of coincidence I suppose or ironic in a grim way almost at the same time as the As the re invasion or the full scale invasion of Ukraine as opposed as we need to think about it in February 2022 What was that but tell me a bit about that book and what you were trying to achieve with it Well as soon as I arrived in Kiev in 2015 I immediately recognized because I'd experienced it myself the trauma Not just as it on an individual level, but on a national level basically all Ukrainians Trauma ties by this war right from 2014, you know, even in Kiev send you a hundred kilometers away You could feel it even back then And so I I was determined even then back then to make a book a free giveaway book again not for sale Particularly but for targeted dissemination to a target audience In order to impact on something that I felt very strongly about and I felt very strongly in 2015 That the West wasn't paying attention to this war. It wasn't doing enough It wasn't supporting Ukraine Instead what was happening was that a whole host of European American and British newspapers were perpetuating These myths coming out of the Kremlin about Ukrainians being fascists being baby eaters being peter files you name it And so many of these stories were being reproduced in in the British press with no fact checking People hadn't even visited the country to find out And yet you know, we both know how powerful the Kremlin propaganda machine is but nevertheless We were extremely guilty of just allowing these these stories to filter through into our perceptions Of who Ukrainians are and I knew for a fact from buying visits here That they're just not like that. So the aim of the book right from 2015. I started it It was always going to be called stop tanks with books to make this book Which kind of changed that perception of Ukrainians But also was a kind of cool to action for the international community to support Ukraine and its fight for independence You know, which had been going on for as been going on for over 30 years now And which they really deserve help with and they always have deserved helpful, but we just haven't been listening And I attempted to merge mix my pictures of Ukraine that I'd taken over the past eight years now With stories from Luba Yakimchuk this incredible writer who was displaced from Luhantzk region herself During the first wave of the invasion and knows what it's like to live under Russian occupation And it wasn't funny even back then, you know, she tells stories about people being raped, set on fire on the streets Kidnapped just going missing you know basically So it was awful absolutely then so it's got short stories from Luba It's got ethnographic research from the Center for Eastern European Studies in Berlin who did a massive research investigation into who Ukrainians are What they believe politically what their thoughts on my down are And this research data came out in I think 2018 17 something like that And it also mixed all these forms of documentary Repaltage if you like which is my pictures these stories Ethnographic research with my own cool to action about what support I wanted to see From the west and it was reproduced in three languages So in other words every single word in the book in one book is reproduced in Russian English and Ukrainian And on top of that I did this huge research into who who the book should be sent to you know Who should be the recipients in order to get that change? So I came out with this you know vast list of 750 recipients which included the super rich the media Powerful politicians celebrities everyone I thought possibly had it in their power to somehow support Ukraine So I got this book together about a year and a half before the invasion began I had one publisher who kept on delaying delaying delaying delaying And I said listen, I can't wait anymore. So it came to about November 2020 And I dropped one publisher and I went with another fantastic publisher called Nazareli Press A guy called Chris who recognized the urgency of getting this book out And we literally worked you know him in California and me and Ukraine remotely every night for all other November December January January we finished the PDF The book went to print in Istanbul in early February and we sent out 750 copies Literally a week or two before the invasion began and it's a big book. It's a massive book You know, and I guess it cost me about 15,000 euros of my own money to print in another 10,000 euros to send the thing out from Istanbul There's this target audience and I had book hubs all over the world I would send 200 copies to Paris, 100 copies to London, 100 copies to New York And from those hubs they would disseminate them to this hit list of important people So but if I I know military strategists all I'm just a you know a photographer who fell in love with this country And I saw the war coming eight years ago this full blown invasion Then you can bet your bottom dollar lots of other people did as well But they just chose not to see it For obvious reasons, you know, they didn't want to get involved or whatever them Financial entanglement might have been with Ukraine, you know, they just decided not to do anything about it And we'll never know the full impact your book might have had Mark because of course in a way it was too late But what has been the response since publication? Well, it's you know, it's very hard thing to gauge his response and I do a lot You know, I've made maybe six or seven of these targeted book projects where I'll do a piece of work culminating in a book and I'll send