Below you will find our weekly newsletters which cover the most relevant political, social, and economic news stories

Ukrainian flag that says "Accept Refugees"

Hidden Victims of War

War reporting often overlooks one of the most consequential actions of combat: gender-based violence. While there are reports of Russian soldiers raping Ukrainian women and children, domestic violence perpetrated by Ukrainian men toward their wives and children is rarely discussed. One Ukrainian woman noted that if the Russians do not kill her, then her husband might. The U.N. has made gender-based violence a key priority in its response to the Ukrainian-Russian war, but will it be enough to protect the hidden victims of the war?

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Severodonetsk, Ukraine

Beheading Russian Monuments in Ukraine

Among the many things Russia has destroyed during its invasion of Ukraine have been cultural sites, landmarks, and artifacts. Many Ukrainians feel that Russia is trying to erase any evidence that demonstrates Ukraine’s distinct identity from its neighbor. While the loss of life has been the paramount concern for President Zelenskyy and his administration, in a post-war Ukraine one must consider how the country will rebuild the various institutions representing its rich heritage. In doing so, Ukrainians will need to disentangle and reexamine the multiple bonds that link themselves with Russia.
How can Ukraine reestablish itself while acknowledging its past?

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soccer player

The Growing Pains of Ukraine’s Military

Ukraine’s military was unprepared and overwhelmed in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. Ukrainian armed forces had a meager 130,000 soldiers, with only about 7,000 being combat-ready. The last eight years of war taught military leaders the principle of “maximization.” How did Ukraine’s military transformed from amateur to professional?

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“Derussifying” Ukraine: Overcoming Cultural and Linguistic Ties

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought into question nearly every single relationship between the two countries: from concerns about the over-reliance on Russian energy to how the countries interact with international organizations like NATO. Yet for many Ukrainians, they are confronted with their deep ties to Russia every day. Nearly a third of all Ukrainians speak Russian as their first language (with some reports estimating the number is even higher). What does the future of the Russian language look like in Ukraine?

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Grassroots Activism: The Undercurrent to Ukraine’s Resistance

Most of the news coverage in Ukraine focuses on the strategic, military, and political developments. While these updates are useful it overlooks the role ordinary people play in waging and ending war. The effects of grassroots activism may not be quantifiable, but the collective effort of everyday Ukrainians is crucial in supporting the efforts of their army. Ukrainians have taken on their Russian occupiers in any way possible: from small acts of defiance like destroying road signs to higher-profile events such as protests in occupied cities. The grassroots movement in Ukraine is showing that average citizens do not want to live in a Kremlin-governed country.

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Could Ukraine be the Next Israel?

As Russia renews its assault on Ukraine, it may seem a bit presumptuous to wonder what the country may look like in a post-war future. Yet war is something that Ukraine has a history of adjusting to and confronting. Since 2014, Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region. Ukrainians were certainly aware of the ongoing war within their borders, but the vast majority of people found ways to carry on with their lives, even in cities close to the fighting. While Russia’s current invasion poses a much larger existential threat to Ukraine, many will seek out normalcy.

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Boris Johnson Visits Kyiv

David And Goliath: How Ukraine’s Military Is Fending Off Russia

Ukraine’s ability to fend off Russia’s invasion surprised many outside observers. On paper, Russia’s military dwarfs Ukraine in nearly every metric including the number of troops, ships, and aircraft. However, NATO-member countries have been providing military training to Ukraine since 2014 and have been integral in transforming their armed forces. Like many analysts in the West, Putin thought that Russia’s armed forces would easily overpower Ukraine’s smaller military. The 2022 invasion of Ukraine has shown that the Ukrainian military has evolved since 2014 by maximizing their personnel, allowing them to stymie the Russian offensive.

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Ukrainian Refugees

Spectators to Genocide

The world looked on in horror this past week as images emerged of blindfolded and bound civilians lying dead in the streets of Bucha. The pictures came to light after the Ukrainian military recaptured the city as Russia continued its retreat from northern Ukraine. The Kremlin denied any wrongdoing and labeled the event a “monstrous forgery.”

