Brad Paisley Headlines Envoy to Ukraine

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The Week of April 10th - April 17th

This Week's Takeaway in 30 Seconds...
Discord, the social media platform Jack Teixeira used to share classified documents about Ukraine's battle plans. Credit: Ivan Redic via Flickr
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U.S. officials arrested a 21-year-old who leaked classified documents about Ukraine’s battle plans to impress his friends. How will this affect the U.S.-Ukraine  relations in the future?

While the dust settles, a group of U.S. lawmakers and country star Brad Paisley visited Ukraine to help secure support for the war-torn country. As the international community rallies around Ukraine, President Zelenskyy proposed a new plan to the IMF for rebuilding Ukraine using seized Russian assets. On the other side of the globe, Chinese officials clarified their geopolitical intentions after the foreign minister commented on supplying Russia and Ukraine with weapons. Back in Ukraine, the electronic duo Tvorchi is preparing to defend the country’s title as Eurovision champs. While the politicians and musicians dominate the headlines, Ukrainian mothers travel thousands of miles behind the battle lines to rescue their children home.

All this and more in this week's newsletter!

Ukraine Unlocked is a weekly newsletter providing a roundup of the cultural, political, and economic developments in the country. We hope to provide students, professionals, and the casual reader with greater insight into Ukraine as its role on the global stage evolves throughout the 21st century.

The Pentagon, home to the U.S. Department of Defense and likely where the leak of classified documents stemmed from. Credit: Touch of Light via Flickr
Visas in Ukraine, Not in the U.S.
  • Pentagon Leak Suspect Arrested: Last week, we discussed the massive leak of documents which showed how the U.S. is assessing the war in Ukraine. This past week the FBI arrested Jack Teixeira, a 21-year old air national guardsmen based in Massachusetts, in connection with the investigation. It is unclear how or why Teixeria had access to these documents but law enforcement located him based on his presence on the online platform Discord. On Friday, Teixera appeared in federal court where charges were brought against him under the Espionage Act. He is being held in jail until his detention hearing which will happen this week.
    • Implications: While the number of Ukrainian and Russian military deaths in the reports were altered, the other information remained intact. The U.S. is re-evaluating its policies related to paper use and printing privileges of classified documents. Ukrainian officials are extremely frustrated by the circulation of their war plans. President Zelenskyy said that Ukraine’s generals were altering their battle plans in response to the leak.
  • No Visas, No Entry: The U.S. has thus far not fulfilled the Kremlin’s visa request for the delegation heading to the U.N. in New York. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is supposed to lead a meeting of the U.N.’s Security Council in April, but as it currently stands his government jet is not approved to land at an American airport. Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. has urged Washington to process the request for both the Kremlin delegation and the Russian journalists covering the trip. It is unclear why Washington is delaying issuing the visas but the U.S. has previously sought to punish Russia’s aggression in Ukraine through the U.N. 
  • Celebs and Politicians Head to Kyiv: A bipartisan cohort of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and country music star Brad Paisley visited Ukraine this past week. The three senators met with President Zelenskyy to discuss foreign assistance, military readiness and how Ukraine will rebuild after the war. Paisley performed his Ukraine inspired song “Same Here” at the press conference. The moderate but powerful group of U.S. legislators signals that support for Ukraine is not slowing in the Senate.

🏟️ Human Moment: 🏟️

President Zelenskyy is the newest West Virginia Mountaineers fan.

Ukrainian band Tvhorchi. Credit: UAStepan via Wikimedia Commons
Unlikely Duo
  • Ukraine’s Eurovision Song: Since Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022, Ukraine was supposed to host this year’s Eurovision contest. However, due to the ongoing war, Liverpool, England stepped in to anchor this year’s competition. Ukraine selected the band Tvorchi and their song Heart of Steel to represent the country. Whoever wins the competition hosts Eurovision the following year but it is yet to be known if Ukraine would be able to welcome large numbers of tourists if they repeated their victory. 
    • Interesting History: Tvorchi is a two-man group of ethnic Ukrainian Andrii Hutsuliak and Nigerian-born Jimoh Kehinde. The two met at Pharmacy school in Ternopil, Ukraine while they were students. They released their first debut album back in 2018 and have produced several singles since then. 
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Map of China overlaying the Russian flag. Credit: Pixabay
Setting Boundaries
China Vows Neutrality: Addressing concerns that China would supply weapons to Russia, foreign minister Qin Gang said his country would not sell weapons to Russia or Ukraine. Mr. Gang also said Chinese officials would closely manage and monitor the export of dual-purpose items, such as the electrical components for drones we covered several weeks ago. Furthermore, China still wants to mediate between Russia and Ukraine to find a “peaceful solution” to end the war.

 Human Moment:  

World Central Kitchen continues to do amazing work distributing food across Ukraine.

A displaced family from Luhansk. Credit: UNIECF Ukraine via Flickr

Saving the Children

  • Mothers to the Rescue: Exact estimates are unclear, but officials say that around 150,000 Ukrainian children were taken from their families in Russian-occupied territories last year. Under Kremlin control, the children are often put in re-education programs and either fostered or adopted by Russian families. Now some Ukrainian mothers are making a harrowing journey to get their children back. 
    • Natalya’s Story: Last autumn, Russian soldiers took Natalya Zhornyk’s son, Artem, from school in Kupyansk. For weeks, she had no idea where he was. Then she received a phone call from Artem, saying, “Mom, come and get me.” He remembered her number and borrowed a phone to call her. Russian troops had removed him and other children from the school. They moved them to Perevalsk, a city deep in the occupied territories. Natalya and a group of women, assisted by the charity Save Ukraine, made a 3,000-mile journey before entering the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine. Natalya and the other mothers found their children, then turned around and made the same nerve-wracking journey back home.
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
  • Donate to the Ukrainian military (will need google translate on your computer)
  • Donate to Ukrainian NGO Come Back Alive
  • Help Ukrainian refugees in Poland
A Russian yacht seized in British waters in September 2022. Credit: Maggie Jones via Flickr
Rebuilding by Repossessing
  • Seizing Russian Assets: On Wednesday, President Zelenskyy met with the IMF and World Bank representatives, urging the international community to increase support for Ukraine’s economy. The IMF recently approved a $15.6 billion loan package to support Ukraine’s economy over the next few years but the World Bank estimates that Ukraine will face an $11 billion deficit for essential functions. To cover the deficit, Zelenskyy proposed seizing Russian assets. However, U.S. officials do not think it is feasible to repurpose frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. 
To help people pursue their passions about the Eurasian region we are collecting jobs that are connected to the area. If you have a relevant job you would like posted here please contact us. 
Entry Level  Mid-Career Senior Level 
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. We always look forward to engaging with our readers. 

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