IDM Director Sebastian Schäffer at Cafe Kyiv in Berlin

On 19 February, shortly before entering the third year of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the second edition of Cafe Kyiv was organised by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Berlin. Already in 2023, the historic Cafe Moskau in the Eastern part of the German capital city was renamed to Cafe Kyiv for a day. Something that could become permanent, whcih was mentioned by the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany during the opening to the Mayor of Berlin, who was also present. This time the location was the even more historic Colosseum, a cinema located in Prenzlauer Berg. Around 5000 visitors participated in political discussions, contributed to charity at a pop-up market, engaged in workshops, watched films, and enjoyed fashion, art as well as Ukrainian cuisine. More than 100 partners implemented 120 program items on 10 stages – all named after Ukrainian cities. IDM Director Sebastian Schäffer was among the 260 speakers. On the Odesa stage, he presented his edited book “Ukraine in Central and Eastern Europe” but also talked about “Dilemma of Simultaneity 2.0: Ukraine’s Integration and the EU’s Future”. The panel titled “Can Ukraine Resist the Russian Assault? Answers from New Studies of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs” was organised by the publisher ibidem and moderated by IDM IC Member Andreas Umland. While on stage – located in the hallway of the cinema next to the stairs on the second floor – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a surprise visit. The whole day was packed with interesting exchanges on ond off the stages transporting the overall motto, the famous saying of the first German Federal Chancellor and namesake of the organising foundation: “Wir wählen die Freiheit (We choose freedom)”. 

Photo credit: Sebastian Schäffer/Christian Schön 


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