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Tag: Ukraine at war

Did Ukraine’s civil society help turn back the Russians?

Much has been said about the Ukrainian military’s impressive performance on the battlefield. However, this would not be possible without the army of volunteers behind the front line. This active civic spirit will play a key role in determining the country’s future.

May 4, 2022 - Eric Martin Kateryna Zarembo

The Ukrainian electric power industry on the front line: challenges and opportunities ahead

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has directly threatened the operation and future of the country’s energy industry. Despite this, the ongoing challenges faced by the sector and opportunities that opened up may make it more resilient and adaptable in the long run.

May 3, 2022 - Ruslan Kermach

What next after two months of war?

The war in Ukraine is now entering a new phase. Whilst Russia has previously attempted to gain control over entire Ukraine and occupy the capital Kyiv, it is now focused on achieving a narrower “victory” in the Donbas. The outcome of fighting in this region will prove decisive as to the future of the war and to European security more broadly.

April 28, 2022 - Andrii Dligach Mychailo Wynnyckyj Valerii Pekar

Russia is really not in a position to challenge the West and expand this war

An interview with Curtis Michael "Mike" Scaparrotti, a retired United States Army four-star general who served as the Commander of United States European Command and as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Interviewer: Vazha Tavberidze The war in Ukraine has entered its third month without a clear end in sight. The first phase of the conflict has come to an end with Russia’s withdrawal from its northern offensive and seemingly new objectives to focus more on the east and south of Ukraine. Aleksandr Dvornikov, the Russian general known as the butcher of Aleppo and Grozny, has been appointed the new supreme commander for Russia’s operations. At the same time, the West continues its steadfast support of Ukraine with new shipments of heavy defensive and offensive weapons. How will these new developments affect the state of the war? Georgian journalist Vazha Tavberidze recently sat down with retired US General Curtis “Mike” Caparrotti for his assessment.

April 27, 2022 - Curtis Scaparrotti Vazha Tavberidze

Time to look into the mirror

The argument that NATO provoked Russia is an obvious example of Moscow’s narrative being regurgitated in mainstream western media. The truth is, however, that we did not take enough action. This is what ultimately encouraged Putin to act in such a brutal manner.

April 25, 2022 - New Eastern Europe

War diaries from Kyiv

Since the start of the war, journalist Andrey Kirillov found himself in Kyiv. He began documenting his daily experiences through his war diaries. We publish several excerpts from his diary here.

Day one
The editorial office where I am now writing this is located in a residential building. The grocery store in this building is the only one in the whole block that is open today. This is a luxurious district that used to be noisy, with crowds of citizens, young people and tourists walking around. Now, these streets are nearly deserted. Expensive clothes shops, restaurants, coffee shops and barbershops are all closed. But what is important are the people who have gathered around that open store. It is in the basement of the residential building. An old man is sleeping in the corner. Children are riding about on office chairs. Their mothers are having tea that they pour into cups. Fathers are smoking at the entrance. All of them are using this space as a bomb shelter.

April 25, 2022 - Andrey Kirillov

#UkraineUnderFire: A war diary

Imke Hansen is an international peace worker at the Sievierodonetsk field office of the Ukrainian NGO Vostok SOS. Together with her colleague Maksim, she has established a trauma-informed training system for war-affected people in the Luhansk region. She has shared her diary of the first weeks with us.

February 17th 2022
In the morning, the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska was shelled. When Maksim told me, it felt like a punch in the gut. During the past two days, we had breathed a little sigh of relief; the diplomatic appeasements to Russia seemed to be working. Today's sudden shelling along the entire frontline exposed this as an illusion, as Russian disinformation policy. At noon, a school director called to request psychological help for the younger schoolchildren. There had been shelling there as well. In the past weeks, we already expected something to come.

April 25, 2022 - Imke Hansen

New habits of wartime: A view from the rear

It has been scientifically proven that 21 days are needed to form and strengthen a new habit. Unfortunately, Russia’s war against Ukraine has been going on long enough to force Ukrainians to adopt new habits. What are these habits and how do Ukrainians live in the relatively safe regions in the rear of the fighting?

Are Ukrainians used to the fact that there is a war in their state? How can one get used to war? Is it like going through all the stages of the Kübler-Ross model of grief, from denial through to anger, bargaining, depression and finally to acceptance? Actually, no. Every day, it is difficult to immediately know what the date or day of the week is without thinking. But we do know what day of the war it is exactly. Early in the morning of February 24th, a completely new calendar and way to tell time began for Ukrainians.

April 25, 2022 - Maria Protsiuk

Putin’s biggest mistake

I left behind the city I was born in, where I learnt to ride a bike and ice skate, where I finished school and where I had my first kiss. There, I also left my ambitions, my plans and a part of my soul.

I did not believe that this war would take place up until the very last moment. All arguments, expert opinions and pure logic had convinced me that it would not reach Kyiv. Yet, it did. It destroyed my life on February 24th at five o’clock in the morning. The worst part was the first phone call I received about half an hour later. It was my dad, who only said, “Pack up your stuff”. This meant that everything that was written in the media was real. It was not a dream, not a fantasy but my life here and now. This was my life, with Russian rockets that were destroying not only the nearby airport but also my future.

April 25, 2022 - Zoriana Varenia

The news of the invasion was like a bomb

A conversation with Pedro Caldeira Rodrigues, Portuguese journalist. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

IWONA REICHARDT: You went to Kyiv to do reporting for the Portuguese Press Agency LUSA just a few days before the war started. Can you tell me what was your assessment of the situation then? Did you have a sense that such a large invasion was about to take place?

PEDRO CALDEIRA RODRIGUES: None of the people I interviewed right before the war, including commentators and analysts, believed that there would be a large invasion of Ukraine. Some indeed said that the Russian troops could start a small operation in Donbas aimed at achieving the recognition of the separatist republics, but nobody expected what we are seeing right now. As you know, this was not my first visit to Ukraine.

April 25, 2022 - Iwona Reichardt Pedro Caldeira Rodrigues

Waiting for Fortinbras

A conversation with Oksana Zabuzhko, a Ukrainian writer and intellectual. Interviewer: Adam Balcer

ADAM BALCER: We are speaking in Warsaw after the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. This attack is in fact an escalation of a conflict that has been going on for the last eight years now. After the outbreak of a war we often hear questions as to whether or not it could have been prevented. Could we have stopped the aggressor in this case?

OKSANA ZABUZHKO: When it comes to Russia and its aggressive policy towards Ukraine I have been asking this question not for the last eight years but much longer. Back in the 1990s, I was an optimist and I was convinced that the world was going in the right direction. Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the “end of history” and the West had won the Cold War. It was believed that from now on we would only be getting richer and live in prosperity.

April 25, 2022 - Adam Balcer Oksana Zabuzhko

Ukrainian territorial defence: how regular city dwellers will vanquish the fierce Russian bear

A conversation with Roman and Iryna, officers of the territorial defence in Kyiv. Interviewer: Andrii Horobchuk

Territorial defence units have played a big role in repelling the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The units, made up of volunteer local residents and led by military professionals, regularly confront Russian troops. They are very successful at this. They neutralise Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups, destroy Russian infantry units and seize and blow up Russian tanks and artillery.

April 25, 2022 - Andrii Horobchuk

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