Women in war, one-year anniversary

24.02.23 | News
Elena Belevantseva Photography and Videography
It’s been a year since the war in Ukraine started. To mark the occasion the Nordic Council of Ministers is giving a voice to ordinary women who live in the Nordic and Baltic countries, but who come from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. What they have in common is that they’re all affected by the war and, in their own way, they’re trying to bring about peace.

The war in Ukraine is continuing to affect Europe and the rest of the world. It is a time of uncertainty, an energy crisis, a steady stream of refugees and human tragedy. These all have consequences at every level of society, not least for ordinary people. And they’re also the ones we need to listen to. Their life stories help us to understand each other better and then use this new understanding to identify a path towards a peaceful future. 

Women in war 

“There’s a war in Ukraine. People are dying, losing their homes, their country and their identity. And we’re still in the process of understanding what it really means for all of us and what the consequences are for the Nordic and Baltic countries,” says Olga Jóhannesson, the woman behind the documentary series ‘Women in War’. She’s chosen to use her voice in the hope that it can contribute to peace and understanding, and so have the other women participating in the documentary:  

  • Johanna-Maria Lehtme – founder of an NGO that provides medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the worst affected areas and battlefields in eastern Ukraine.   
  • Olga Dragileva – journalist and chat show host on Latvian television. She has insight into the prevailing media propaganda. 
  • Olga Gladchuk, married to a Ukrainian man. Together they live in Sweden with their little boy.   
  • Irina Nielsen – lives in Denmark but is from Moscow. She tells us what it’s like to be Russian in the Nordic Region in these times.  


Regional co-operation in the Nordic Region

The documentary series ‘Women in War’ is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, with the intention of supporting democratic development and civil resilience in the Baltic Sea area. The Nordic Council of Ministers has recently funded a further 26 initiatives within the area of regional co-operation in the Nordic Region. This includes journalism and media co-operation between the Nordic and Baltic countries, projects relating to children and young people, as well as co-operation on sustainability and the integration of refugees from Ukraine.