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 - September 27, 2023
March For a Free Internet in Moscow on July 23, 2017: A demonstrator holds a sign showing a member of Russia's Revolutionary Worker's Party swinging a hammer on the logo of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian mass media. Sign translation: "Our Answer to the DPA: A World of Freedom, A World Without Walls" (Dmitry Rozhkov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed
Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed
The Insider: Newsfeed
Putin poses with young attendees at the Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum, an annual summer youth festival that began in 2015 in the annexed Crimea that convenes young artists, influencers, and educators in the arts and cultural spheres. ("Attending the Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum." by Office of the President of Russia is licensed under CC BY 4.0)
WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
We gain a more complete understanding of complex, emotionally charged subjects through consuming a diversity of perspectives. In doing so, we recognize that the average person’s understanding is heavily dependent upon information that is readily available. Today we explore Kremlin rhetoric, censorship, and self-serving messaging. We seek to understand the conditions under which the average Russian’s worldview is formed, without excusing beliefs that have proven lethal for Ukrainians, and while recognizing that perceptions of reality the world over are limited by access to information.
Novaya Gazeta Europe reports on a new proposal from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications, control and censorship agency, to block any website providing instructions for accessing blocked websites. At a time when the vast majority of independent Russian media is blocked, using a VPN, and learning how to do so online, has served as the one way to access the many news organizations deemed ‘undesirable’ by the Kremlin, including Novaya Gazeta itself. The publication further explores censorship in the cultural sphere, suggesting that toeing the Kremlin’s ideological line amounts to self-censorship through ostracism of artists critical of the war and administration.
Next, we examine Russian rhetoric and disinformation. Meduza investigates Dialog, the nonprofit organization created by Moscow authorities initially meant to foster better communication between citizens and government and now used to share stories discrediting Ukraine across social media and popular Telegram channels. Al Jazeera reports on a recent UN investigators’ update before the UN Human Rights Council warning that some Russian media rhetoric may amount to incitement to genocide. A podcast from Meduza contextualizes Putin’s recent anti-semitic remarks against the Kremlin’s stated objective of rooting out nazism in Ukraine.
Finally we explore how the Kremlin seeks to influence Russian young people, a challenging endeavor amongst the age group most likely to seek different perspectives via digital means. The Moscow Times covers the increased and now-formal role of state-run extracurricular organizations in education, suggesting that this change in effect shifts influence away from educators and to the state. Meduza examines state-funded ‘youth festivals,’ shedding light on their origins and the patriotic slant of their programming. The publication also offers an overview of new films produced in conjunction with the new state-approved prerequisite for all Russian college students, “Fundamentals of Russian Statehood”.
In the overview, a piece from Foreign Policy steps outside of Russia and questions the increasingly common global perception of a multipolar world, arguing that it is in fact, bipolar.
In videos, learn about Ukraine’s future in the European Union, as well as a discussion on the US’s role in the conflict, moral dilemmas in foreign policy, and firsthand accounts of the war’s impact on the Ukrainian American community and their loved ones. Find also a Brookings Institute forum discussing traditional and nontraditional security issues in geopolitics, including the war, climate change, infectious diseases, and food insecurity. In the arts, the Ukrainian poet Aleksandr Kabanov seeks poetic vengeance against his father’s homeland of Russia and a Russian-born curator in Berlin is accused of distorting the war’s narrative through an exhibition about art and persecution.
Find these stories and more in today’s resource update.