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Updated Resources - November 15, 2023
United Ukrainians fighting both Polish and Russian forces, circa 1920. (Postcard published by the Ukrainian Brigade 1920., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed
Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed
The Insider: Newsfeed
Newsroom of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti in Moscow. 18 September 2009. (Jürg Vollmer / maiak.info Reusse, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
How do narratives shape our perception of this war? And in turn, how do these perceptions inform our actions and engagement, to real world consequence? In today’s curation, we offer resources that illuminate the evolution of some stories, challenge others, and offer a chance to conceive of new ones for the future.
We open with the stories told about the war by those closest to its center. Novaya Gazeta Europe shares the stories of Kherson residents on either side of the Dnipro, centering the war’s narrative on those who have paid most dearly. In The Kyiv Independent, one of Ukraine’s foremost literary figures challenges Western narratives about her nation’s identity, its history, and the origins of Russian aggression. The Conversation explores the impact of ‘othering’ within dominant Western narratives about central and eastern Europe, noting how it shapes discourse surrounding the Ukraine war in a way that excludes Ukrainian voices and arguing that testimonials from Ukraine’s poets and authors are the antidote.
Across the border, Foreign Affairs charts the evolution of Kremlin invasion pretexts from ‘denazification’ to a ‘struggle against American hegemony’. Meduza continues this inquiry into Russian narratives by unpacking Putin’s campaign messaging for 2024, wherein the West is steeped in chaos while Russia remains an ‘island of tranquility,’ thanks to Putin’s leadership. The Insider traces the origins of recurring and alleged characterizations of Putin’s poor health - including, at times, his death - and in doing so, explores perception’s susceptibility to manipulation.
Western narratives are interrogated further by The Moscow Times in a piece discouraging rejection of Russian wartime emigrés seeking refuge, citing how such hostility bolsters the Kremlin’s narrative that the West is ‘out to get Russians’. Foreign Affairs pushes back against the notion that the American withdrawal from Afghanistan precipitated Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
We close with pieces that support a reimagining of future narratives. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists shares a Russian nuclear expert’s perspective that the Doomsday Clock should move away from midnight, believing that this shift in narrative has the potential to impact real world security. In The New Yorker, psychoanalyst, author, and member of the anti-nuclear movement Robert Jay Lifton writes on his decades of work studying the victims, survivors, and perpetrators of atrocity and what he’s learned about the human will to survive.
In the overview, we explore liberalization in modern Russia and Soviet era parallels. In videos, an intimate portrait of Yury Dmitriev, a jailed Russian historian and human rights activist from Northwest Russia and the current climate surrounding historical memory. In the arts, a collection of essays correct the narrative on when the war truly started for Ukrainians, a Russian journalist’s searing and deeply personal portrait of Russia, and how Russian rap is transformed by war.
Find these stories and more on today’s Russia-Ukraine resource page. In our blog, find updated resources on the Israel-Hamas War, as well as meaningful contemplations from a network member on the ground in Israel.