Veronika Shchiptsova, head of the National Committee for the Miss Ukraine beauty pageant, is in disbelief over the horror her war-torn country and its civilians are facing at the hands of Russian soldiers and their President Vladimir Putin.
As the head of Ukraine‘s annual beauty contest, Shchiptsova efforts effort charitable and social initiatives and cultural projects with her team. But over the last two weeks, the committee leader has been focused on what her team can do to help innocent civilians whose lives have been threatened, and even worse, taken.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Shchiptsova condemned Russia’s “full-scale war.”
“On the 24 of February, the Russian military forces invaded the territory of the Ukrainian sovereign state. A full-scale war began,” Shchiptsova said. “We, as a team of the National Committee of Miss Ukraine, like millions of Ukrainian people, slept peacefully at our beds. The bombing attack took place in many regions of Ukraine at the same time. Airports, residential buildings, central squares, hospitals, kindergartens were destroyed, and the destruction continues. I emphasize, a full-scale shameful war is being held in Ukraine, started by Russian Federation for no reason.”The Miss Ukraine contest’s national committee leader went on to share the horrific scenes hundreds of thousands in the country are witnessing.
“This war has indications of genocide. Peaceful people die every day, common citizens of cities and towns are shelled around the clock by missiles, bombed from planes and simply shot in the streets by the Russian occupiers when they manage to enter Ukrainian settlements,” she continued.
“It is impossible to believe, but occupiers are firing rockets at even a maternity hospital, the last medicines and food are taken away from the elderly.”
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has forced civilians with no prior military experience with the unfathomable decision of taking up arms. Meanwhile, the United Nations estimated Tuesday that more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the onset of the Russian invasion. All the while, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been dubbed a hero from all corners of the world for joining the fight.
The fearlessness of Ukrainians is not lost on Shchiptsova.
“Our defenders are selflessly fighting for Ukraine, its European choice and democratic values at the cost of their own lives,” she said. “We realize that no one will fight the aggressor instead of us.”
Still, the National Committee of Miss Ukraine leader went on to share how those watching around the world can do their part to help her country. She asks for onlookers to condemn Putin and speak out against the Russian “propaganda.”
“We call to the whole civilized world. You can provide humanitarian aid, by all possible means to spread the truth about this terrible war, about the real aggressor, you can persuade citizens in their countries to protest against the war, if you have friends or acquaintances in Russia, tell them the truth,” Shchiptsova asked. “Unfortunately, most of them are completely zombied by propaganda that can be envied even by the heroes of Orwell’s famous novel. You can ask your governments to provide us with technical equipment and financial assistance.”
Right now, Shchiptsova said the most necessary thing is to “close the airspace, because the greatest losses the aggressor inflicts due to criminal bombing and rocket fire from the sky.”
“Ukraine and its people are heroically fighting with the renaissance of fascism in the person of Russian troops and personally their commander. If we don’t stop these scoundrels, the war can go to Europe,” she warned. “There is no need to harbor illusions about the real intentions of the Putin regime.”
In a message to Americans, Shchiptsova asked that “truthful information” about the war be spread.
“This can help stop the escalation and protect the civilians of our country. Only with such informational support Europe, together with the United States, will close the sky over Ukraine,” she continued.
Ultimately, Shchiptsova said her vision of an ideal outcome for Ukraine is the “immediate end” of the war.
“The end of the Russian aggression, and the Hague tribunal for all those involved in the Ukrainian genocide,” she said.
As the head of the Miss Ukraine contest, Shchiptsova said she has requested support from other international beauty contests. She’s also hoping the next Miss Ukraine pageant “will take place in peaceful conditions on the territory of the sovereign Ukraine.”
On Tuesday, Veronika Didusenko, who was crowned Miss Ukraine in 2018, appeared with women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred at a news conference in which she described her harrowing journey of fleeing Ukraine with her son amid Putin’s war.
U.S. officials have estimated that more than 3,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine, about one for every 300 in Russia’s active-duty military.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that “Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol.”