the book out for free to a target audience in order to impact on a particular issue So this I think is a seventh project using that kind of strategy Well, I'm really trying to weaponize the form of the photo book if you like So it has a particular mission And that's why I send them out for free because I think you know You can't ask people to go into a book shop and spend 50 or 100 bucks on a book if you want to change something You know So it's very hard to gauge. I mean, you know, just in Trudeau received a copy NATO members received copies members of the European Parliament in Brussels received copies and took them on marches In Brussels in Parliament squared during March last year I had a huge response from media as well I wanted to talk about the projects that included online conversations, newspaper reproductions So I'm grateful in the sense that it gave me that platform But I also am so incredibly sad that the book didn't come out just one year earlier And then it might have had some impact in real terms I still think it helped reconfigure people's impressions of Ukrainians in some way because Up until last year most people were very ignorant about who Ukrainians were And are and You know, I knew right from 2017 for example, I did a huge project about the 2.5 million Ukrainians who already Been displaced by the war by 2017 And I went all round on Yetsk and Interviewed people and not once and this is absolutely exceptional And I've been to some terrible awful desperate places in my life But not once did any of these Ukrainians Asked me for any help All they wanted to do was sit me down, make me a cup of tea and tell me what had happened to them And normally when I'm in that situation face to face with people who have lost everything I have no pension, no money coming in They've got no heating or electricity They're in a kind of a band and sanatorium somewhere in the east They it's human nature I would do the same They want help and they see me and I appear to be an affluent or a Western In many many respects and I have to say no, I can't help you know The most I can do is try and tell your story with Ukrainians never they never asked me once for help And that is absolutely exceptional And I realized when I came back in 2017 From that journey of meeting people who have been displaced by the war I realized that I was changed as a person, you know And I'm I'm over 50 you know, so it's quite rare that I But I would change from an experience but that really changed me And I knew then that that was one of the reasons why I wanted to come and live in this country And that I would dedicate several years of my life to making this book and trying to have some impact with it What we're also trying to do now of course is is move forward from the book One of the recipients of the book actually a family who collected my photographs Who are primarily based in London They'd received a copy of stop tanks and he got in touch with me the family got in touch with me and said how can we help And I said well, you know, actually I don't think it's enough Just to send me to make more photographs Bill, you know, I think I need to do something else. I need to combine this somehow with humanitarian aid And because you see these people on the front line and they've lost everything and I'm damned if I'm going to be one of those people It just goes up to them takes their picture and disappears again and makes money from the picture You know, I'm not going to do that refuse to do it. So now I kind of I propose to Bill and his family in London I said well, how about a hybrid of photography and humanitarian aid And to my amazement delights and inspiration here agreed so he's core funding this charity now called postcode Ukraine Which I set up And we deliver aid all over the front line towns to both military and civilians And we also give grants to other charities who we see are doing the best work on the ground And these are quite often very small groups of Ukrainians who have been working non-stop since the data the war started Without wages without nothing You know and we deliver I personally go in my car and I deliver food and medicine sleeping bags Drones, military uniforms, clothing of other descriptions, cigarettes, toys You name it twice a month and we go to some of these front line towns and villages and and do what we can And it's been going now since for about a year since May or June last year Sounds like a great idea Mark And if any of the listeners to this podcast both now and in you know as people are listening in future Want to donate they should go to and I've got to get this right so make sure I do We're also going to put that web address on the on the page for this particular episode That's correct, isn't it? Yes, that's correct. Thank you and I have to say as well. So all that actually it's you know It is core funded our charity So any donations we receive on top of that from anybody Go directly on aid by which I mean they go directly on all the items. I've just listed They don't go on wages. They don't go on administration. They go directly on helping Ukrainians Okay, that's all we have time for now Join us in part two and we'll be hearing more from the award-winning British artists and photographer Mark Neville Welcome back to the big interview this week. We're talking to British artists and photographer Mark Neville. This is what he told us Okay, I'll come back to a little bit of your work in just a sec mark what you've been doing since the full scale invasion But tell me about your own personal experience because