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Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Is Putin’s Pullback for Real?

Russian officials announced that they would be reducing military operations around Kyiv and Chernihiv as an “act of good faith.” Outside observers reported Russian troops leaving the area surrounding the former nuclear Chornobyl power plant and other contested areas as they retreated towards Belarus. Western analysts mistook this move as Russia’s abandonment of its “special operation” into Ukraine. Russia’s military history over the last 20 years should raise skepticism that Putin will entirely end the war in Ukraine. Events in Georgia and Syria indicate that Russian troop withdrawals are simply cover for resupplying and a renewed offensive. Ukrainian forces may have stopped Russia from taking Kyiv, but Kremlin officials are still set on “liberating the Donbas.”

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Storage builing in Kyiv on fire

Demystifying Putin’s De-Nazification

Putin’s most prominent justification for the invasion of Ukraine has been to “de-nazify” the country. The overtly government-controlled Russian media has gone into overdrive to paint Ukraine as a fascist-led country. Find out about the origins of the allegations, how Ukraine might be going on the offensive, a status update on public utilities in Kyiv, and much more.

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Destroyed Village near Kharkiv

How War Paves the Way for Profiteering

Hundreds of companies have pulled out of Russia to protest the invasion of Ukraine, but over 30 U.S.-based companies are still profiting from Russia’s economy. Large investment banks have been quietly exploiting a loophole in existing sanctions, allowing U.S. investors to buy Russian debt securities, and giving Russian elites backdoor access to cash. Plus, find out strategic military updates, how museums are trying to preserve cultural artifacts, and the state of Russia’s and Ukraine’s economy.

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Woman crying

NATO’s Dilemma: Supporting Ukraine, Avoiding War

Protestors around the world who have come out in support of Ukraine have rallied around the phrase: “Save Lives, NATO Close the Skies.” Many have joined in making these demands, but for some it is unclear what exactly it means to “close the skies.” The request has made its way to the political stage, as Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has been pleading with western leaders to shut down the skies over his country.

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President Zelensky

Ukraine Proves Doubters Wrong

World leaders and outside observers expected Kyiv to fall within a matter of days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Defiantly, the capital remains under Ukrainian control as citizens take up arms to fight for their country.

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Artillery Firing

Russian Invasion Reverberates Around the World

In a foreboding move, President Putin officially recognized the separatist territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent states. Immediately following the declaration, Russia sent troops to both the rebel-held territories in eastern Ukraine and shortly after began an all-out assault on cities across the country.

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Russian tank

War in Earnest

Yesterday, Putin announced a special military operation into Ukraine to demilitarize and “denazify” the country. Following the announcement reports emerged across Ukraine of cities under attack.

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Destroyed Church in Donbass

Hybrid War Hammers Ukraine

Politicians and mainstream media outlets are laser-focused on the possibility of a traditional full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, but for now, cybersecurity attacks may be the most pressing issue for the Ukrainian Government.

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The Very Human Cost of War

The media coverage of the conflict surrounding Ukraine continues to focus on the politicians pulling the strings from the top, which obscures the stories of every day people that have been deeply impacted by the crisis.

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Lost in Translation

Volodymyr Zelensky is frustrated with the Biden administration’s decision to evacuate US diplomats from Ukraine. The Ukrainian President believes that US policy makers’ actions are premature and come with consequences.

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Cyber Attacks Shake Ukraine

US officials warned that Russia may be preparing operatives to stage an attack in separatist-backed territories in eastern Ukraine, which would offer a pretext to invade.

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NATO-Russia Talks Headed Nowhere Fast

Leaders of NATO and Russia met on Wednesday to try and ease the growing tensions between the two sides. The talks come after Putin has continued sending troops and supplies to the Ukrainian border. The negotiations seemed to go nowhere

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