The Heart of War
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 6, 2023
Former Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov at the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 26, 2002 (Chad J. McNeeley/U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed
Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed
The Insider: Newsfeed
Oleksandra Matviichuk, founder of Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties and 2022 Sakharov Prize laureate, hosted by European Parliament. December 14, 2022. (European Parliament, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
This week we steer the collective gaze to war’s heart, the nation and people for whom war is most personal. Today’s collection weaves through Ukrainian society, offering perspectives on the macro - significant political developments, contemplations on corruption, intersections with the global community - as well as the micro - the intimate and personal experiences of war through the eyes of Ukrainian men, women, and children.
We open with a piece from Meduza on Zelensky’s decision to replace Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, and another from The Kyiv Independent acquainting readers with the new appointee Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar MP with a background in finance. The war’s ramifications come into view as The Insider probes the medical fates of those in the annexed territories whose wartime ordeal is punctuated by a dearth of access to crucial medications and treatments and The Kyiv Independent reports that millions of students are unable to return to school full time this academic year. Foreign Policy tells the story of the Ukrainians who have turned against their compatriots, offering historical perspective on acts of treason.
Our attention turns to Ukraine’s ongoing struggle against evergreen corruption. Al Jazeera reports on corruption in medical exemptions from Ukrainian military duty and The Kyiv Post details how winter jackets have sparked the most recent corruption scandal. The Kyiv Post also offers a useful counter perspective, that pushes back against the notion that Ukraine is the ‘most corrupt country in the world,' breaks down anti-corruption measures, and suggests the criticism is just a narrative employed by the Kremlin to hamper Western support.
Through a global lens, The Conversation explains why many in Ukraine repudiate Pope Francis’ recent address to young Russians and Haaretz outlines points of friction between Israel and Ukraine over the course of the war and ahead of the Jewish high holidays.
Finally we journey to the center of war’s heart through intimate portraits of war. Meduza interviews Oleksandra Matviichuk, founder of Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, whose organization was one of three Nobel Peace Prize laureates in 2022, alongside Russians and Belarusians. The unique challenges to integration for the predominantly female flow of Ukrainian refugees are explored in a piece from The Nation. The Kyiv Independent tells of the mirror image: the men who had to stay behind and who now grapple with separation from their families.
In the overview, we learn the origins of the Ukrainian rallying cry ‘slava Ukraini,’ as well as the ideological foundation of Putin’s regime and its intersection with Soviet memory. Find also an examination of the varied facets of Wagner PMC’s origins and aesthetics. In videos, Ukrainian historians discuss their nation’s birth and true age. For the Arts, Ukrainian artists in exile in Berlin reimagine culture and history while in Israel a pro-Ukrainian invasion Russian theatre performance is met with protest.
Find these stories - and so many more - in today’s resource update.
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.