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10 June 2020

Nothing is final, as long as we are alive

These words highlight life and work of Iryna Bekeshkina. She is a symbol of objective Ukrainian sociology. She contributed herself to development of Ukrainian democracy and civil society. Until the last day Bekeshkina was with us and conducted surveys, events; she was full of new ideas and plans.

Iryna Bekeshkina passed away on March 20, 2020. Despite hard struggle with cancer, according to her close relatives and friends, she remained optimistic until the very end.

Bekeshkina had a lot of plans. She wanted to finish an article for the Institute of Sociology, where she worked as a senior researcher. New projects at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, meetings, conferences, polls, broadcasts, participation in the international events – and everything has gone in a blink of an eye.

Her sudden passing came as a shock not only to those who knew or worked with her. Friends, community activists, fellow sociologists, students, politicians, and heads of state, international experts, and ordinary people expressed their condolences.

Ilko Kucheriv and Iryna Bekeshkina together with the Democratic Initiatives Foundation have done so much to shape open and honest public opinion in Ukraine. If they hadn’t committed themselves, we would be unable to see what it means to have fair and free democratic elections and how does the accountable authorities look like. People all over the country listened to her and recognized her.

Yevhen Bystritskiy, philosopher, public activist

Iryna’s principled civic stance and honesty guaranteed people’s trust in the results of the projects in which she participated. She was an example that many people followed, and her active advocacy work supported public confidence in sociological research.

Volodymyr Paniotto, sociologist

I was often asked when there will be a new “Democratic Initiatives” poll because people trusted Bekeshkina. Iryna is unique: unlike other good sociologists, she was able to make complicated scientific things simple for understanding. She worked actively in the public sector. She had clear values ​​- Ukraine, European Integration, democracy.

Oleksiy Haran, political scientist, Head of Research, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation

It is a huge loss for Ukrainian sociology and civil society. Thank you for your dedicated work, clarity of life mission, and our invaluable shared experience.

Olexander Sushko, expert, public activist

I can’t believe it. She was childishly simple, straightforward, and incredibly unpretentious in her everyday life. At the same time, she was a professional in love with sociology. A wonderful woman who put her organization and profession above all.

Olha Aivazovska, expert, public activist

The team of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, together with fellow sociologists and representatives of public organizations, are going to create a Book of Memory about this outstanding Ukrainian woman. We are also initiating process to rename one of the Kyiv’s streets after her. The memory of our director will always live in our hearts!

Yurii Horban, Press Secretary, Democratic Initiatives Foundation