The Ukrainian startup’s kept innovation going through a year of war
The Kremlin’s War on Crime and the Future of the Russian Army: On the Role of the Regime of Milbloggers in Ukraine
The milblogger discourse over the past week has resembled the onslaught of criticism and reporting of military details by the Kremlin’s propagandists. The Kremlin narrative had focused on general statements of progress and avoided detailed discussions of current military operations. The Kremlin had never openly recognized a major failure in the war prior to its devastating loss in Kharkiv Oblast, which prompted the partial reserve mobilization.”
It is not new for leaders of Russian-backed entities to die violently, but Stremousov might be aware that they have a habit. Ramzan Kadyrov, one of Putin’s key domestic enforcers, urged the Russian military to expand its campaign just weeks after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“First of all, we need to stop lying,” said Andrei Kartopolov, a former colonel-general in the Russian military and a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. “We brought this up many times before … But somehow it’s apparently not getting through to individual senior figures.”
Kartapolov complained that the Ministry of Defense was evading the truth about incidents such as Ukrainian cross-border strikes in Russian regions neighboring Ukraine.
Near the border with Ukraine, there is Valuyki. Kyiv has generally adopted a neither-confirm-nor-deny stance when it comes to striking Russian targets across the border.
The quislings who were installed by Moscow to run occupied regions of Ukraine have been criticized. In a recent rant on the messaging app Telegram, Kirill Stremousov lambasted Russian military commanders for allowinggaps on the battlefield that allowed the Ukrainian military to make advances.
“There is no need to somehow cast a shadow over the entire Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation because of some, I do not say traitors, but incompetent commanders, who did not bother, and were not accountable, for the processes and gaps that exist today,” Stremousov said. Many say the Minister of Defense could potentially shoot himself because he allowed this situation to happen. The word officer is not familiar to many.
After Russia retreated from the Ukrainian city of Lyman, Kadyrov has been much more willing to name commanders who he blames.
Kadyrov blamed the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, for the failure, saying he failed to adequately provide for his soldiers and moved his headquarters away from his subordinates.
The narratives preferred by the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense that things are well- under control have been significantly deviated from by the Russian information space.
One of the central features of Putinism is a fetish for World War II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. Those in Russia recognize the brutal tactics used by the Red Army to fight Hitler’s Wehrmacht, such as sending soldiers accused of desertion, cowardice, or wavering against German positions as cannon fodder, and the use of punishment battalions.
One of the most prominent voices advocating for the use of harsher methods is Chechen leader Kadyrov, who recently received the rank of colonel general from Putin. He recently said in another Telegram post that, if he had his way, he would give the government extraordinary wartime powers in Russia.
“Yes, if it were my will, I would declare martial law throughout the country and use any weapon, because today we are at war with the whole NATO bloc,” Kadyrov said in a post that also seemed to echo Putin’s not-so-subtle threats that Russia might contemplate the use of nuclear weapons.
Associated explosions in Zaporizhhia and Vyshhorod during the October 19 November 1939-1937 Russian-Polish counteroffensive
Michael Bociurkiw relocated to Ukraine from Canada in the summer. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
To add to Putin’s sense of humiliation, the bridge explosion came amid a surging Ukrainian counteroffensive that has seized key pockets of Russian-controlled territory, including in regions Putin recently annexed.
Starting in October, Russian forces began launching barrages of cruise and ballistic missiles, ground-to-air rockets and loitering munitions, laying waste to energy facilities and other infrastructure on a scale not seen since the start of the war — a significant gear-change in an already grisly fight. The relentless assault on the power grid deprived millions across the country of electricity, heat, water and other essential services as temperatures dropped. It has also left at least 116 civilians dead and 393 injured, according to figures from the OHCHR.
In the Vyshhorod district, which was hit a month ago, the indiscriminate nature of the strikes means that residential districts are at greater risk than power plants and railway lines. Dozens of heath facilities across Ukraine, including maternity and children’s hospitals, have been struck since the beginning of the conflict.
The area around my office in Odesa remained quiet during the air raid sirens, with reports of three missiles and five drones being shot down. At this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be bustling with customers and there would be chatter about upcoming weddings and parties.
Zaporizhzhia, a city located close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit by multiple strikes on apartments while people slept. At least 17 people were killed and several dozens injured.
The attacks have almost certainly been aided by Russian energy specialists, who worked for years with their Ukrainian counterparts to regulate the post-Soviet energy system and know the inner workings of the grid intimately, Ukrainian energy experts and officials said. Moscow’s main targets have been substations — key nodes that reduce the voltage of electricity so that it can be transferred through power lines to households and businesses — and power plants.