it's one thing you going out to war zones and putting yourself in danger For professional reasons and it's another sitting in a major European capital with your wife When a huge invasion is happening all around you. So what was that experience like? We were so busy making the books all and getting it out But I stupidly and completely More or less ignored the ramifications on myself and my partner so Having you know tried to alert the west of this impending war I kind of neglected to alert myself So of course it's one thing to predict a war. It's another thing for it actually to happen You know and you know we woke up in our apartment at six or seven in the morning on the 24th of February to the sound of sirens and of course you put on your phone And you see this map of Ukraine with the explosion symbols all over it and you text a few friends you knew realized it's actually begun And then I went out onto the street and I first thing I noticed was all the shops were closed Cashpoint machines weren't working and it was a you know a very bizarre atmosphere And then we had a very fraught day Lucira and I decided what to do, you know and it kind of frozen to Sharp relief the notion of responsibility, you know when a war begins who are you responsible to and for? You know should I start? Getting my partner Lucira out of the country as quickly as possible should I don't make blood should I pick up a You know a collationy call and start fighting should I you know where's my allegiances in all this should I get out of the country immediately and start reporting on what's happening from a distance Will try and support other people to try and get out of the country. What should I do? And it's horrific feeling actually. I have to say you've do I just felt totally wrapped with guilt all the time Not paralyzed with fear exactly more just paralyzed with you know, what should I do? You know, what's the best cause of action? We were here in Kiev for about a day and then we drove for 24 hours to with hundreds of thousands of other people I might say to the west of Ukraine to Levyv and then we were there for about a week before we successfully managed across the border by foot And my partner and I we went to Poland for about two weeks and then after about two weeks of you know in shock I would say we just stayed in an Airbnb for a bit But as I explained Ukraine is my home, you know, I moved here for a reason I it wasn't just a flirtation it became my home And I really felt those very deep feelings are belonging about my home Probably for the first time every my life. I would say I felt these particularly strong feelings And I felt them for Ukraine and I thought like I want to go back I need to go back And to my to the absolute horror of Luke area who was saying don't don't return you're going to get killed I said well listen, I want to go back I need to get my camera equipment I want to go back to the apartment And so I I hitched a ride effectively with Polish aid workers who have this big coach which they ram full of things like Baby milk, pampers, toys, food, medicine from incredibly generous Polish people Donating donating donating non-stop So I hitched a ride with two riders this big coach and me you know and that was it And they were kind of before we left everyone was looking at me and the drivers like we were heading to certain death actually And I think here we surrounded on three sides at the time this is in March I think And we got you know I ride back in my apartment. I mean we just rent here You know, I don't own any property. It's just a rental but nevertheless it's it's my home You know, it's our home and I arrived back and there was a half finished cup of coffee on the table There was a half eaten sandwich, you know all those things of a kind of a life hastily interrupted you know were there But I just felt this euphoria That I'd come back and the trauma that I felt Having been forced to leave my home so quickly and so abruptly all that trauma kind of Slowly drifted away. I have to say And then you know at the time Kiev was desolate. There were no cars on the streets or roadblocks every 10 meters And there was machine gunfire in the distance, you know there was You knew what you were getting into effectively But I felt relief it sounds beside I felt relief to be home And then out of the blue came this message from Bill This collector of my photographs and saying you know, what can I do to help when I propose post-code Ukraine And to my amazement he an astonishment and so impressed with this man and his family He agreed, you know and out of all the the recipients of the book 750 recipients he was the one person who in very real terms stepped up and said I want to do something substantial to help And we've been doing it. We've been delivering aid ever since and trying to combine it with photographic imagery And trying to get those images out into the west into resonant contexts In order that we can somehow combat compassion for TIGS all because as you as we all know, you know It's very difficult to sustain support and sympathy for for anyone Especially, you know under such stressful circumstances. So It's really vital that that support That the west is giving at the moment in terms of both military and humanitarian aid continues There's not you know if you travel along the front line as I do you see It's not enough just to make one aid delivery You know it needs to be constant and it's the same with guns and ammunition and tanks This support in order to win this war and it needs to be won That support has to