A group of Ukrainian women veterans of the Invisible Battalion project visited the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation to discuss their advocacy for recognition of women’s contributions to the Ukrainian military, equal employment opportunities and a range of social issues, including the prevention of sexual assault and improved mental health services for active and veteran servicewomen. Two of the visiting veterans were featured in the 2017 documentary movie Invisible Battalion, about the experiences of Ukrainian women defending Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. During their talk at USUF the women veterans discussed what motivated them to join the military operations in defense of their homeland, the horrors of war that they witnessed, the discrimination that they faced, the specifics of their service and their continuing efforts in support of veteran’s rights, patriotic education of youth and rehabilitation of veterans suffering form physical injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At a screening of the documentary at the National Democratic Institute, Mariia Berlinska, the film’s producer, emphasized that Invisible Battalion is not just a movie – “it’s an advocacy campaign” and “a human rights movement” in support of an “open society.”
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(Photo credit: Adrian Karmazyn)