In scenes reminiscent of the early days of the war when Russian forces neared the capital, some Kyiv media outlets temporarily moved their operations to underground bomb shelters. In one metro station serving as a shelter, large numbers of people took cover on platforms as a small group sang patriotic Ukrainian songs.
Indeed, millions of people in cities across Ukraine will be spending most of the day in bomb shelters, at the urging of officials, while businesses have been asked to shift work online as much as possible.
Just as many regions of Ukraine were starting to roar back to life, and with countless asylum seekers returning home, the attacks risk causing another blow to business confidence.
For Putin, the symbolism of the only bridge linking mainland Russia and Crimea cannot be overstated. That the attack took place a day after his 70th birthday (the timing prompted creative social media denizens to create a split-screen video of Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President”) can be taken as an added blow to an aging autocrat whose ability to withstand shame and humiliation is probably nil.
Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. In 2018, Putin personally opened the Kerch bridge – Europe’s longest – by driving a truck across it. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. Two years of delays prevented the opening of the road bridge.
The Ukraine Crisis: How Putin, Putin and the West Have Tolerated the Phenomenology of Security and Security Problems in the 21st Century
The reaction of the Ukrainians to the explosion was hilarious, with funny meme lighting up the social media channels. Many shared their sense of jubilation via text messages.
Sitting still was never an option for Putin, who was consumed by pride and self-interest. He responded by unleashing more death and destruction using the force that comes natural to a former KGB operatives, though he didn’t reveal how.
It was also an act of selfish desperation: facing increasing criticism at home, including on state-controlled television, has placed Putin on unusually thin ice.
Before Monday’s strikes, the Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, had told Ukrainian journalist Roman Kravets in late August that, “by the end of the year at the minimum we have to enter Crimea” – suggesting a plan to push back Russian forces to pre-2014 lines, which is massively supported by Ukrainians I’ve spoken to.
The importance of this is that Washington and other allies should use telephone diplomacy to lobby China and India not to use even more deadly weapons.
Against a man who probes for weakness and tends to exploit divisions, the most important thing for the West right now is to show unity and resolve. The rhetoric and sanctions that Western governments have put into place have not had an impact on Putin’s actions. They need to continue to arm Ukrainians and provide urgent training, even if it means sending military experts closer to the battlefield to speed up the integration of high technology weapons.
Being prepared is one of the things that living in Kyiv is about. Kateryna and Oleg have a lot of stuff in their cupboards. If the Russian missile campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure continues, as most expect it will, the scheduled power outages may become less predictable, with more emergency cuts.
The time has also come for the West to further isolate Russia with trade and travel restrictions – but for that to have sufficient impact, Turkey and Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board.
This war has been going on for years, starting with the forced deportation of 2.5 million Ukrainians and going on to include the stealing of Ukrainian grain and the destruction of Ukrainian museums, libraries, churches.
December 15, 1919: A long fairy tale of a Ukrainian woman living in Poland with her newborn son and her husband Denys, buried in a closed coffin
Long nights with the promise of a miracle: December is the month of fairy tales, when we peer into the darkness only to be reassured of the “happily ever after.”
Our life used to be a dark fairy tale, and we used to joke that it was a happy ending. Ievheniia, a Ukrainian woman who fled to Poland in December with her two-month-old son, says now is the time to stop because it is over.
Ievheniia was unable to travel back to Ukraine for her husband’s funeral because she had a newborn baby. She asked relatives to livestream it for her. But Russia’s continued attacks on critical infrastructure has made Internet connection in Ukraine unreliable – what she got was a few short recordings. Denys was buried in a closed coffin.
The key moments of this Ukrainian fairy tale take place via video link. This is what love looks like in a time of war, shifted to the digital space and disrupted mid-plot.
Ievheniia was a PhD candidate working as an IT consultant, and she told me her story via video call. She trusted a stranger with her pain to raise awareness about the fight which, since the start of Russia’s invasion in February, has claimed the lives of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.
The festive season is already underway in the streets of Warsaw. The Christmas season is upon us. People don’t want to be reminded that someone somewhere is suffering,” Ievheniia said. “And yet, they must be aware that this fight is unfolding right next to them.”
Ievheniia arrived at an enlistment office after driving west during the Russian bombardment. She was interviewed on a Friday and told to return the following Monday to sign a contract with the Armed Forces.
She decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. She said that the ground was starting to slip under one’s feet when war broke out and people were evacuated. “On top of that, it turned out that I was pregnant.”
The pregnancy test provided that plot twist: the woman who planned to defend her homeland instead joined the flow of refugees looking for safety in Poland.
