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Tag: Ukraine

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

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

Why Russia has very little to offer

Driven by an imperial vision, Russia has always thought of itself as the centre of an empire. After all, it has often ruled over a huge multinational territory and was always militarily stronger than the people who inhabited its sphere of influence. The golden rule for any state holding an imperial vision of inter-state relations is to present itself as the “saviour” of others, and Russia is no exception.

To understand alliances and partnerships, as well as rivalries and conflicts between countries, we often refer to geopolitics and its rules. Attention to the geographical, historical, demographic and economic factors that influence relations between states must not, however, let us forget about the people on the ground. Any alliance or partnership of countries within a sphere of influence should be based on mutual gains for all human beings. Otherwise, it is logical, as well as legitimate, for people to try to circumvent and override the rules of geopolitics. This is exactly what is happening in Russia's European neighbourhood.

April 25, 2022 - Tatevik Hovhannisyan Tiziano Marino

Learning “history” with Putin

On February 21st, ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin delivered a state-wide history lesson on national television. Since then, the country’s youth has become a key target group for state propaganda. School education has often been considered an effective vehicle for perpetuating and disseminating Russian state propaganda among these young impressionable minds.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th with Putin’s announcement of a “special military operation”. His announcement followed a speech he made on February 21st, in which he outlined his justifications for the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions’ independence. He took his audience on a bizarre “history lesson”, first outlining the country’s founding, when Russia was more commonly associated with Kyivan Rus’ (yet Putin often omits the “Kyivan” aspect).

April 25, 2022 - Allyson Edwards

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