be continuous. I'm afraid And in order for that to happen, you know, we have to sustain compassion for Ukrainians So that's far the images I've made through Pusca, Ukraine have been exhibited in two major contexts One is the V&A museum in London And then that exhibition immediately went on to the foreign Commonwealth and Development Office where the pictures are at the moment And tell me about some of those pictures Presumably we were getting all sort of shapes and sizes and ideas of life particularly on the front line or all over Ukraine Um all over Ukraine at the foreign Commonwealth and Development Office at the moment in the reception area There's six images one of them features an amazing guy called Alexander who I I took a picture of him actually five years ago And he runs a goat farm in Jotama region Uh west of Ukraine uh west of Kiev and um He was actually captured by Russians in 2015 when he was delivering aid as a volunteer Both him and his wife were captured He was tortured he lost his leg and his wife was mock executed in front of him This is way back in 2015 They released him and his wife after six months Uh very sadly they separated but uh Alexander went on to set up a goat farm And incredible courage you know and physical strength as well to do something like that Very successful farm made goat cheese and Supplied all sorts of products as well And I went to photograph him over the course of two or three days in in 2017 and I found out last year he'd been shot dead Basically in his wheelchair at home where I photographed him he'd been shot dead by Russians in March For why who knows there's no logic to any of this and it's extremely difficult to get one's head around I have to say even now sometimes I I can't believe it's happening And that's really one of the very sad things about this project this book project is normally I do a book project and You know look at my work. I think oh that that nightclub doesn't exist anymore or that building has changed Or you know that street doesn't look like that anymore with this book so many of the people I've made portraits of are dead now You know and so many I mean several Several people in the book are now have now been killed as a result of this war And I have to say everywhere I go in Ukraine and it's a massive country I see the same thing which is schools deliberately targeted Kindle gardens deliberately targeted museums deliberately targeted hospitals deliberately targeted not just in a few towns I'm talking about the whole fucking country has been devastated And it's Words seem inadequate somehow to describe the feelings that you that you have when you see this and And the lack of logic behind it. It's very difficult to comprehend the reason the rationale behind it Yeah, well, we've discussed this many times market and assure you on the on the podcast and by the way We're pretty determined to keep going with the podcast to keep as much awareness as we can in the west We're sort of increasing our coverage All over the western world actually you're open and elsewhere and it seems to me to be pretty important that we have people like you on Giving such a you know kind of moving and and sort of絲rall account of the experience of the Ukrainians Um, let me ask you about the mood of the Ukrainians at the moment We're obviously entering a quite a crucial bit of the war. They the much anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive How would you characterize it? Generally speaking Ukrainians are extremely resilient people. It sounds like a bit of a cliche to say that now But it's true and it's not just a result of You know kind of innate response to the war They've always been like this people and I saw that as I just said in 2017 when I talked to these people have been displaced You know as a result of the conflict So you've got that on the one side which is this incredible resilience pride in their country Belief in what they're doing and that you know that that That's just incredible. I mean, you know money can't buy that. There's nothing to beat that basically But on the other hand, of course, you've got the incredible psychological impact of this war So it's not just people losing lives losing property It's the trauma and it's the generational trauma that that's going to cause that worries me quite heavily And it is terrifying, you know So I remember being in my home on October the 10th. I just woke up. It was about seven or eight in the morning And it was something about the combination of being at home Just waking out making a nice cup of coffee and my lovely sunny flat in In Kiev and I heard this huge sound of a rocket passing over And it landed about a hundred meters away from where we live and it hit a children's playground actually You know, I've never been so terrified even when I visited backmuts in November, December this year And there were explosions every 30 seconds when I was there delivering generators I never felt as scared as I did at that moment when I was in my kitchen in the morning, you know, so And I told everyone I was fine and I was fine and then about three days later someone asked me Are you really okay? And I started reaping And a bit of a problem is this is how trauma works, you know, you think you're okay, but you're not really And it has physical as well as psychological effects So I really hope at some stage there's some kind of huge campaign to treat the mental health issues That must be Ukrainians must naturally be experiencing I mean, trauma is nothing at all to do with being weak or strong It just is it