A tale of two Ukrainian men living in a war zone: Ieveniia and Denys had a child with a dead son
Ievheniia and Denys wanted to show their partnership in the eyes of the state. The country at war was innovative and now it is allowing its servicemen to marry via video call. “Instead of (by) boring civil servants, we got married remotely by a handsome man in a uniform. Ievheniia had nothing to complain about.
Over the following months, Denys kept the magic alive via the Internet, with flower deliveries and professional photoshoots ordered for Ievheniia from the trenches.
When she failed to pick up the phone that morning, Denys raised an alarm in Warsaw, and a rescue squad discovered Ievheniia unconscious. A delay could have resulted in death. A Caesarean section followed. Because the baby was born two months early, the father was able to meet his new son.
Ukrainian men of fighting age are not allowed to leave the country under martial law. Yet as is appropriate for a fairy tale, Denys got permission, crossed the border, and spent five days with his family.
“It was a magical time filled with ordinary things: shopping, registering with a pediatrician, laughing, talking. Then he left the house. It was his birthday on November 17 and we sent him greetings,” Ievheniia remembered. He was killed the next day.
The First Year of the Ukrainian War Is Coming: The “Fourthly Invading State” of Kyiv’s Metropolis
Folktales ofconsolatory fables are what Calvino said were rare fairy tale ends badly. It means that time to be consoled hasn’t yet arrived. It is time to act.
Ukrainians have learned that they are stronger than was expected of them. Have the people who underestimated them learned from their mistakes? Military aid has been enough for Ukraine to survive but not to crush the enemy.
“As a teenager, I was reading a lot of fantasy books and wondering how I would act in a fight against absolute evil. I would like to turn away and not follow my daily life. I was told by Ievheniia. Today, all of us can find out.
Their lives are fundamentally changed within hours. The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin launches his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
During the summer months, at first glance, outward signs of the war were less apparent. “Normal” then meant bustling restaurants and bars — at least until curfew — and the mood throughout the city was jovial, as people celebrated Russian withdrawals and Ukrainian victories.
In the capital, generator hum is the sound of daily life. Even during power cuts, full restaurants and cafes offer a partial menu. Shelves in shops are stocked. On February 15, Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there hadn’t been any outages for days, and the city was gradually resuming electric transport services, like trolley buses and trams. Ukraine’s energy minister said two days later that the country had enough electricity to meet demand.
As Ukraine nears the one-year anniversary of the invasion, Kyiv’s newest normal may be darker and colder, but life goes on: Volunteers sew camouflage netting and build power banks, soldiers go to church, and people visit Christmas markets, wearing headlamps to navigate darkened streets.
Menon notes, however, that every one of his comments could just as easily apply to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet—such as the NotPetya malware released by Russia’s GRU hackers, which five years earlier destroyed the digital networks of hundreds of government agencies, banks, airports, hospitals, and even its radioactivity monitoring facility in Chernobyl. “They’re different in the technicalities, but the goal is the same,” he says. They demoralized and punished civilians.
Rajan Menon, a director of the Defense Priorities think tank, spoke about the central nervous system of the human body, saying that it was like thesystem of the human body if it were messed with. It is not only inconvenient, but a significant cost to the economy. It is intended to show the government can’t protect the civilian population adequately and create pain for them.
Russia’s practice of carrying out missile and artillery strikes on civilian targets has already become notorious, from the Mariupol theater airstrike in May that killed 600 people to the bombings of multiple sites in central Kyiv that Russia carried out in October in retaliation for the destruction of the Kerch bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to Russia. The repeated failures of Russia’s military to take or hold territory in the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive seem only to have amplified the Kremlin’s preference for softer, nonmilitary targets: In late November, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote that fully 97 percent of Russia’s 16,000 missile strikes have targeted civilians. “We are fighting against a terrorist state,” Reznikov wrote.
World War Wired: Jay Parini, Thomas L. Friedman and his spokesman for democracy, Ukraine, and the birth of a baby
Jay Parini teaches poetry and novelists at the college. His most recent book is “Borges and Me,” a memoir of his travels in the Highlands of Scotland in 1971 with Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine fabulist. The views expressed in this commentary belong to the author. View more opinion at CNN.
In The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman wrote about an unprecedented conflict in modern times. In a piece titled World War wired, Friedman stated that it was the first war in a totally interwoven world and that he had used TikTok and other social media platforms.
Daniel Johnson, an Iraq War veteran and journalist wrote in Slate that there was a large scale invasion that was being streamed live to the world. Those who are fortunate to be far away from missiles, gunfire and shelling are using smart phones and other screens to watch the events unfold.
