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 24, 2024
Boris Nadezhdin, a Russian presidential hopeful campaigning for peace with Ukraine, sits with political activist Dmitry Kisiev and an unknown man. 6 October 2023. (Chath, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Rioting and clashes with law enforcement in Baymak, a town in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia. January 2024. (Музыч, CC BY-SA 4.0, 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.
The war’s impact across Russian society is varied, and, to those living beyond Russia’s history and borders, challenging to comprehend. For a sizable portion of the population the war skitters over the surface of daily life, leaving little more than a ripple representing a conflict that is many miles away, both geographically and psychologically. To another substantial group, there exists an uncomfortable duality, requiring some level of willful cognitive dissonance to continue along the march of daily life. Though it is intimated in moments of vulnerability and presence that the war weighs heavily on the hearts and minds within this group, many acknowledge that a certain measured distancing is essential to their ability to move throughout the days, weeks, and months.
And then there is a third group, for whom the shape of life was indelibly altered when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Anti-war resistance flows from a number of places: as a matter of conscience, a matter of personal cost (fears of personal or familial conscription) or some combination of the two. It takes varied forms, from quiet acts of protest to the choice to leave the country. In today’s resource update we examine the varied and multifaceted experiences and consequences within Russia’s resistance.
We begin with oppositionists and dissidents, including those who openly proclaim their anti-war stance and those whose position is murkier. The Moscow Times reports that thousands of Russians have queued across Russia to lend their signatures in support of Boris Nadezhdin, a presidential hopeful who is campaigning on peace with Ukraine. Outspoken critic of the war, longtime political dissident, and sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky pens a personal reflection in Russian Dissent on his recent incarceration and the current climate in Russia for political dissidents.
On the more obfuscated end of the resistance spectrum, we share an older piece from Al Jazeera that illuminates and contextualizes Ukraine’s distrust of Navalny and his movement. Meduza sheds light on recent developments from Navalny’s camp, including a post written by the jailed opposition leader on the third anniversary of his return to Russia after surviving poisoning in Germany. The publication also reports on the weekend’s “Russia Without Putin” demonstrations held by Navalny’s supporters in Australia, New Zealand, Armenia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, and Georgia.
Still abroad, anti-war Russians who left the country after the invasion discuss the prospect of ever returning to their homeland in a piece from Al Jazeera. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty offers insight into the points of friction encountered by Russians who relocated to Georgia amidst the departure of many.
Next we examine segments of Russian society and their stances of resistance. Voxeurop publishes an interview with Liliya Vezhevatova, one of the coordinators of the Feminist Anti-War Resistance (FAS), an underground movement that sprang up in the early days of the war in protest of Russia’s invasion. The Moscow Times and Meduza report on recent actions of resistance in Moscow - including at Putin’s campaign headquarters - carried out by the female family members of mobilized soldiers. The former publication examines their differing motivations that span the ideological spectrum. The Nation posits that these acts of resistance fall within the broader context of emerging war fatigue.
Meduza sheds light on the persecution of Russian Orthodox priests who oppose the war through the perspectives of the priests themselves and the organizers of Peace Unto All, a group seeking to support these clergymen.The persecution and exile of a scientific journalist who opposes the war is reported by The Moscow Times.
Finally, we look to an area of resistance sharing some overlap with the anti-war movement, but also predating it. Novaya Gazeta Europe and Meduza provide insight into last week’s unrest in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, the largest protests since the start of the war. These pieces contextualize the protests within the current relational framework of Russia’s regions and the Kremlin, as well as within the reality of wartime Russia. Kyiv Post aggregates European media perspectives on the unrest. A more personal take on this regional tension is captured in the story of an Indigenous activist and member of the Russian Far East’s Udege people in exile, revealing oppression’s reach abroad.
In the overview, one perspective on the relationship between calls for Russian decolonization, anti-Western rhetoric, and the Ukraine war. In videos, volunteers in eastern Ukraine discuss their struggles to fundraise after nearly two years of war. Find also a panel discussing possible outcomes of the war, the future of EU and U.S. support, and the political and economic challenges before both Putin and Zelensky amidst the ongoing conflict.
In the arts, a Ukrainian journalist and author’s new book of on-the-ground reporting captures Ukraine’s wartime resilience, a Kyivan conductor and an American violinist revive a Ukrainian-born composer’s concerto, and an imprisoned Russian director’s courtroom address is transformed and amplified by fellow artists.