сivic leaders
at war

The Culture Fights Back project to share stories of artists and civil society representatives who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The heroes of this section themselves went through the Revolution experiencing and personally participating in building the Ukrainian state after the Revolution of Dignity. Moreover, they took up arms in order to defend their country.

Lesya Ganzha

Lesya Ganzha is a Ukrainian journalist and editor-in-chief of the Access to the Truth website. After the Russian invasion of 2022, she joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense Force.

Working as a journalist in the Ukrainian mass media since 1997, Lesya has published texts in Ukrainian Pravda, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia and Telekritika. She was also a cultural columnist and spokesperson for the Ukrainian Lviv Publishers’ Forum book fair. Lesya took an active part in the revolutions of 2004 and 2014, writing reports from the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone in wartorn Donbass, and the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine from 2014 to 2022. For many years, she was the editor-in-chief of the women’s leadership platform Women are 50% of Success. In the Human Rights Platform NGO, Lesya Ganzha manages the Access to the Truth website, which combines news media regarding the access of public information in Ukraine with a service for processing information requests.

Lesya finds it difficult to adapt to the military lifestyle. In civilian life, she used to decide what to do and which tasks to perform; the situation in the military is the opposite. As part of the Territorial Defense, Lesya Ganzha makes an effort to feel useful: “Why did I join the Kyiv Territorial Defense Forces? I thought that with being in the military, I would have more information, and would understand more about what is happening. But these are mutually exclusive things – war, and the ability to understand what is happening. During the war, no one can really understand what is happening. It’s just pure, irrational evil.” 

Lesya Ganzha Facebook-page