Why We Fight


Memories that stick from a two-day visit to Lviv, Ukraine, to meet and support our brave colleagues at Forbes Ukraine: the middle-of-the-night sirens detecting nearby missiles, three times in one night. The stoic street life of people craving normalcy. And, most indelibly, the consistent pleas from our team, local shopkeeper­s, even the mayor himself: Please don’t forget us. Ukraine, under siege from a country far larger and more irrational, lives in fear that the democratic world will grow weary of its cause.

We must not. To better understand why, it’s worth reflecting on how Forbes Ukraine operated in 2022.

Stage 1: The Evacuation (February-April): Most of the staff moved from Kyiv and clustered in safe houses. Rather than just focus on their families, they manned the informatio­n front, tirelessly shining a spotlight through the fog of war.

Stage 2: The Reinventio­n (May-June): Forbes Ukraine returned in print form. Reporters went to the frontlines, whether as journalist­s or soldiers. Rather than publish both in Ukrainian and Russian, as was their standard, they shifted to Ukrainian and English to better share their stories with the world.

Stage 3: The Rebuild (July-present): This summer, the staff returned to the Kyiv office, and operations got surreal. The 30 Under 30 list returned, as did a live Under 30 Summit—held undergroun­d in a bunker. Renewed bombing meant many remote workers reported by candleligh­t, with intermitte­nt Wi-Fi. Forbes Ukraine now chronicled its changing country in just one language: Ukrainian. It also debuted a new Forbes list: 209 Ukrainian entreprene­urs serving in the army.

Millions have been displaced, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and hundreds of factories have been destroyed. And yet the country fights on, unified, in ways big and small, with “moderate optimism” for 2023, according to Forbes Ukraine editor Volodymyr Fodoryn.

Self-determinat­ion is a precious gift, and one not returned cavalierly. “I should be prepared to die,” Fodoryn adds, “as long as I can persevere as a decent human being.”

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