Ukraine Unlocked

How Close are Musk and Putin?

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The Week of October 10th - October 17th

This Week's Takeaway in 30 seconds...
A young Maria Prymachenko with a piece of her work behind her. Credit: Malki Studio
Russia may be high tailing out of Kherson sooner rather than later, as Ukrainian forces continue to liberate occupied territories in the south.  While Ukraine’s military is securing victories on the front line, the higher education and tech industries are securing success in the future by creating crypto degrees. The E.U. is also looking forward, as the economic bloc recently launched an online job-search tool for Ukrainian refugees seeking employment. The E.U. has been extremely supportive of Ukraine over the last ten months, but pro-Russian protestors in east Germany were quick to erroneously label Ukrainian refugees as Nazis. Elon Musk might be closer to Russia than he wants to let on, as the Eurasia Group alleges he spoke with Putin before tweeting his proposed “peace plan.” Want to learn more about the history of Ukraine and Russia? Check out a list Forbes put together below!

 All this and more in the below 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. 
Counter protestors in Leipzig who were labeled Nazis. Credit: DW
Pointing Fingers
  • More on Musk: Ian Bremmer, who is the head of the global risk consultancy group Eurasia Group, reported earlier this week that Elon Musk spoke with President Putin before posting his peace on Twitter back on October 3rd. Musk came out on October 11th and denied the allegations saying that “I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space.” Musk has been the subject of much controversy over the last few weeks for his proposals to end the war.
  • Ukrainian Supporters Labeled Nazis in Germany: In the eastern German city of Leipzig, protestors rallied to object to issues including German energy policy and sanctions against Russia. A group of counter-protesters showed up to the demonstration donning Ukrainian flags, but were met with chants of “Nazis out!” Local politicians denounced the labels but had little more to offer. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union controlled east Germany which led to a migration of Russians to the area. This history has produced a strong connection with modern-day Russia.
  • U.S. Losing Its Patience: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is calling publicly on western allies to send more money to prop up Ukraine’s struggling economy. Zelenskyy has stated that Ukraine needs $38 billion to cover next years budget. While the U.S. has pledged $13 billion of that amount, the European Union has only sent $3 billion so far. Ukraine and the U.S. are toeing a thin line, as they do not want to antagonize Europe but also want to make sure that Ukraine is adequately supported.
🤦Human Moment: 🤦

The Minister of Defense for Ukraine tries to dap up U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. 

Members of Kalush Orchestra. Credit: Rolling Stone
Diving Deeper
  • Money Raisers: Kalush Orchestra, the winners of the 2022 Eurovision contest, are about to embark on a massive U.S. tour. They spent this past summer traveling through other parts of the world, providing a QR code for their concert attendees to support the war effort back home. From their efforts thus far, Kalush has raised $1.5 million. A list of their tour dates can be found here.
  • Books Recs: Looking to dive deeper into Ukraine and Russia’s history? Want to know how we got to where we are and potentially understand where we are going? Check out this list of books Forbes has put together. 
    • Our Adds: Missing from this list is Svetlana Alexiveich’s Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. Through personal stories Alexiveich documents the gruesome experiences associated with communism’s fall in Europe and Central Asia. Definitely not a light read.  
  • Preserving Prymachenko: One of Ukraine’s most well known artists, Maria Prymachenko, is getting renewed attention as Russia’s attacks threaten the safety of her work. Victoria Yakusha, an architect, recently revealed her design for a complex to protect the artwork in a village in western Ukraine. The renderings depict 15 white, conical domes that would be a nod to the country’s traditional village architecture. The design also creates a space for a café and dormitory for artists looking to spend more time immersed in Prymachenko’s iconic craft.
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Destroyed Russian tank outside of Mariupol. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Russia's Losing Steam
  • Retreat: Ukrainian troops are continuing their successful counter-offensive in southern Ukraine. In response to quick advancements in the Kherson Oblast, Russian-proxies are calling for an evacuation of the region
    • First Deaths of Mobilized Troops: Local Russian officials reported that five soldiers mobilized after September 21st died in Ukraine. Pro-war bloggers in Russia blamed a lack of proper training, equipment, and leadership. The quick turnaround from conscription to the battlefield confirmed many beliefs about the struggling state of the Russian army.
  • Veiled Threats: Earlier this week, Russian officials warned that if Ukraine were to join NATO, that such a step would "mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III." Western analysts worry that Russia is contemplating using tactical nuclear missiles in Ukraine, which would likely lead to an uncontrolled escalation of global nuclear warfare.

 Human Moment:   

Ukrainians hiding in the metro stations of Kyiv during the recent attacks sing together
E.U. and Ukrainian flag flying together in Germany. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Humanitarian Crisis
  • Job Hunting: On October 10th, the E.U. launched a job-search tool for Ukrainian refugees residing in the continent. Ukrainians can upload their CVs to the platform, “which will be available to more than 4,000 employers, national public employment services and private employment agencies.” Over 600,000 refugees have entered the E.U. labor market since Russia invaded on February 24th. European countries have responded to the influx of refugees by providing access to education, healthcare, and housing.
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
Logo for Kyiv-Mohyla academy. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Investing in Education and War
  • Cyber Cooperation: WhiteBIT, a European cryptocurrency exchange platform, and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy recently signed a cooperation pact. WhiteBIT will help develop a crypto program focusing on blockchain, circulation, and regulation of cyber assets. The president of Kyiv-Mohyla stated that this is the first master’s degree in blockchain technology in Eastern Europe. 
  • New U.S. Aid Package: The Department of Defense announced a new security assistance package of $725 million for Ukraine. The package includes ammunition for HIMARS, 500 anti-tank weapons, 23,000 155mm artillery rounds, and several other forms of ammunition and weaponry. Since Russia invaded in February, the U.S. has sent more than $18.2 billion in security assistance to 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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