One can’t, at this point, even begin to imagine the eventual outcome of this war. We know that Zelensky is a worthy spokesman for liberal democracy and Ukrainian freedom because of the way he has acted.
But Zelensky’s success was limited and his popularity went into decline after a couple of years. By October 2021, polls showed his approval ratings had gone into freefall.
Zelensky appealed to Russians in another video to stop those who lie to them, and to everyone, to the whole world. We need to end this war. We can live in a world of peace.
Even though the army he commands has less resources than Russia, he is still an opponent for Putin because of his communications and social media skills.
You will decide whether we are all going to exist. Whether Ukraine is going to exist. Every day. Every hour. It is you – Ukrainian soldiers – which will decide it,” he said.
Like many other Ukrainians, they helped a family that had fled the frontlines earlier in the war. The mother had given birth in the midst of Russian shelling of their hometown of Kreminna. The family was helped out by the people who lived in the suburb, Kateryna and Oleg.
They are bracing for the arrival of twin boys. A woman named Kateryna is eight months pregnant. CNN agreed to use only first names for her and Oleg as they fear for their privacy.
The Kites of Kyiv: How Ukrainian Electricity, Gas and Water Hurts in the Second World War II – Katerynna and Yukawa
From their perch on the 23rd floor of an apartment block in central Kyiv, they could see a drone swooping across the pink dawn sky, like a kite. Then, they heard an explosion and saw a black cloud left hanging in the air. In her words, she felt paralyzed, root to the spot.
When the sirens aren’t wailing, Kateryna said, there is another noise that is new to her neighborhood: the chattering of generators as homes and businesses try to compensate for being without electricity twelve for as much as 12 hours a day.
Despite the risk Kateryna is still going into central Kyiv two times a week to use one of the co-working spaces in the Ukrainian capital.
The space was bought from the company owned by Musk with furniture, heat, lighting and reliable internet.
According to humanitarian organizations and Ukrainian energy experts, people are able to heat their homes with firewood or gas, and get water from wells in some rural, remote towns. In some ways, it is almost a bigger challenge dealing with power outages in cities, where most people live in buildings with centralized heating and water systems. 3 million people are without access to water in the city, due to previous strikes, but most people including Brown have jugs of water. The impact is harsher in the urban areas than it is outside, according to Brown.
Kateryna has to shop with a flashlight sometimes because there is enough food in the stores. They keep two months worth of groceries in the house in case of a bad situation.
A bundled elderly woman whispers about an apartment she had grown up in under Russian rule. She laughed, then fell off the street, and then went home
It has been so long that I thought about moving, but only for a brief moment. This apartment, our home,” Lysenko said.
Kateryna says she is not afraid of becoming a wartime mother. She and Oleg want their sons to live in an environment that is different from those under Russian rule.
My husband works for a company that has a fund that helps the Ukrainian fighters who are on the front line with equipment. We helped collect money for such equipment,” she said.
“I really want my children to live in a free Ukraine, I want them to be safe. They have the right to safety and protection just like all other children in the world. She does not want them to be afraid of dying from a Russian rocket, they should be happy.
Her one concern – beyond giving birth to healthy children – is that she might find herself lying in the hospital amid another wave of missile attacks. At that point, she will pray very hard, she said.
An elderly woman in black pants, heavy shoes, and a dirty grey overcoat and headscarf shuffles up the street. Another explosion rings out. She flinches, her eyes are open, but she does not miss a step. She joins a crowd of several dozen, mostly elderly residents bundled up against the cold.
The roads are covered in mud and rubble from incoming rounds. The few vehicles must swerve around water-filled craters where bombs fell. The upper floors of some apartment blocks have been reduced to rubble and barely a window on the street is intact. Telephone and electrical wires are dead on the ground.
An elderly man on the edge of the crowd collects a monthly pension from the Ukrposhta, the postal service in Siversk
There is a man on the edge of the crowd. Her face is flat, devoid of emotion, her dark eyes without expression – the thousand-mile stare.
“Of course, we were very scared before,” she says in a low voice. She says that they have become used to the shelling. “We don’t even pay attention anymore.”
A mobile unit from the Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal service, came to town to collect the monthly pension of Bilenko, who lives alone. Bilenko’s pension is just short of $80 a month. It’s just enough to buy a bit of food from one of the few shops still open.
Anna Fesenko, a blonde woman with a quick smile, heads the mobile unit. Anna smiles at weary town residents when she and her colleagues hand out cash and check documents.
