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  • Writer's pictureMariah Nimmons

Keeping Sight of Ukraine

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 - July 6, 2023


With severe damage to housing, water and electricity supply, heating and public infrastructure such as schools and health facilities, the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine on civilians is staggering. ("Ukraine: EU’s ongoing assistance provides life-saving aid for civilians" by Oleksandr Rakushnyak, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Al Jazeera: June 29 // June 30 // July 2 // July 3 // July 4 // July 5 // July 6

  • The Guardian: June 29 // June 30 // July 1 // July 2 // July 3 // July 4 // July 5 // July 6

  • The Insider: Newsfeed

  • Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed

  • Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed

 

Photograph of two Ukrainian passports, one closed, one open, showing the coat of arms of Ukraine. (Cekay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


WHAT'S ON OUR MIND


Ripples across Russia, the former Soviet sphere, and the world at large continue to emanate from the Wagner rebellion - the current media landscape heavily favors coverage of this event. While we include many insightful pieces on that issue in today’s resources, it is imperative that we maintain sight of the Ukrainian perspective amidst the fervent effort to understand Russia’s motivations and machinations. It is a subject that is all too often overlooked in war’s discourse - increasingly so as time wears on. In today’s collection, we draw our networks’ gaze back to the Ukrainian experience of the war.


We begin with two pieces that take an aerial perspective of Ukraine. One digest offers a helpful overview of the last three months of the war. It emphasizes the situation on the ground in Ukraine, including sections covering the Kakhovka Dam catastrophe, the Zaporizhzhia NPP, diplomatic efforts, battlefield developments, and more. The other takes a more data-driven approach, exploring the complexities of Ukrainian demography in wartime and attempting to forecast what the future holds for the nation’s demographics.


The next two pieces in today’s collection also look to the future, examining prospects for postwar reconstruction. The first of these pieces offers insight into the World Bank’s most recent projections for recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine, making special note that these estimates omit costs from territory currently occupied by Russia. In the second piece, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) VP of green transition in Eastern Europe outlines the thrust of the organization’s postwar projects as they relate to solving environmental problems, as well as the practical challenges of working in Ukraine.


From there, our focus narrows to the situation on the ground at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in light of Zelensky assertions in late June that it had been ‘rigged with explosives’ by Russian forces - a claim the Kremlin dismissed. The piece we share today examines the possible scenarios that could arise, including plans currently in place in case of catastrophe and the environmental ramifications of such an event.


Finally, our collection draws us more intimately to the lived wartime experiences of Ukrainians. There’s an intimate accounting of the challenges faced by Ukrainians - primarily women and children - who travel to the country’s capital, a journey protracted by the realities of transportation in an active warzone. It offers a poignant perspective on the war’s effect on the family unit and the perseverance of the Ukrainian people. Another piece discusses the consequences faced by Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territories who refuse to apply for Russian citizenship and who now risk prison sentences, losing their property rights, and deportation from their homes. Finally, we share the stories of residents living without water in Nikopol, a frontline town that, before the dam explosion, sat on the Kakhovka reservoir and now looks out over a vast and desolate earthen expanse.


Find these stories and more on today’s resource page.

 

ARTICLES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

Find these stories and more on our Resource Page

  • Russians are buying real estate in occupied Mariupol, where invading forces destroyed nearly everything last year (Meduza)

  • How Should NATO Think About Ukrainian Membership After Russia’s Coup Attempt? (Council on Foreign Relations)

  • Russians Appeared to Welcome Wagner Rebels With Open Arms. The Truth Is More Complex. (The Moscow Times)

  • How BRICS Countries Help to Define a Truly New World Order (The Nation)

  • What Drives Putin and Xi (Foreign Affairs)

  • We shouldn’t be cheering for state collapse in Russia (Responsible Statecraft)

  • The Paradox of De-oligarchization (Wilson Center)

  • Putin’s Post-Prigozhin Clean Up (Puck)

  • 'Rather than shutting down the internet, users will be targeted.' The Kremlin scales back its “sovereign Runet” plans (The Insider)

  • On “Conservative Balance” and “Traditional Values” (Russia in Global Affairs)

 

In Demydiv, 430 children are now back at school. Damaged during the active fighting a year ago, it is now safe again and has a child friendly shelter rehabilitated by UNICEF and the EU. ("Ukraine: EU’s ongoing assistance provides life-saving aid for civilians" by Oleksandr Rakushnyak, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


OVERVIEW & VIDEOS


In the overview, find two different historical lenses through which to view the current state of affairs in Russia. Find also an archival piece published when the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists turned back the hands of the Doomsday Clock from 10 to 17 minutes until midnight in December 1991, a reprieve that we must ardently pursue in today’s tense nuclear climate.


In videos, a two part exploration of supporting the mental well-being of children affected by war through the work of the NGO Gen.Ukrainian. Find also a Ukrainian journalist’s perspective on some of the common misconceptions about her country that are spread by Russian propaganda.

 

ARTS


Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol, destroye (Lirhan2016, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


In the arts, the Kharkiv Music Fest surmounts the hardships of war to return classical music to the city, a novel deemed essential reading for comprehending the factors that shaped post-Independence Ukraine, another novel which captures the world destroyed by the war in Ukraine, a Russian state acting school with plans to train actors and directors at the ravaged Mariupol Drama Theatre in occupied Ukraine, the words of jailed Russian theater director Yevgenia Berkovich from court, and the acclaimed Ukrainian novelist and war crimes researcher who was killed in a missile strike last weekend, Victoria Amelina’s own writing on growing up in Moscow’s shadow and what it means to be Ukrainian.






STATEMENT

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.


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