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Tag: Ukraine

Ukraine’s schools are now under fire

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused damage well beyond the front line. This is especially clear in Ukraine’s schools, which are now poorly equipped to educate the country’s youth. New investment is needed to make sure today’s pupils do not become a lost generation.

January 11, 2023 - Maksym Korodenko

“We have never been stronger”: A first-hand report from Ukraine

Now faced with fighting a war through a brutal winter, Ukraine should appear exhausted, weary and ready to give in. However, such a pessimistic view remains far from the truth. Speaking to people on the ground, it is clear that such suffering has only made the Ukrainians more determined to win.

January 3, 2023 - Joshua Kroeker

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s presidency and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war

This special series of IEŚ Policy Papers is the result of a collaboration between the Institute of Central Europe in Lublin, New Eastern Europe magazine and international researchers from Ukraine and Poland. Available for download.

December 28, 2022 - Adam Reichardt Tomasz Stępniewski

War is difficult and painful. How are Ukrainians managing the heavy psychological stress?

Not only Ukrainian frontline soldiers will be in need of psychological support during and after the ongoing war. A national programme focusing on mental health for the home front is currently being developed under the patronage of the president's wife.

December 20, 2022 - Nazariy Vivcharik

End of an era. Three scenarios for the future of Russia-West relations

Understanding the future of relations between Russia and the West depends largely on how the war in Ukraine plays out. In this way, three possible scenarios need to be examined: a Ukrainian victory, a Russian victory, and a long, drawn-out stalemate.

Putin’s genocidal war against Ukraine has fundamentally changed Russia’s relationship with the collective West, making a return to any form of partnership impossible for the foreseeable future. It would be hard to envisage western governments dealing with the current Putin regime in Moscow as long as it remains in power and refuses to accept responsibility for its war crimes and crimes against humanity (and the damages it has inflicted on Ukrainian infrastructure).

December 8, 2022 - Tony van der Togt

Russia-Ukraine: Only one will remain

The Russo-Ukrainian War, which on February 24th 2022 transitioned from a hybrid phase to full-scale conventional war, is not only attracting the attention of the whole world. It also gives us reason to think about what the configuration of relations between the two states will be after the end of the war – a war in which only one of the states may have a chance to survive intact.

The ideological underpinnings of the Russo-Ukrainian War are contradictory. On the one hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin published his article “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians” last summer, which was filled with amateur arguments about the Ukrainians’ lack of right to their own statehood. On the other hand, on February 24th 2022, Putin, among other things, declared the need for the "denazification of Ukraine", though he failed to find an adequate explanation for this thesis. Official Russian ideology allows for combining the rhetoric of a “fraternal people” with the “Nazi regime that prevails in Ukraine”.

December 8, 2022 - Yevhen Magda

Russia’s closure of the Jewish Sochnut agency reveals its true identity policy

On July 27th 2022, the Russian ministry of justice sued the Russian branch of the Sochnut Jewish Agency – an important non-profit which assists Jewish communities around the world. The recent repression of this Jewish organisation seriously contradicts Russia’s own claims that Ukrainians are Nazis who do not tolerate any other nations and cultures.

By the time Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, entered office in the spring of 2019, Ukraine’s prime minister was Volodymyr Groysman. This meant that the country’s two most powerful positions were occupied by Ukrainians with Jewish roots for the first time in the history of modern Ukraine. At the same time, Russia’s state propaganda continued to come up with more nonsense allegations that Ukraine was controlled by far-right Nazis.

December 7, 2022 - Vladyslav Faraponov

Inaction is something we cannot tolerate

An interview with Oksana Bulda and Liza Bezvershenko from “Promote Ukraine”, a Brussels-based media platform for expertise and civil society initiatives in Ukraine and the EU. Interviewer: Agnieszka Widłaszewska

AGNIESZKA WIDŁASZEWSKA: How was Promote Ukraine (PU) established back in 2014 and what kind of activities has it been focusing on since then?

OKSANA BULDA: After the war started in Ukraine in 2014, there was a need to create a Ukrainian hub, so to say, to promote Ukrainian interests and share information about all of the developments related to the situation in Ukraine. At first, it was perceived more as a diaspora organisation but with time, given that Brussels is the heart of Europe, there was a need to launch wider activity. PU went through many transformations.

December 7, 2022 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska Liza Bezvershenko Oksana Bulda

Despite the war, Ukraine’s courts continue to function

An interview with Bohdan Monich, chairman of the Ukrainian Council of Judges. Interviewer: Serhiy Bosak

December 7, 2022 - Bohdan Monich Serhiy Bosak

Ukraine’s defiance goes beyond the battlefield

Poetry may not have the power to stop Russian missile strikes but Ukraine’s literary festival season, which carried on in spite of the horrors of war, became a testament to the importance of defending culture during the invasion. After all, the Russians have been very clear that they do not recognise the Ukrainian identity.

In Chernivtsi, a small Western Ukrainian city located on the border with Romania, September begins with poetry. Artists from throughout Ukraine and all over the world have been gathering there for the past 13 years during the annual Meridian Czernowitz Festival. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this year’s festival was different, and, in the words of Meridian’s chief editor Evgenia Lopata, “a small miracle”.

December 7, 2022 - Kate Tsurkan

The best story: The Ukrainian past in Zelenskyy’s words and the eyes of the public

In the current Russian war in Ukraine, history and the historical narratives underpinning the conflict are featuring front and centre. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has been very effective in his use of historical references, especially when addressing international audiences.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent fighting in that country have been accompanied by an avalanche of historical rhetoric from both sides, underlining just how important narratives about the past are for this conflict. As Joseph Nye reminds us: “Conventional wisdom has always held that the state with the largest military prevails, but in the information age it may be the state (or non-states) with the best story that wins.”

December 7, 2022 - Félix Krawatzek George Soroka

What the past is for. Polish-Ukrainian memory politics and Putin’s war

Despite contentious differences in memory, Polish-Ukrainian relations have remained close and notably strong in important national moments. This reflects two aspects of Polish society: a generation of youth acclimated to supporting Ukrainian sovereignty with compassion, and a national memory politics which allows humanitarianism, but only when it fits into a politically suitable narrative.

In 2003 the Polish philosopher and historian of ideas Leszek Kołakowski gave a speech at the American Library of Congress titled, “What the Past is For”. Kołakowski believed that history serves not to predict the future nor to gain technical advice on how to deal with the present, but to discover the values constitutive of human identities. He told his listeners that “to say that [the events of the past] do not matter to our lives would be almost as silly as saying that it would not matter to me if I were suddenly to erase from my memory my own past personal life … The history of past generations is our history, and we need to know it in order to be aware of our identity; in the same sense in which my own memory builds my personal identity, makes me a human subject.”

December 7, 2022 - Daniel Edison

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