Before heading the mobile unit, Fesenko worked at the post office in Bakhmut, about 22 miles south of Siversk. She and her colleagues had to leave because of the fighting around the town.
She knows that her job is much more than just giving pensions to people in Siversk. “I think we’re the only one connection between them and the rest of the world,” she says.
“I live within a 20-minute walk from here, but my wife is afraid to come here,” says 63-year-old Volodymyr, who declined to give his full name, pulling on a cigarette before joining the line.
Olha, 73, has made it to the front. She has been in a basement with others for months like so many people living in the war zone. It’s a very cramped and uncomfortable place. She is prepared to put up with it.
The head of Siversk’s military administration is watching the operation. He is concerned that so many people have gathered in the open.
There are hills visible from the pension distribution point that are occupied by Russian forces. They are about 10 kilometers from the north.
“We are trying to choose the right time and place,” Vorobiov says of the pension handout. The time it takes for the mobile unit to arrive has a different place and time to avoid being targeted by the Russians.
February 23, 2022: The first anniversary of Putin war for Ukraine – a Russian woman in Kiev wraps opinion ctpr
She and her colleagues didn’t bother with the formality. They quickly handed out the cash they could to those still waiting, she said, and left.
February 23,2022 is the evening of that day. In Kyiv, the boss of a news site relaxes with a bath and candles. In Zaporizhzhia, a young woman goes to bed planning to celebrate her husband’s birthday in the morning. In Moscow, a journalist happens to postpone his travel plans to Kyiv.
In the space of a year, the war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions more. It has unleashed unfathomable atrocities, decimated cities, driven a global food and energy crisis and tested the resolve of western alliances.
Inside the court of Vladimir Putin. Putin, Zelensky, and the path to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: My wife and I grew up in Prague, and we moved to Berlin
February 23, 2022, Zaporizhzhia. I was going to celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. My husband was running a business. Our daughter had started school and made friends there. We were lucky to have arranged support services and found a special needs nursery for our son. I finally had time to work. I felt happy.
We want to live here and now. We are so sad, but the truth is. While physically we are in Prague, our hearts have remained in Ukraine.
My husband got a job due to the opportunities provided by the Czech Republic. I found special needs classes for my son. He is in attendance at a group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter is studying in a Ukrainian school that is not in my country.
Mikhail Zygar is a journalist and former editor in chief of the independent TV news channel Dozhd. He is the author of “All the Kremlin’s Men: There is a book called Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. Putin, Zelensky, and the Path to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine.”
That morning we woke up to learn that the invasion started. I wrote an open letter denouncing the war, which was co-signed by 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures. There was a huge amount of signatures from Russian citizens after it was published.
On the third day we, my husband and I, left Russia. I felt that it was some kind of moral obligation. I could no longer stay on the territory of the state that has become a fascist one.
We moved to Berlin. My husband became a volunteer at the refugee camp near the main railway station when thousands of Ukrainians showed up every day. And I started writing a new book. It starts like this:
“This book is a confession. I am guilty of not being aware of the signs earlier. I too am responsible for Russia’s war against Ukraine. As are my peers. Regrettably, Russian culture is also to blame for making all these horrors possible.”
I am aware of the fact that Russia’s people are ill-equipped to deal with imperialism. We failed to spot just how deadly the very idea of Russia as a “great empire” was – now we have to come a long way, healing our nation from that disease.
As I write, Russia has just fired dozens of Kalibr missiles towards several cities in Ukraine, including my adopted city of Odesa. We ran for shelter into the hallways after hearing air raid sirens. My landlady brings me a pot of borscht to help create a sense of normalcy.
Since the beginning of the Russian war, I have been haunted by the shadows of my father’s mind during the re-telling of dinnertime stories of relatives who were shipped off to the Soviet jails. Stories of millions of Ukrainians who starved to death in Stalin’s manmade famine of 1932-33.
A year into the full-scale invasion, my passport is a novel in stamps. My life is dictated by my upbringing in London and the lessons I get in Ukranian literature.
My former classmates from Zaporizhzhia whom, based on our teenage habits, I expected to perish from addictions a long time ago, have volunteered to fight. I was unaware that my hairdresser, who is supposed to remain a nice summer child, fled on foot with her mother, grandmother and five dogs from the Russia-occupied town of Bucha.
It seems that since February 2022 we have experienced several eras. The first was euphoric, when Putin suddenly, after a significant time of stagnant ratings, received more than 80% approval from the population.
In the fall Putin demanded that citizens take responsibility for the war with him and that’s when public demobilization was stopped. The bulk of the population preferred to adapt after this provoked unprecedented anxiety.
