Reunited with family and helping to develop Ukraine’s chemical industry

Volodymyr Buryanov is the lab head at Enamine in Kyiv. Immediately after the full-scale Russian invasion his family went abroad. He remained in Ukraine; Enamine briefly shut down but resumed operations once Russian troops were repelled from the outskirts of Kyiv

Volodymyr Buryanov

Volodymyr Buryanov

Source: © Sam Kerr @ Début Art

Our life changed radically over the past year, just as for all Ukrainians. The most important thing is that my family is back in Ukraine and we are now living together at home. I keep working at Enamine, and preparing for the viva for my PhD thesis that I was working on last February and put on hold.

The air raid sirens affect when I go to work. If they begin first thing in the morning, then I stay home. We sit under the stairs in the house with my son. When everything is over we restart work, and we need to work harder than ever before since we need to donate money to support the Ukrainian Armed forces and other charities.

I’m really amazed by how Enamine is managing it all as we don’t really feel many changes. The company is working at its full capacity. We work regardless of blackouts. During the air raid sirens, those who want can go to the bomb shelter. We work with high-pressure reactors, often jokingly called bombs. So, we are not so afraid of bombs from outside. Sometimes we can keep working even during the air alert.

I was offered a job abroad. Men cannot leave Ukraine officially, but that is not the main reason I’m not considering those offers. I’d like to live in Ukraine and grow professionally in Ukraine. I want my kids to grow up in Ukraine.

When the full-scale Russian invasion was looming, my son would say, ‘we’ll go to England since we know English.’ But now, when I say, ‘So, son, are we gonna go to England?’ He says, ‘No, I’d like to live here because I’m Ukrainian.’ I don’t really want to go anywhere. I would really like to be here and develop science in Ukraine. Without science, the development of the chemical industry is impossible.

This article is based on an interview performed by Anastasia Klimash