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  • Writer's pictureMariah Nimmons

Where Things Stand

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 - December 13, 2023


From March to April 2022, more than 300 people from Yahidne, Ukraine were held captive by Russian forces in the basement of the local school in terrible conditions. There were almost 50 children and several babies among the hostages. Eleven people died in the basement. The gentleman pictured is one of the survivors. The spray painted door reads (translated with DeepL): "Beware of Children" (Image Courtesy of Human Rights House Foundation)


KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Kyiv Independent: Newsfeed

  • Novaya Gazeta Europe: Newsfeed

  • The Insider: Newsfeed

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to the UAE and Saudi Arabia last week. The Russian leader is pictured during a previous meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 30 May 2017. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 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.


Today's Russia - Ukraine selection offers a holistic sense of the current state of this conflict’s many facets. Following this email, our resource updates will be paused from December 20 to January 2. We will resume resource updates on January 3.

In Ukraine, our initial focus falls on recent intensifying debates surrounding Western support. Al Jazeera covers last week’s unsuccessful bid in US congress to approve a new round of funding for Ukraine and Israel, revealing the impact of domestic politics on support for these conflicts. The Washington Post recounts Zelensky’s trip to Washington, an unsuccessful bid to rally support for Ukraine’s war effort ahead of the impending holidays and congressional recess.


The Washington Post further shares that following last week’s Qatari mediation, Russia has agreed to release an additional six Ukrainian children to be reunited with their families in Ukraine. Concerning reunification, The Kyiv Independent draws attention to the plight of thousands of Ukrainian civilians who are currently held in Russian prisons following their ‘arrest’ by Russian forces in the wake of invasion and occupation. The publication also reports from Ukraine’s Western border, where the Polish truck drivers’ blockade continues into its second month, stranding Ukrainian haulers and allegedly hampering the delivery of much needed supplies to the embattled country.


The Moscow Times and The Conversation offer daunting but vital updates from the occupied regions. The former shares the stories of eight Ukrainian evacuees who escaped the now-liberated occupied territories following Russia’s retreat from northern Ukraine earlier this year. The latter examines efforts to document suspected war crimes in the occupied regions, revealing the danger activists face, as well as their methods and collaboration with law enforcement.


In Russia, following up on our coverage last week, Novaya Gazeta Europe reports on the surprising on-camera show of resistance from families of military conscripts demanding their loved ones’ return. Navalny’s allies raise the alarm on the opposition figure’s removal from prison and subsequent loss of contact with representatives and family in a piece from Al Jazeera. Another voice from the opposition, Evgenia Kara Murza - human rights activist and wife to activist, journalist, and political prisoner Vladimir Kara-Murza - sits down with The Telegraph’s Ukraine: The Latest podcast.


Meduza announces Putin’s reportedly spontaneous announcement that he will seek reelection in 2024. RT provides a Russian perspective on Putin’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


A year-end examination of Russia’s recent rapid economic growth from Meduza reveals the impact of militarization, while a different piece from the publisher highlights the dangers that a proposed new law may pose to investigative journalists within the country. The Moscow Times continues in this vein, reporting on the Interior Ministry’s recent issuance of an arrest warrant for well-known Russian-American journalist and writer Masha Gessen. The Moscow Times also shares reporting from Kremlin-leaning Russian language outlet Izvestia, that two in five Russians who emigrated in the months following the invasion of Ukraine have since returned home.


In the overview, a history of the LGBTQ community in Russia amid recent state crackdowns. In videos, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov debates his country’s approaches to Gaza and Ukraine while at the Doha Forum 2023. In the arts, an exhibit at Kyiv’s Ukrainian House makes space for expressions of wartime narratives and emotions, and a new, post-sanctions magazine hits the stands in Moscow in service of the idea that ‘loving Russia is not a bad thing’.


These stories - and many more pieces of interest and import - in today’s Russia-Ukraine resource update. Find also new resources added to our Israel-Hamas blog post.

 




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