He canceled the future by aborting the past. It’s better to live this way when your superiors decide everything for you, and you do not take for granted anything you are told by propaganda.
It is impossible to adapt to a catastrophe like the one my family and I experienced. As a commentator on the events, I was branded as a foreign agent by the authorities, which made me more at risk, and made me think of living in a utopian world.
I washed my dog, took a bath, and lit candles on February 23. I have a one-bedroom apartment in the north of the city. I enjoyed taking care of it. I loved the life I had. All of it – the small routines and the struggles. My life was meaningless that night.
I remember talking to colleagues, trying to assemble and coordinate a small army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. My parents were supposed to organize buying supplies.
The life I knew was falling apart soon after. It no longer mattered what cup I used to drink my morning tea, or how I dressed, or whether or not I took a shower. Life itself no longer mattered, only the battle did.
Just a few weeks into the full-scale invasion it was already hard to remember the struggles, sorrows and joyful moments of the pre-war era. I would remember being upset about my boyfriend, but I could no longer relate. On February 24, my life was taken from me.
There was a fight to claim my life back, and it was one of the obvious battles. The life Russia stole from me is what I will always remember.
By March, my initial shock and fear of the war turned into a desire to act through sports. Athletes could fight against Russian propaganda in the best way. We have to tell the truth about how strong, kind and brave we are because we were in the war with the Ukrainians. How we are united to defend our country.
I was no longer concerned with my personal ambitions. To raise the flag and show that we are fighting in these circumstances is crucial to the common goal.
I couldn’t enjoy my victories on the track. They were only possible because the defenders had been killed. There were messages from soldiers on the frontline. They were so happy to follow our achievements, and it was my primary motivation to continue my career.
Newlyweds separated hours after their weddings so the groom could return to the front, according to stories I heard a year ago. A woman who worked in Boston quit her job to return to her native Ukranian with suitcases full of medical supplies. The wife of the border guard made the three-hour trip from Lviv to the Polish border almost daily to drop off fleeing women and children.
How sad that human beings survived deadly waves of Covid only to get right back into the business-as-usual of killing one other. It’s senseless to spend tens of billions of dollars on missiles, tanks and other aid, when more needs to be done to help communities adapt to rising oceans and drying rivers. It’s lunacy that farmers in a breadbasket of the world have gone hungry hiding in bomb shelters. The decision by Russia to send their army into Ukraine was made after Putin declared that Ukrainians were part of his own people.
Governments interfere with the war. They talk of victory because that gives soldiers hope and the will to fight on. The war is death in a muddy foxhole. It’s an existential fight over a frozen field with no strategic value. It’s a generational grudge that begets new generational grudges. It’s an $11 billion, roughly 740-mile pipeline laid across the Baltic Sea rendered useless overnight. The plants aren’t able to produce or ship a single metal sheet. The seaside city has been emptied out by bombings and siege.
The buzz of an engine: Yana and Serhii Lysenko, a couple in Chernihiv, Ukraine, during a three-day mission with SpaceX
In January 2022, Valeria Shashenok uploaded a video of herself playing tourist in Paris: red beret, fresh croissants, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. A month later, her videos took on a much different character: Touring the bombed-out buildings of her town, Chernihiv, Ukraine; racing for cover as the air raid sirens sounded; reviewing the military rations served in her local bomb shelter.
Ukrenergo was preparing to start a long-planned experiment in order to get rid of the power supply from the Russian and Belarusian grids in the early part of the 21st century as fears of war grew. As one of the last steps in a 2017 agreement with Europe aimed at Ukraine joining the European power grid in 2023, Ukraine had to prove that it could operate autonomously from its neighbors — in “isolation mode” — for three days.
While Starlink has been a critical stopgap, Kyiv has turned its attention to getting its regular infrastructure back up and running—thanks in no small part to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s hot-and-cold routine with Ukraine. Just this month, SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company cut off Ukraine from using Starlink to connect its fleet of drones.
Contingency plans for ourselves were done due to this huge range of instability in the position of the SpaceX CEO.
Kyiv, Ukraine — Yana and Serhii Lysenko were fast asleep, their four-year-old daughter in her bedroom down the hall, when they awoke at sunrise to a noise they didn’t recognize — the ominous buzz of an engine, like a motorcycle or lawnmower.
“I will never forget this sound,” said Yana, 31, who recalls leaping out of bed and rushing to the window to look outside. It was above us, above our heads.
The weapon, later identified by authorities as an Iranian Shahed-136, known as a “kamikaze” or “suicide” drone for the way it explodes on impact, was soon followed by several more. The couple watched in horror as the menacing triangular munitions darted past, careening and dive-bombing towards a thermal power plant just over a mile from their home, which provides electricity and heat for the capital.
