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 17, 2024
Soldiers mark the 9th anniversary of the National Guard of Ukraine ("President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the festivities marking the 9th anniversary of the National Guard of Ukraine." by President of Ukraine is in the Public Domain, CC0)
In Moscow on June 10 2018 a rally "For a free Russia without repression and despotism" was held.Sign (translated using DeepL): "What kind of opposition is such a government" (DonSimon, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)
WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
In addition to our weekly resource update, today we also offer an updated collection of pieces on the Israeli-Hamas war.
Today we contemplate the exertion of will between the government and the people, and vice versa, as recent events in both Russia and Ukraine demonstrate the consequential nature of this push and pull. In this week’s resource update, two topics illustrate the opposing forces at play within the social contracts of both nations: mobilization - wherein the government’s will is imposed upon the people - and resistance, wherein the people push back against their leaders.
On mobilization, a perspective on the folly of prediction, military strategy, and the opacity of Russia's efforts from Russia.Post. Meduza reports on claims from the NGO Russia Behind Bars that amidst sub-zero temperatures, heat is turned off in prisons in an effort to drive inmate conscription. A podcast from the latter publication sheds light on both Get Lost's organized efforts to aid Russian men in evading the draft, as well as the broader geopolitical ramifications of Moscow’s mobilization. Novaya Gazeta Europe publishes an interview with Get Lost’s founder exploring the increasing rate of desertion among Russian forces in Ukraine. The Washington Post examines the intersection of duty, conscription, and regret through the eyes of the families of the enlisted.
Though less often the subject of media scrutiny, after nearly two years of war, the subject of mobilization is coming to a head across the border in Ukraine as well. The Kyiv Independent brings attention to the nation’s thoroughly exhausted soldiers on the frontlines and the civilians calling for their relief. Novaya Gazeta Europe covers the withdrawal of mobilization legislation following recent heated debate in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.
Beyond mobilization we explore further exertions of the people’s will through resistance. In Russia.Post, a sociologist details how outlooks and visions of the future shifted throughout 2023 based on interviews with Russians who oppose the war and current regime. Meduza covers Monday’s protest in Russia’s Bashkortostan region - the largest since the start of the war - calling for the release of an activist jailed for ‘inciting ethnic hatred’ and the dismissal of the republic’s governor. Former member of the Russian State Duma and current exiled oppositionist Ilya Ponomarev sits down with a journalist for a detailed discussion of the war, armed resistance, and what his revolution would look like in a piece written in his mothertongue (though translatable, we recommend using DeepL) from The Wilson Center.
A Russian activist converts his village store into an exhibit of anti-war resistance and a volunteer in Russia’s underground support network for Ukrainian refugees shares his story in two separate pieces from Novaya Gazeta Europe. Finally, resistance takes a different form in The Kyiv Independent’s chronicling of occupied Ukraine’s most effective resistance movements.
In videos, an interview with Oleksiy Arestovych, a former spokesperson for Zelensky’s office turned aspiring presidential challenger following a falling out with the administration. In the arts, ancient graffiti in Kyiv’s St. Sophia gets a second - digital - life, a Soviet-era television show draws in both Ukrainian and Russian audiences, and Ukrainians memorialize a fallen soldier and poet.