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  • Writer's pictureMariah Nimmons

Ukraine: The Experience of War

A NOTE: Our Russia-Ukraine Resources are updated weekly - if you're accessing the page three or more weeks 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 - June 6, 2024

A woman and child walk through the Lychakiv Cemetery honoring the memory of Ukraine's defenders lost in the Russian-Ukrainian war. 15 December 2023. ("Photo" by President of Ukraine is in the Public Domain, CC0)



Volodymyr Zelenskyy presidential inauguration‎, 20th May 2019 (Mykhaylo Markiv,, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


In addition to our weekly resource update, today we also offer an updated collection of pieces on the Israeli-Hamas war.

In another timeline, recent weeks might have yielded shifts in leadership for both Russia and Ukraine. In times of peace, May 20, 2024 would have marked the official end of Zelenskyy’s first term as President of Ukraine. Today’s resource update delves into the circumstances of his tenure as a wartime president, the Ukrainian war effort, loss and rebuilding, and harrowing but inspiring perspectives that intimate the human experience of war.

We open with the perspectives on Zelenskyy’s tenure. A retrospective from the Wilson Center considers the leader’s progress on promises made during his five years in office and contextualizes his performance within Ukraine’s greater history. A second piece from the publication offers expert historical and political perspectives on his greatest successes and failures. Meduza looks to surveys conducted in Ukraine to reveal popular sentiment about Zelenskyy retaining office while the country remains under martial law. In most recent news, The Washington Post covers the Ukrainian leader’s surprise visit to Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue and his efforts to enlist Asian leaders in a ‘greater project for diplomacy’ while taking Beijing to task for their partnership with Russia.

We then turn to the Ukrainian war effort. The Kyiv Independent offers updates on Russia’s renewed offensive in Kharkiv. Challenges posed by Ukraine’s latest mobilization drive are laid bare in The Washington Post as commanders brace for an influx of new troops who have received only minimal training. The former publication also studies a civilian effort to aid in their country’s defense through the assembly of DIY drones at home. Novaya Gazeta Europe and the Wilson Center contemplate the war’s consequences for those most intimately involved. The former warns of the less visible but very real dangers of Traumatic Brain Injuries resulting from proximity to explosive blasts, and the latter analyzes the current limitations of state support for veterans in Ukraine and what guidance may be gleaned from analogous programs in the US.

We bear witness to war’s very real, very human cost with pieces that reveal Ukrainians’ hardship and resilience. Though increasingly women enter the battlefield, much of their unique wartime experience occurs in different venues that are equally vital to our understanding of conflict. Foreign Policy considers the precarious circumstances under which war widows now seek to rebuild their lives. The former publication also offers an analysis of the war’s ‘invisible warriors,’ the female-led NGOs working tirelessly to bring relief to their country while struggling to raise the necessary funds. (Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence) Novaya Gazeta Europe reveals the toll of sexual assault on Ukrainian women and the social complexities they must navigate while coping with these deeply personal attacks.

The Kyiv Independent offers insight into those Ukrainians who refuse to leave their front-line home towns. In mirror image, the Kyiv Post reveals the dynamic social and security challenges encountered by those who have fled and now seek to return to their homes in the occupied territories to visit loved ones. From Meduza, a podcast that examines the religious persecution faced by evangelical Ukrainians living under occupation. The former publication also shares the stories of some of the 28 Ukrainian journalists currently held in Russian captivity.

Those who have fled their homeland altogether share their experience in two pieces from Meduza. The first (in Russian, though translatable with DeepL) offers firsthand accounts of the refugee experience as told by Ukrainians currently living in Spain, Germany, the US, and Canada. The second reveals the plight of two Ukrainians - of the tens of thousands - from the occupied territories who ended up in St. Petersburg and who now face homelessness.

Finally, we share a stunning and comprehensive interactive analysis from The New York Times that documents the full scale of the invasion’s damage to physical - and conceptual - ‘place’ in Ukraine. The challenges inherent in rebuilding Ukraine - for which financial means are only one part of the conundrum - are laid out in Meduza.

In the overview, remembering Pyotr Tolochko, the pre-eminent historian and archeologist of Kievan Rus, and the relevance of his work amidst the current conflict. In videos, the war’s lessons on defeating autocracy, as well as one from our network on the role of the Ekaterina Mizulina, head of Russia’s Safe Internet League. Find also a dialogue between Ukraine’s former defense minister and filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky - director of the recent film "Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom”. In the arts, Ukrainian soldier and poet Oksana Rubaniak fights with the sword and the pen, Russian pop star Monetochka inspires Russians abroad to share pre-war memories, and a Russian digital project chronicles lost ties to Western media.

Visit our Russia-Ukraine Conflict resource page for these updates and more. Stop by our blog for our latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas War, as well as the latest reflections from our network.




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