Russia’s attacks violate international humanitarian law, which prohibits the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, according to the UN. In a report released in December, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that it appeared Moscow’s tactic was primarily designed to spread terror among the civilian population, in contravention of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.
After being unable to win the war for a long period of time, the Kremlin devised a cynical tactic, which HRW has researched in Chechnya, Georgia and Syria. I don’t think winter was cynically weaponized earlier. It was rather about absolute lack of care for civilians, and indiscriminate strikes, but not specifically using the cold weather season as a war tactic. That is new.”
During the winter months in Ukranian temperatures can range between 23 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit and can plunge as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the winter has been mild, it has been hard for people in some areas in the country’s east, which haven’t had electricity for months.
Despite all odds, the grid has been maintained by the Ukrainians. The government introduced scheduled power outages in some cities and towns, disconnecting consumers for four-hour blocks three times a day to help conserve energy, while electrical engineering crews raced to make repairs.
Doctors have done heart surgeries, families have cooked meals on camping stove, and students have done homework in the dark. A picture that went viral shows children getting a hot cup of tea, a charge for their phones, and a life-saving medical equipment at points of invincibility, provided by their parents.
Survival of Ukraine in the era of war and weaponization: When Russia invaded Ukraine, it was reunited with the EU and it wouldn’t leave
It was not expected that Russia would resort to barbarism to bring us back to stone age. Serhii said that it could have worked. “But we were able to survive.”
The test was originally due to take place in mid-February, but Russia requested they push it to February 24. Mariia Tsaturian, a spokeswoman for Ukrenergo, told CNN that very few people know about it. We were thinking in the back of our minds that this might be when they would invade, because Ukraine would seem weak.
Ukrenergo hid their main control room location in the west to keep their engineers safe and the grid stable. As the country was thrown into chaos, energy officials in the company’s Kyiv headquarters were busy trying to speed up the timetable for joining the European system. “No one was going to be reunited with the power grids with the enemy,” Tsaturian said.
Our system was made stronger by it. It made us more resilient to Russia’s attacks,” Oleksandr Kharchenko, director of the Energy Industry Research Center (EIRC), a research and consulting company in Kyiv, and former adviser to Ukraine’s energy minister, told CNN. He pointed out that the successful emergency synchronization also allowed Ukraine to start trading power with the EU in June, bringing in much-needed revenue while also providing affordable electricity to Europe during a time when prices were sky high.
The scale of destruction at individual sites has been difficult to assess, in part because Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy has restricted the dissemination of information detailing damages.
There is a big question mark about how to recover this deficit. If Zaporizhzhia came back online, it would be able to balance the overall need, but there is no sign of that happening anytime soon. Kyiv is also looking into the possibility of importing electricity from the EU, but the costs would be much higher — an expense that the country’s consumers can’t bear.
The country of this size has experienced a challenge no one else has: war and the weaponization of their energy sector by Russia. ”But they’ve proved that they can keep the system running despite all these atrocities and shellings. And this is for me the source of hope that it will continue until the end of this winter.”
Preparing for winter was the priority of the UN resident coordination in Ukranian when Denise Brown took up her position last summer.
Brown said that winterization plans were the first thing he jumped into because he was scared that we would get to the middle of winter and it would be minus 20.
One of the UN convoys recently traveled to Siversk, a flattened town about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Soledar, which was captured by Russian forces in January. The residents are without electricity or running water. Those who have stayed behind are usually the most vulnerable — older people, people with disabilities and chronic conditions, who either can’t leave their homes or don’t want to.
A Syrian ruscist and a police officer in the city: Yulia Ivanenko lives in an invincibility point
She said she began to feel better about her living situation in December. She was teaching Italian at the university while taking Liza back to kindergarten.
The sense of regularity was disrupted on December 31 by air strikes. The family was supposed to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the city, but they took shelter in the shelter when the missiles hit.
Yulia Ivanenko commutes every day from her apartment in the Kyiv suburb of Hostomel to the nearby town of Irpin, where she runs an accounting company. But instead of going to her office, she works from a local library, which has been converted into an “invincibility point,” providing electricity and wifi powered by a generator.
“Unfortunately, I cannot afford to get a generator for the office, so for now, this is our way out. She said her employees often only have four hours of electricity before they need to go and work elsewhere, but she hopes that will change.
Her 67-year-old father, who also lives in Hostomel, uses a car battery as a temporary power source for his small home. Did you know where he got that battery? She said it was stolen from the ruscists’ car. He is fearless.
