The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust, established to preserve awareness of the Spirit of Resistance, and RUSI are delighted to host the inaugural Spirit of Resistance lecture, to be delivered by Andrey Kurkov.

When Russian forces embarked upon a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Kremlin anticipated that the Ukrainian government would collapse, unsupported by an apathetic populace. Instead, without clear instructions from Kyiv, Ukrainian troops fought vigorously, while the population mobilised. Ukrainian civilians living under occupation provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the coordinates of Russian units. Civilians armed themselves with Molotov cocktails and began harassing Russian troops.

With the conflict well into its second year, Ukraine remains unbroken. The transformation of Ukrainian society since March 2022 has been remarkable; many have been forced to redefine their identity and take up arms for their national survival.

Andrey Kurkov, the renowned Ukrainian author, has chronicled the transformation of his society and the resurgence of Ukrainian identity and culture. He will join us in conversation with Dr Jade McGlynn, KCL, to discuss how, as Russian forces advanced on Kyiv, Ukraine was imbued with the spirit of resistance.