Civilians pass by starved man on a street in Kharkiv during Holodomor, circa 1932. Credit: Diocesan Archive of Vienna
Russia quickly lived up to its new E.U.-designated title as a “sponsor of state terrorism” after another assault on civilian infrastructure. The bombardment initially cut off 12 million civilians from water, heat, and electricity, but as of Friday, 6 million remained disconnected from their utilities. The E.U. is trying to alleviate the suffering by sending generators and air defense systems to the war-torn country. Despite the good-natured moves, many fear Europe’s warm welcome for refugees is waning as winter descends upon the continent. Back in Ukraine, officials are attempting to sustain the support the country has received by remembering another tragedy, the Holodomor genocide. They hope outsiders can see the similarities between what happened in 1932 and 2022.
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Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. Credit: Codart
Art On The Move
Art Escape:In the early hours of Tuesday, two trucks containing rare Ukrainian art escaped the country. They headed for Poland where they were later flown to Madrid’s Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. The pieces, which escaped Russia’s bombardment unscathed, will be put on display as part of the exhibition In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930. Curators claim this is the largest survey of modern Ukrainian art to date. The work includes various different forms of art, from paintings to sketches and set designs. The exhibition runs from November through April of next year. It will then move to Cologne and other European venues.
Russian Heist: As Russian forces withdrew from Kherson, they pillaged a treasure of the city, the Kherson Art Museum. Five days before the Russian withdrawal, soldiers showed up with trucks and took numerous pieces from the museum. While most of the staff at the organization protested the Russian invasion, five members collaborated with the occupiers, providing them with the location of the art. Ukrainian officials now believe that the art is residing in occupied Crimea, where photos of the pieces have surfaced.
At the Ukrainian Philharmonic Orchestra, the show went on despite the building losing power.
Starving Soviet-era peasants laying on the sidewalk in Kharkiv during the Holodomor, circa 1933. Credit: Diocesan Archive of Vienna
Grain Initiative Sheds Light on Holodomor
Grain From Ukraine: On Saturday, Ukrainian officials and several allies met in Kyiv to announce the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative. The group raised $150 million from twenty countries to help export crops to nations vulnerable to famine.
Holodomor Anniversary: The summit coincided with the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor (death by hunger), a manmade Soviet famine that killed millions of Ukrainians. Seventeen countries, including the U.S., currently recognize the Holodomor as a genocide. President Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s grain initiative is their attempt to not let history repeat itself by allowing people to die of hunger in other countries.
Residential building in Kyiv after Russian bombing in November. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Russia Targets Civilians after Terrorist Designation
Rolling Blackouts: On November 23rd, Russia conducted strikes across Ukraine, with substantial damage to residential buildings, power stations, and substations near Kyiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia, and Zaporizhzhia. The attacks caused major disruptions to heating, water, and electricity throughout Ukraine. Kyiv officials believe Russia is trying to divert Ukrainian forces' attention from the eastern front to rear positions. Defiantly, Ukrainian officials said the attacks on civilian infrastructure will not compel them to negotiate with Kremlin representatives.
Millions without Power: President Zelenskyy noted that 12 million people did not have electricity after the attacks on Wednesday evening. As of November 25th, nearly six million civilians were without power in Ukraine.
State Terrorist: On Wednesday, the E.U. parliament designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, following repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure over the last several months. The move is largely symbolic, as the E.U. has no authority to punish Russia outside of sanctions. President Zelenskyy approved of the decision on Twitter, saying, “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe.” The Ukrainian President has been lobbying the U.S. and other countries to designate Russia as a terrorist-state for months.
⚕️Human Moment: ⚕️ Ukrainian surgeons continue to operate on a newborn’s heart despite blackouts.
Germans warmly greet refugees back in 2015. Warm welcomes are beginning to waver. Credit: Montecruz Foto via Flickr
European Welcome Cools as Winter Approaches
Europe Wavers? As Russia bombards civilian infrastructure throughout Ukraine, European countries are struggling to accommodate the millions of refugees staying within their borders as cost-of-living and energy prices soar. In the recent weeks, twelve German states said they reached their limit for refugees, Austria limited free travel for refugees, and Poland amended its provisions so that any refugee staying over 120 days had to pay for part of their accommodation.
Russia’s Grand Scheme: Many observers believe Russia is intentionally attacking civilian infrastructure to incite another mass exodus of refugees that would increase tensions in the host countries. Russian disinformation is further stoking tensions by spreading false accusations against Ukrainian refugees.
Looking to lend support to Ukraine? Below are some ways you can help:
Help forPEACE, which seeks to connect foreign donations with on-the-ground organizations in Ukraine
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Europe As a Brace
Merkel Had No Power:In a recent interview with Spiegel News, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she tried to convene talks between Putin and European leaders in the summer of 2021, just six months before the invasion of Ukraine. Many have attacked the former German leader for not taking a tougher approach with Russia, arguing that it could have prevented the invasion and the war. Merkel said others recognized that she had no real power after announcing her resignation from the chancellorship. She told Spiegel that during her last visit to Moscow, "the feeling was very clear: 'In terms of power politics you're finished.'"
What’s Europe Doing?As Kyiv faces rolling blackouts, Europe is trying to help Ukrainians survive the winter by sending support. France sent 100 high-powered generators, while the U.N. is following suit with their own package of generators. Meanwhile, the U.K. is trying to prevent further damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by sending an air defense package valued at $60 million.
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