History, Overlap and Divorce
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 - August 9, 2023
The Mother Ukraine Monument, also known as Mother Ukraine is a monumental Soviet statue in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. On 30 July 2023 efforts began to remove the Soviet state emblem and replace it with Ukraine's coat of arms, the Tryzub. The emblem was replaced on 6 August 2023. ("Detail of The Mother Motherland monument: 16m sword - Museum of Great Patriotic War" by Jorge Láscar is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed
Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed
The Insider: Newsfeed
Russian lubok of XVIII c depicting traditiona Ilya Muromets, one of the bogatyrs (epic knights) in Bylinas of Kievan Rus, and Nightingale the Robber. (Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
Below war’s surface, culture, history, and memory churn. The degree to which they are shared, to what extent they overlap, and their impact on now and future generations pervade the conflict and the two nations’ relations with the greater world. The claim that Ukrainians do not exist separate from Russia underpins the Kremlin’s justification for the invasion. The majority within Ukraine stand - and fight - in vehement opposition to this notion. In today’s collection, we examine culture, history, and memory within the borders of both countries, the region, and in the general context of this war.
The Moscow Times covers a literal and symbolic reshaping of Kyiv’s soviet-era Mother Ukraine monument. The Kyiv Independent’s podcast delves into Ukraine's national decommunization policy. Bridging the gap between past and present, the Wilson Center gives the latest on Polish and Ukrainian reconciliation surrounding the Volhynia Massacres of 1943 to 1945. In another piece from The Moscow Times, cultural assimilation and friction experienced by Ukrainian refugees who sought safety within Russia is explored.
Culture, morality, and childhood intersect in an analysis from Russian thinktank Russia in Global Affairs examining globalization as ‘marketed’ through fairy tales, games and media. Foreign Policy sheds light on how Prigozhin’s mutiny has impacted the Kremlin’s justification for the war and how Putin weaponizes historical memory. The role of historians as analysts and critics, of evidence in the Ukraine War, is explored in a meta commentary from Responsible Statecraft.
In the Overview, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists highlights the power of citizen action within the nuclear arms control space. In videos, Thomas Graham speaks on today's Russia and the future of US-Russia relations at a symposium organized by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. In the Arts, a self-taught photographer from Kyiv captures his ancestral village, saving its memory from destruction and top Russian soprano Anna Netrebko sues the Metropolitan Opera after the institution cut ties.
Find these stories and more - including an unpacking of Kremlin-backed ideologies, a breakdown of Russia’s new mobilization law, and how Crimean Tatar partisans fight back from the shadows - on today’s resource page.
Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy stands in opposition to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. We have many friends in both countries and we stand with the people of Ukraine and Russia. We deplore their suffering.
Track Two does not believe violent conflict or war are valid means to push political agendas. Today, threats to our existence from nuclear arms, climate catastrophes, diseases and cyberattacks are intensifying, and we do not believe any country should resort to violence. All people, of all nations, have a right to peace, meaningful work, shelter and food. Much collective work must be done to ensure our children and grandchildren can live full lives in a habitable world.
We believe there are humane and diplomatic avenues to coexistence that must be explored to mutual benefit. Let's arrive at these with deliberation so that we can continue work essential to preventing the end of life on this planet.
More than ever, it is incumbent upon all of us to be acutely aware of the disinformation campaigns orbiting the globe, and offer support to those who need it most. To that end, we've compiled a selection of resources from our team and network as we follow this crisis closely.