The UP Faculty of Law received a special token of gratitude. The commander of the tank battalion of the 128th Transcarpathian Brigade presented the faculty a Ukrainian national flag with a personal dedication and thanks for the faculty’s material assistance to Ukrainian civilians and soldiers. The flag was brought from the centre of Bakhmut, where fierce fighting continues, by Vasyl Kapustey, a law student who has been helping his native Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
A material collection took place at the law faculty in November 2022, with the bulk of it heading to Bakhmut in the northern Donetsk region in mid-December. “Our original plan was to give material aid to refugees in western Ukraine. But the soldiers came with an offer – to take us directly to Bakhmut with all the items. When we arrived there, the humanitarian aid warehouse was completely empty. The things we brought – a generator, clothes, hygienic items, food – were distributed and gone in no time,” said Kapustey during his meeting with the dean of the faculty, Václav Stehlík.
He spread the yellow and blue flag out in the Dean’s Office and explained its origin. “The 128th Transcarpathian Brigade has these flags made in the city of Dnipro. Then they raise them in liberated villages and towns.” Commander Andriy Bazyuk added a personal thank you note to the flag for the Olomouc Faculty of Law. “I helped him write it in Czech,” Kapustey admitted, adding that Lieutenant Colonel Bazyuk also has a personal connection to Olomouc, having once worked here.
“It is a great honour for us to receive this flag from the battle line. I am not afraid to say that this is a historic moment for the faculty. We will not raise it, however, so that it does not get damaged. We will certainly find a dignified place for it,” said Dean Stehlík. He assured Kapustey that the academic community would not stop observing the events in Ukraine and that the faculty was ready to continue helping.
The meeting was also attended by Naděžda Šišková, head of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the UP Faculty of Law, who is personally involved in helping Ukraine, and Alla Fedorova, an academic from the UP’s partner institution, the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, who is now working at the UP Faculty of Law. “We can be proud of our students such as Vasyl who are so helping, so brave, and always ready to go to the frontline. I perceive the flag as a symbol that each of us can contribute to help Ukraine," said Šišková. She noted that the centre she heads is now preparing an online conference at Shevchenko University to mark the one-year anniversary since Ukraine received its EU candidate status.
Student Kapustey has been helping Ukraine since the early days of the war. On the Znesnáze21 platform, he set up a fundraiser to support the 128th Transcarpathian Brigade, and now the 24th Lviv Brigade has been added. And it is a very successful fundraiser. In less than a year, they have managed to raise almost €320,000 from thousands of donors. Kapustey is going to bring more aid and equipment to soldiers and civilians in Ukraine in mid-February. “We would like to visit Bakhmut again, but according to the latest news, this will probably not be possible. We will see what we can do. I am in contact with Commander Bazyuk on a daily basis.” Kapustey’s parents are helping him with his activities in support of Ukraine, as well as his law school classmate Andrej Poleščuk.