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  • Writer's pictureMariah Nimmons

Contemplations On Home

A NOTE: Our Russia-Ukraine Resources are updated weekly - if you're accessing the page a week or more past the below date, pieces mentioned in this post may have been removed to make room for up-to-date resources.

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Updated Resources - January 3, 2024

Families live in bomb shelter in Donetsk (UNICEF Ukraine from Kyiv, Ukraine, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)



Ukrainians are fleeing Russian aggression. Przemyśl, Poland. (Mirek Pruchnicki from Przemyśl, Sanok, Polska, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


In addition to our weekly resource update, today we also offer an updated collection of pieces on the Israeli-Hamas war.

2024 is upon us. The new year brings news of the largest prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine since the start of the war, continued and mounting concerns in Ukraine over direly needed international support for the war effort, renewed scrutiny on the coming election in Russia, and murmurs abroad about possible avenues to ending the war.

For the fortunate, this season customarily marks a time of friendship, family, tradition, and peace. This year, with so many in our network enduring conflict and displacement, our reflection turns to the concept of ‘home’ - including the places, practices, and people that comprise this idea. How is it lost, found, and transformed by war? What meaning does it take on in conflict? How does an environment impact the self? In today’s resource update, we offer pieces which highlight the Ukraine War’s intrusions and transmutations of this vital and deeply personal facet of life, as well as updates on the current state of the broader conflict, and an insightful original piece from a member of our network.

Novaya Gazeta Europe offers two reflections from the Ukrainians for whom war knocks at the front door. In the first, seasonal vignettes offer glimpses of one year in Kherson, revealing the lives, rhythms, and memories altered by war. The second examines the dilemma of ethnic Ukrainians living in Russia, who now grapple with whether to assimilate for security or embrace their Ukrainian heritage in an act of defiance. The Kyiv Independent delves into the growing number of Ukrainians who, in keeping with the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s adoption of the Julian calendar, elected to celebrate Christmas on December 25th in an effort to distinguish their national identity from that of Russia and to forge a new tradition. In a different piece, the publication tells an unlikely story of friendship between ‘cowboys’ - US veteran volunteers - and ‘Cossacks’ - the people of Kyiv. The Guardian highlights the ‘found families’ formed by Ukrainian evacuees and the British families who welcomed them into their homes.

On the other side of the equation, our attention turns to the Russians whose loved ones and sense of home are consumed in the war. The Moscow Times explores the challenges encountered by emigrés as they distance themselves from the actions of their motherland and establish new homes in the West. Russia.Post continues in this vein, sharing a researcher’s insights from an ongoing survey, revealing how emigrés’ experiences in their host countries affect their lives and personalities. Finally, the wives of Russian conscripts are given voice in a piece from Novaya Gazeta Europe that chronicles their efforts to bring their loved ones home from the front.

In the overview, a Ukrainian perspective on the historical distinctions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as an examination of the Russian constitution and its past iterations. In videos, an exploration of tradition, resilience, and hope at Christmastime in Ukraine. In the arts, a Ukrainian historian and war scholar’s deeply personal memoir honoring the memory of her brother and the implications of state censorship of celebrated Russian author Boris Akunin.

Find these stories and many more on our Russia-Ukraine resource page, and visit our blog for updates on the Israel-Hamas War.




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