Seven-year-old Karolina performs the piano on the Ukraine Home cultural heart in america capital, poking at keys, swinging her sneakers beneath. She could possibly be any little one enjoying the piano — besides the legs swinging beneath the bench are prosthetic.
Karolina misplaced her legs final fall in a Russian attack on the Ukrainian metropolis of Nikopol and got here to america to obtain remedy.
Sitting with Karolina is Ukraine’s ambassador to america, Oksana Markarova, who helped organize the younger lady’s care.
Visits like these at the moment are typical for the wartime ambassador.
“It’s operating a marathon and simply doing each day no matter you are able to do, with a view to transfer our nation a bit of bit nearer to the victory,” Markarova advised CNN on the Ukrainian Embassy late final month. “It’s positively a really troublesome, very demanding expertise.”
This month marks two years since Markarova grew to become ambassador. She was lower than a 12 months into her put up when Russian chief Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
“We had been getting ready for it,” she recalled. “We knew that the intent to assault us was there, however you by no means utterly consider till, sadly, one thing horrific like warfare occurs.”
Markarova stated that for the primary couple of months of the warfare she would get up and surprise if it was a foul dream.
“Everybody in Ukraine, in fact, it’s harder for them,” she acknowledged. “As I say all the time, the bombs should not falling on us right here – however we work actually 24/7 since February 24, and we are going to proceed working like that till we win.”
Throughout Washington: Today, a lot of Markarova’s time is spent outdoors the embassy, shuttling between numerous authorities companies round Washington.
On a latest automobile experience from the Capitol to the Commerce Division for a type of conferences, Markarova famous the vehicles she makes use of have turn into “a second workplace.”
“That is the place I put together between the conferences, drive round in all places,” she advised CNN from the again seat.
The previous non-public fairness affiliate stated she shouldn’t be solely engaged on securing military aid from Congress but additionally in search of help from American corporations and entities as Ukraine begins rebuilding.
Whereas Home Republicans are divided over helping Ukraine, Markarova stated she doesn’t see a distinction with the chamber’s new GOP majority. She conceded, nonetheless, that there are members she has to “speak to extra.”
Markarova hopes the burgeoning political debate won’t weaken help general.