doesn't matter how resilient you are it's natural, you know If you put a cat in the field and let off bombs all around it You know the cat might survive, but it won't be the same animal at the end of the day And it's the same thing with people whether you're Ukrainian, British or American or whoever So I really hope that support comes through at some point But to answer your question about the mood The mood is still very strong. They're still at you know Of real confidence that Ukraine will win But we do rely on that constant supply of weapons and aid coming through from the west And we're fighting, you know, we are fighting for everyone's freedoms here Because we don't if we don't win Putin won't stop at Ukraine. It will be Poland. It will be Lithuania It's all our wars and we have a responsibility as you know to support Ukraine in every way possible So when I visit, you know, the troops on the front line they say We don't need food. We don't need medicine. I mean, they do of course But they say give us weapons just give us more weapons, please Because as soon as there's a A hesitation with that support as soon as that support stops even for a few days Then Russia pushes back a little bit So I guess you could say that I think Ukrainians generally speaking are innately positive and convinced of their own abilities And they will win the war. I have no doubt. I've absolutely no doubt But it's not just enough to win win the war, you know The sovereign territory of Ukraine has to be maintained So that means we have to to retain all the territory in Donbass We have to retain all the territory in Crimea And Ukraine has to be whole again If it isn't it's going to be very difficult If there's any kind of peace negotiations that go on involving All right, we'll let you have Crimea. All right. We'll let you have, you know, the territory you invaded in 2014 You know, they'll always be this kind of destabilized sense of who Ukraine is And that will deter foreign investment that will cause internal political problems as well And it will just go on and on and on and on So for me in my eyes in my opinion and in that of many of my colleagues a complete sovereign integrity of Ukraine has to be restored And I'm not so sure that can be done In one counteroffensive, you know, I hope so and I'd like it to be Of course, but I think in that sense Ukraine is our cautious And of course there's going to be a lot of pressure from certain parties in the West to accept any kind of peace negotiation Offered by Putin But it's not to be trusted whatever it is it really isn't And I think you know in the West we've always been we've always underestimated the kind of the lack of trust that Putin should be given Really, you know, we've really underestimated his propensity to lie and deceive and dissimulate And to perpetuate complete miss And disinformation and we've completely underestimated it and we've seen it impact on Brexit We've seen it impact in our own political situation Time and time again We've enabled the Kremlin to have influence all over the West And it's only now we feel we're paying the price for it But of course Ukraine's been living with that That kind of propensity for deception and dissimulation since it existed So you know, I feel very strongly that any kind of peace negotiating with Putin You know, is not to be trusted The West really has to be aware of that And of course we want peace, of course we do But you know the integrity of Ukraine has to be restored otherwise it's not peace, is it? Well that was pretty powerful stuff wasn't it And I have to say Patrick and I feel that keeping this podcast going during the duration of the war Is our bit when you think of what Mark sacrificed both emotionally, financially, professionally Not only to go and live in Ukraine but also to do all the wonderful stuff he's doing there The setting up of the charity postcode Ukraine It rather leaves us in the shade I suspect Great emotion in his words really I mean you know a huge feeling of love for the Ukrainian people And the country a kind of sense of what they're trying to do there Of course he's fallen in love with the Ukraine Which is naturally going to make you a little bit biased But you know it's tremendously powerful to hear him talk about the effect of People that he's photographed some of them are no longer with us now quite unusual for his projects And how determined he is that not only Ukraine wins the war but is given a chance to be rebuilt afterwards His personal experience of course of post-traumatic stress disorder From his time in Afghanistan gives him a real insight into what the whole country is going to be going through As it negotiates this war and how important it is to heal those wounds when it's all over Okay, that's all we have time for Do join us on Friday when Patrick will be back Unfortunately he's still on the move in America But he will be back for the news and listen his questions on Friday Do join us then February the 24th 2022 At date none of us will ever forget When Vladimir Putin unleashed his military power in Ukraine The Russian despot thought he would storm Kiev and leave Europe cowering in his shadow Instead a year later Ukraine has become a byword for terrorism And Russia's military reputation is in tatters How did this happen? How did we get here? And how might it end? I'm Arthur Snell and in the new series of my podcast Doomsday Watch We're going to tell the story of the Ukraine War That's Doomsday Watch The Ukraine War Out now with new episodes every Wednesday Listen wherever you get your podcasts