It seems everyone is having commitment issues these days. Russia took a short, four-day break from the Black Sea grain deal, which has been crucial in getting food to the rest of the world. Russia returned after being accused of blackmailing the world through food. Americans are also teetering as the midterms loom this week. If Republicans seize power of Congress, many are unsure if Ukraine will continue to receive the same level of funding with Democrats in power. While Americans will be keeping an eye on the elections happening this week, anyone in Paris can see the work of Boris Mikhailov, a Ukrainian photographer, at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie. He is known for superimposing images on one another but gained notoriety for photographing people in the nude. As Mikhailov shifts his work abroad, other population changes are happening within Ukraine. Thousands of Jews who had been living in eastern Ukraine are trying to reestablish themselves and their community in the western part of the country. For a population that has been devastated because of the Holocaust, reestablishment will be no easy task.
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaking at the 2021 AmericaFest. Credit: Flickr
Is The U.S. In or Out?
Marjorie Says No More for Ukraine: Polarizing, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said at a Trump rally in Iowa that "Under Republicans, not another penny will go to Ukraine.” The comments come as many expect for Republicans to regain control of the U.S. House and possibly the Senate as well. While many establishment Republicans, like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), disagree with the Congresswoman, the populist wing of the party has pushed the GOP to reconsider America’s support of Ukraine.
Jake Sullivan Pops By:President Biden sent Jake Sullivan to Kyiv this week to meet with president Zelenskyy. Sullivan is Biden’s national security advisor, serving as the principal consultant on all threats to the country. Sullivan announced another tranche of military funding for Ukraine as well, with an additional $400 million being sent to the country. The package includes refurbished tanks, the first time the U.S. has sent tanks to Ukraine.
Watch this time lapse of a mural painting which is dedicated to those defending Ukraine.
A portrait of Boris Mikhailov. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Ukraine’s Greatest Trickster:Paris is playing host to a new display of Ukrainian art. “Boris Mikhailov: Ukrainian Diary” just went on display at Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Mikhailov is considered to be one of the most important artists to emerge from the USSR, maintaining his fame even after the fall of the bloc. He is known for superimposing images on one another, making the viewer question what is real and what isn't. The display in Paris is the biggest of his career with over 800 pieces on display.
My Next Guest: The former host of the the Late Show, David Letterman, traveled to Kyiv to interview President Zelenskyy for his show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The series is on Netflix and this specific episode should be available sometime later this year. Past guests on Letterman’s show include Barack Obama, Lizzo, and Jay-Z. Zelenskyy’s administration tried to keep the world’s attention on Russia’s invasion through platforms that connect them with international audiences.
Zelenskyy visits the Black Sea region in July after the grain deal was signed.
Credit: President of Ukraine Office
as Ukraine Advances
Russia Rejoins Grain Deal: After a four-day hiatus, Kremlin officials agreed on November 2nd to rejoin the negotiated Black Sea grain deal, which allows essential agricultural products in Ukraine to be shipped through the Black Sea. Since the warring sides enacted the deal in July, Ukraine has shipped over nine million tons of grain around the world. However, pre-war exports were around five million tons of grain per month.
Caveats: Kremlin officials cited attacks on military vessels in the Black Sea as their reason for pulling out of the grain deal. However, Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia had received sufficient “guarantees” that Ukraine would only use the Black Sea for shipping and humanitarian operations but warned that Russia would revoke the deal if Ukraine attacked their assets in the Black Sea. Russia’s accusations are unsubstantiated, and Kyiv officials say Russia attacked their own ships as a pretext to opt-out of the deal. Putin’s threat to revoke the deal leaves many to ask how long the deal will last.
Forced Deportations: As Ukraine continues to try and recapture Kherson, Russian-installed proxies in the region widened the “evacuation” zone for residents of the region and plan to forcibly relocate 70,000 Ukrainians deeper into occupied territories. As we reported here two weeks ago, a Ukrainian official warned that Putin’s declaration of martial law in the region was a precursor to forced deportations.
Power Outages Rock Ukraine: Ukrainian cities are experiencing regular power outages after Russian missiles destroyed 30-40% of Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure in a slew of attacks at the end of October. Officials must schedule regular outages for entire cities while repairing damage and meeting energy demands with a weakened energy grid. As the temperatures drop, the power outages caused by Russian attacks threaten the safety of civilians.
Dismissing Lies: The International Atomic Agency conducted investigations at three separate nuclear facilities and declared there were no undocumented nuclear materials which could be used for weapons. Kyiv officials asked for the investigation after Putin made baseless claims about Ukraine preparing to launch a “dirty bomb” which could spread nuclear material on the battlefield.
Synagogue in Ivano-Frankivsk Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Jewish Revival in Western Ukraine: Thousands of Jews from eastern Ukraine have fled to western parts of the country since Russia invaded in February. In Ivano-Frankivsk, a city located 360 miles southwest of Kyiv, the Jewish population has grown from 150 to over 1,000 since February. Jewish leaders throughout western Ukraine are hoping to leverage the influx of Jews to strengthen their communities, which the Holocaust decimated during WWII. In the 1930s, there were more than 40,000 Jews in Ivano-Frankivsk, but by the 1950s there were less than 3,000. Many of the survivors immigrated to Israel in the 1970s during Soviet rule, leaving the Jewish communities disconnected and weak. While local leaders recognize they will never obtain the pre-WWII numbers, they hope the small influx of Jews will lead to greater solidarity throughout the region.
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
Grammarly logo, one of the many successful tech companies in Ukraine.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Resilient IT Sector: The Ministry of Economy reported that the number of computer services grew by 13% over the first nine months of 2022, with IT exports increasing by 23%. Most Ukrainian IT companies retained all their pre-war contracts, while attracting an additional $350 million in investments. While many sectors of Ukraine’s economy are suffering because of the war, the IT sector’s performance means it is positioning itself to be a foundational part of Ukraine’s post-war economy.
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