PHOTO: Camilla Mortensen
Dr. Kateryna Polianska returned home to Kyiv last month, following a three-month ELAW Fellowship designed to help her team at Environment People Law respond to environmental threats posed by the Russian invasion.
Between meetings with staff and experts from around the world; field trips in Oregon, Alaska, and California; classes at the American English Institute; and the constant worry about friends and family back home; Kateryna barely had time to catch her breath.
But ELAW Fellows need their down time!
Kateryna has a doctorate in physical geography and also loves to ride horses. In April, I introduced Kateryna to horse lover Camilla Mortensen, the Editor of Eugene Weekly.
Camilla and Kateryna became fast friends during several visits to stables near Eugene to ride a horse named Noodle.
After the Russian invasion, Kateryna found assistance transporting hay and apples to feed her horse and other horses in Kyiv, and constantly worried about missile strikes on stables close to the front line.
Camilla recently blogged about her time with Kateryna in The Chronicle of the Horse in an essay titled: “Horses Help Assuage The Stresses Of War For Ukrainian Scientist In Oregon.”
“You know that feeling you get when you hop on a horse and just for a bit leave the weight of the world behind? Now picture worrying about your horse, your family, your friends, your very country in the middle of a war, and letting that weight drop for just a moment while you canter around in the sun on a funny little horse named Noodle.”
I learned many things about Kateryna, including the fact that she sidelines as a Cossack rider!
Read more here about Kateryna, her love of horses, and her good work protecting the environment through law under extremely challenging conditions in Ukraine.
P.S. Yesterday, the Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group published a report by Kateryna titled “Animal Victims of War” with disturbing details about the situation in Ukraine, and information about programs for animal protection, evacuation, rehabilitation, and family reunification.