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  • Writer's pictureMariah Nimmons

The Indefatigable 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 - May 10, 2023


As of the beginning of May 2023, more than 19,000 Ukrainian children have been deported from occupied territories since the start of the full-scale war, according to Ukraine’s National Information Bureau. Only 364 of these minors have been returned to their parents. ("Children in eastern Ukraine" by UNICEF Ukraine is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)



KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada designates the ideology of Russia’s current political regime as ‘Ruscism,’ a portmanteau from ‘Russian fascism,’ condemning it as ‘totalitarian’ and contrary to humanity

  • Senior Ukrainian military official reports that Russian forces have fallen back from some areas near Bakhmut

  • Poland renames ‘Kaliningrad,’ reverting to its historical equivalent ‘Konigsberg’ (Polish: ‘Krolewiec’) on official documents - Kremlin decries ‘hostile act’

  • Arman Soldin, AFP Ukraine video coordinator, killed by rocket fire in eastern Ukraine

  • Putin lifts visa ban on Georgians and 2019 prohibition on direct flights to Georgia amid tense relations - Georgian president denounces move as ‘provocation’ and ‘unacceptable’ until Ukrainian aggressions cease

  • Ukraine’s Security Service charges senators of Russia’s Federation Council with encroaching on Ukrainian territory and complicity in a war of aggression in absentia

  • Ukraine, Russia, Turkey UN fail to authorize new grain shipments through Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under deal nearing expiration

  • Russia’s Justice Ministry designates Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) chairwoman Maria Pevchikh ‘foreign agent’

  • Zelensky signs decree proclaiming ‘Europe Day’ on May 9, moving Victory Day celebrations in the Verkhovna Rada to May 8

  • State of emergency declared due to wildfires in Russia’s central, eastern regions leaving at least seven dead, hundreds of homes destroyed, and forcing evacuations

  • Russian political movement Feminist Antiwar Resistance (FAR) awarded 2023 Aachen Peace Prize for promoting ‘peace and mutual understanding’

  • Russia to develop its military installations in Central Asian ally Kyrgyzstan, following talks between the two countries' leaders in Moscow

  • Russian Victory Day celebrations muted as at least 21 Russian cities cancel parades citing security concerns, PTSD-triggering fireworks for veterans of the ‘special operation’

  • Medvedev calls for ‘physical elimination’ of Zelensky

 

Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine soldiers near the freshly repainted - from Russian to Ukrainian flag colors - entrance mark in Shevchenkove, Kharkiv liberated from Russian army. 10 September 2022. (Mil.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


WHAT'S ON OUR MIND


The Ukrainian counteroffensive approaches, and with it, our attention turns once more to the indefatigable country. Periodically, we recognize the extent to which the voices and affairs of those most brutally affected by this war may be be eclipsed in the media by analysis of the aggressor and the greater geopolitical climate suspended in war’s periphery. While the latter is essential to forming a holistic understanding of this conflict, to glimpse its heart and soul we return to the Ukrainian wartime experience. In today’s collection, we offer a series of pieces reflecting these circumstances.


Several reveal the harrowing stories of those near the frontlines. We share an account of the Kharkiv Humanitarian Center and the unlikely origins of its ‘merry band of pirates’ working to support the Ukrainian lives most intimately affected by the war. Another piece from this northeastern city, a major early target of the invasion, examines the striking metamorphosis of Kharkhiv’s Territorial Defense, a reserve force originating in the informal volunteer battalions, whose fight served not only the defense of Ukraine, but their own families and homes. A few hours away, we learn of the residents who refuse to leave two frontline towns in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Orikhiv and Huliaipole, and their reasons for staying - both the personal and the searing practical.


Out of Kherson, we share the efforts of youth crisis center personnel who work tirelessly to help some of the city’s youngest and most vulnerable escape ‘forced transfers’ to Russia. Those who were unable to evade Russian forces are also given voice in today’s collection, as we learn of their experience once ‘transferred’ to Russia, including the country’s concerted ‘re-education’ efforts.


We take a step back from the deeply personal to share stories that shed light on the war’s societal, cultural, and institutional impact on Ukraine. Due to the war, Ukraine is now the most heavily mined country on the planet, resulting in tens of thousands of veterans and civilians in need of prosthetics. We learn of the Superhumans Center which opened last month in Lviv. The medical center is outfitted with a prosthetics lab, extensive rehabilitation facilities and therapies, and PTSD treatment rooms. Ukraine’s ongoing corruption fight intersects with the war as we read of the increased scrutiny on UkraineDAO, a crypto-based organization raising money for Ukrainian charities. Finally, our collection looks to the future, with an important argument for emphasizing gender equality in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.


 

ARTICLES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

Find these stories and more on our Resource Page

  • To achieve peace, both Ukraine and Russia must feel secure (Al Jazeera)

  • How Moscow is instructing Russian propaganda outlets to cover Kyiv’s looming counteroffensive (Meduza)

  • A BRICS Currency Could Shake the Dollar’s Dominance (Foreign Policy)

  • NATO foray into Asia risks driving China and Russia closer together (Responsible Statecraft)

  • The Tragedy of Designating Russia's Free University 'Undesirable' (The Moscow Times)

  • Brazil Is Ukraine’s Best Bet for Peace (Foreign Policy)

  • Putin’s Meetings with Governors: What are They Like Amid the War in Ukraine? (Russia.Post)

  • Rattling the Nuclear Saber: What Russia’s Nuclear Threats Really Mean (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

  • Andrey Sushentsov: How the EU’s ‘new’ Eastern members have taken control of the bloc (RT)

  • In an effort to divest itself of its Russian segment, the multinational IT giant is looking to create a ‘consortium’ of oligarch shareholders, while distancing from the Kremlin (Meduza)

  • Moscow’s Victory Museum is Already Rewriting the History of the War in Ukraine (Kyiv Post)

  • Meduza spoke to young Russian diplomats about work at the Foreign Ministry and what has changed there since the start of the war (Meduza)

 

Ukrainian writer and poet Taras Shevchenko, who became a symbol of the Ukrainian national movement in the 19th century, was even convicted for influencing the members of the society. (Andrey Denyer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


OVERVIEW & VIDEOS


In the overview, we offer historical context for the linguistic and cultural erasure of Ukraine dating back centuries.


In videos, (trigger warning: graphic violence) phone records, documents, interviews and thousands of hours of video reveal how a Russian paratrooper unit ended dozens of lives on one street in March. Find also, a panel discussion on U.S. policy toward war, the requirements and goals for peace talks, and appropriate levels of military and economic aid.

 

ARTS


Left to right: Imprisoned 'Finist and the Bright Falcon' director Evgeniya Berkovich (Valera N. Trubin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons), Eurovision 2023: Croatian Rock Band 'Let 3' wins semifinal with anti-Putin anthem (B. Erdoedy, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons), Ukrainian fashion celebrated at Zurich’s Roccoco Zunfthaus zur Meisen (ROSTYSLAV RIPKA, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


In the arts, a celebration of Ukrainian fashion at Zurich’s historic Roccoco Zunfthaus (Guildhouse) zur Meisen, the topics and themes explored in the Russian play ‘Finist the Bright Falcon’ accused of ‘justifying terrorism’ and words of support for its imprisoned playwright and director, an argument against the censorship of Russia's dissident artists, a six-day pro-Kremlin ‘anti-fascist song festival’ held in southwestern Russia, how Eurovision explains modern Europe, and the Croatian band that won this year’s Eurovision semifinal competition with an ‘anti-Putin’ anthem.






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