“There aren’t enough tears anymore”

The Blast interviewed Igor Novikovformer adviser to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to hear his unique perspective on the current crisis in Ukraine. Novikov, who holds a law degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial and political perspectives to the dialogue on innovation in Eastern Europe.

In the second article on Ukraine, Novikov spoke about the ongoing animal crisis in Ukraine.

Igor Novikov asks for help with food and pet supplies amid the current crisis in Ukraine


Novikov called it “one of the most heartbreaking sides” of the whole situation. He pointed to heartbreaking photos of Kiev train station that have gone viral online. In the photographs, the refugees left behind small cages with their dogs, cats and other animals as they fled their homes to escape invading Russian military forces.

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“There is a shortage of pet food in Ukraine,” he continued. “That’s one of the things that you, if you want to help us in a humanitarian way, also don’t forget about our pets. I have two dogs and two cats and I’ve made the decision that if ever I had to move, they would move with me no matter the cost or the problem.

In a photograph shared by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Instagram, a woman could be seen rescuing disabled dogs from a shelter in Irpin, located in the Kyiv region. The photo had followers around the world jostling for more updates on the plight of people’s pets.

“It’s heartbreaking,” added Novikov.

Igor Novikov describes animals suffering in Kiev zoos

A family of Sumatran tigers at ZSL London Zoo for Chinese New Year

Although many photos of pets have gone viral online, animal lovers have not forgotten the many animals that still remain in zoos across Ukraine.

“Two of the tragedies we are witnessing are happening in our Kiev zoos,” he continued. “We have a state-run zoo in the center of Kiev, which is doing a little better and [there has] same [been] few animal births since the beginning of the war.

“And there is a private zoo north of Kyiv which is currently in the middle of the war zone,” he continued. “The owner and manager are actually yelling, you know, every day, saying ‘We need diesel and pet food’ because they have a lot of animals. It’s a huge zoo. and amazing and, you know, they are starving, from lack of heat… for these animals that need it.

“But, at the same time, the real tragedy here is that you can’t really talk about it as much as you would bring up the human side of the tragedy because I can’t shout to the world that a couple of lions are dying … of starvation if yesterday in Mariupol a six-year-old girl died of dehydration because Russian forces surrounded the city and did not let in any humanitarian aid.

“There are no longer enough tears for the animals”

“We are in 2022,” he said. “It’s not like it’s 1355. In European countries, a six-year-old girl dies of dehydration. There are no longer enough tears for the animals and that is the real tragedy. It’s one of the tragedies we’re going to face when it’s all over, because it’s still going to catch up with us.

“The adrenaline will go away, we will mourn the dead, and then daily we will see something else that has been demolished or destroyed or lost,” he added.

In another viral photograph, a man returned to his destroyed house in his hometown of Markhalivka in the Kyiv region. Unfortunately, the man’s wife, daughter, two sons-in-law and mother-in-law were killed. However, he managed to find his beloved cat, Marsik, still alive in the rubble of his old home.

If you are able to donate time, money, or supplies, please visit World Central Kitchen or check out this list of reputable organizations. Also be sure to watch Igor Novikov’s first interview, where he reveals an amazing find he made in a Kyiv supermarket while discussing the food shortage in Ukraine.

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