Eduard Yevtushenko, a 55-year-old film producer, had just gotten home from the hospital, where he was in rehab for a stroke, when Russian forces launched their attack on Kyiv.
The life of Sergei Yevtushenko in Ukraine during the first Russian attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kyiv
He and his wife slept in their small bathroom, with her in the tub, and him sitting on a stool next to her. Now they use the safest space in their home, the room, as a personal immunity point, with power banks, water jugs, candles, and food for their dog, to charge their phones and laptops.
The couple have stayed in their high-rise apartment in Kyiv’s left bank throughout the war, unable to flee. The stress of relentless strikes, air raid sirens and outages have set his progress back, Yevtushenko said, adding that if not for the stroke he would have joined the armed forces.
There has not been a major attack on the city in a few weeks which means that people are left unsure when the alarms are going to sound.
Some vital supplies are left in elevators in high-rise apartment buildings if cuts are to occur. Most people CNN spoke with though couldn’t remember the last time they had used the lift, worried about being trapped inside.
Lokshina, the past head of the Moscow bureau of HRW, has moved to exile from Georgia since Russia revoked the organization’s registration. She was in the Ukrainian region at the height of Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure. In towns and villages she visited that were recently de-occupied, people had been living with no electricity for months. They were most devastated by a lack of connectivity, she said, unable to get in touch with friends and relatives, to find out how they were and what was happening in the outside world.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Deputy Chair of the Security Council of the Dmitry Medvedev, and the Chancellor of the Russian Embassy in Kiev
You don’t need much to be happy. A warm house with lights and water and a peaceful sky above our heads, these are some of the comforts we have. That’s it,” Yana said. We have changed our values a lot. In fact, we have changed.”
One year after the start of the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly declared he was certain that his country would win the war.
“We have everything for it. We have the motivation, certainty, friends and diplomacy. Zelensky said that there were all of you who came together for this. “If we all do our important homework, victory will be inevitable.”
The Ukrainian president has repeatedly rejected the idea of negotiating a peace deal that would see Ukraine lose any of its territory. He spoke on Friday and he said that he would not talk to Putin before the war started.
Meanwhile in Russia, former Russian President and Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council of the Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that that Russia’s aim was to “push the borders of threats to our country as far as possible, even if these are the borders of Poland.”
Ukrainian Prime Minister Sergei Zelensky on the First Anniversary of the War, whose legacy will be remembered for his 20 years in Ukraine
Zelensky used the first anniversary of the war to rally troops and renew calls for international assistance for his country. He handed out awards to soldiers and visited wounded service members before holding the rare press conference.
Earlier on Friday morning, the Ukrainian leader addressed members of the military in Kyiv. He told them it was they who would determine the future of the country.
On Friday, landmarks around the world were lit up in colors of the Ukrainian flag and new announcements about weapons and funding were made.
The United States has a $2 billion dollar security package for Ukraine, which includes new funding for contracts, such as mine clearing equipment, and secure communications equipment.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was calling for the international community not to allow Putin’s crimes to become our new normal.
Germany said it would send a further four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, increasing its original commitment from 14 tanks to 18. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also pledged to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
During a virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Zelensky, Fumio Kishida said he will propose the idea of new sanctions against Russia.
The two former students who died in the war were the inspiration for the flowers that Pahitsky laid at the monastery.
It was a bitterly cold morning in Kyiv, but Pahitsky said she felt it was her duty as the student president of her school to represent her classmates and pay her respects to the fallen heroes.
“Their photographs are here on the main street. It is a great honor. They were heroes when they died. It is very important for us. It would have been for them, she said.
Startups in Ukraine: The struggles of Oleksander Atamas during the last 12 months, and he continues to fight for the future
Olexander Atamas, who was an IT worker before the war, now serves with the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said it was hard to describe his feelings on Friday.
“I would prefer to describe what I don’t feel now, I don’t feel a fear, but [I] feel confidence in my abilities,” he told CNN. “One year ago … I felt fear, I was stressed, psychologically it unsettled me. But currently there is no fear at all.”
Julia and I met for the first time last June, after she had traveled 15 hours by train from Kyiv to Poland and then flew to California to attend the Apple conference. The scene outside the coffee shop was idyllic, a contrast to the war-torn areas of Ukraine. Since then I’ve kept in touch with Petryk and recently spoke to or corresponded with half a dozen tech founders and workers from Ukrainian companies, asking about life in Ukraine’s startup scene over the past year.
It can be a bit depressing when you have all this news on a daily basis. But people keep adapting,” Petryk says. There is only one way out and that is to fight for the future.