Ukraine Unlocked

Ukraine Energizes Europe

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Week of 7/4 - 7/11

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. 
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This Week's Takeaway...
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred leaders in Kyiv to make dramatic changes to the country's energy grid, improving resiliency and security. Simultaneously, these changes have given Ukraine another steady source of revenue by exporting surplus energy to Europe. In mid-March, several weeks after disconnecting from Russia’s energy infrastructure, Ukraine joined Europe’s continental power grid. The move will ensure that citizens have access to electricity as the war drags on, and could potentially generate extra revenue after the war ends. Ukraine’s contribution to the European power grid decreases the E.U.’s reliance on Russian energy. Furthermore, it increases the likelihood that Europe can switch to renewable energy sources within the next decade. Notably, it's an opportunity for the leadership in Kyiv to invest in more renewable sources of energy during the post-war rebuild. The administration in Ukraine can also expand upon an important part of existing energy infrastructure: nuclear. 

How does Ukraine’s transition affect the future of clean energy in the country…click here to read more.
This week's analysis is written by guest contributor Rachel HutchisonShe is a scholar of East European history, focusing on Cold War culture and women’s history in the Soviet Union. She received her master’s in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies from The Ohio State University.
President Zelenskyy and former Prime Minister Johnson speak at a joint press conference in Kyiv. Credit: Wikimedia commons
 Friends No More 
  • Ukraine’s Lobbying Blitz: 24 firms have been registered to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the United States since the start of the war. With these companies, Ukraine has made over 10,000 contacts with government officials, think tanks, and journalists. Through these efforts, Ukraine has been pushing the boundaries of the laws regulating how foreign bodies can lobby U.S. institutions. The focus the Ukrainian government placed on the U.S. has led to massive aid packages, allowing for a continual supply of weapons and resources.
  • Russian Jewish Emigration Halted: The Russian Justice Ministry sent a letter to the Jewish Agency ordering the organization to halt all operations in the country. The Jewish Agency is instrumental in helping Russian Jews immigrate to Israel. Officials in Israel have requested more information from their Russian counterparts about the status of Jews who are seeking a move to Israel. Due to the international sanctions, finding flights out of Russia has proved challenging leading many Jews to be stuck in the country. Efforts to move Jewish people to Israel have not been limited to just Russia. Israeli officials have also worked to relocate Ukranian Jews who have fled the war.
  • Ukraine Loses a Friend: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his intention to resign this week, once a suitable successor has been found. For Ukraine, Johnson’s resignation is a major loss. Johnson visited Kyiv back in April and again in June. He even toured the capital city with Zelenskyy despite the dangers posed by being on the streets. In his resignation speech, Johnson pledged the U.K. would support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”
  • Ukrainian-American Congresswoman Wants Oversight: Victoria Spartz, a Ukrainian-born, Republican U.S. Congresswoman from Indiana, wants old allegations against Zelenskyy’s chief of staff to be reinvestigated by the Biden administration. Zelenskyy’s chief of staff had been accused of doing business with Russian officials. The letter she sent to Biden drew the ire of officials back in Kyiv, prompting them to issue a statement that said, “We advise Ms. Spartz to stop trying to earn extra political capital on baseless speculation around the topic of war in our country and the grief of Ukrainians.”
Building in Severodonetsk on fire from March 2022. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Strategic Update – Week 19 of War
  • Operational Pause: On July 7th, the Russian military announced an operational pause of large-scale campaigns before pushing further west in the Donetsk region. Reports indicate that they are bringing in additional troops and resupplying their forces. The Institute for the Study of War noted that after the operational pause, the Russian military “will likely resume larger-scale ground offensives with more troops and a greater determination than it is currently showing.”
    • Missile Strikes Continue: On Saturday, a missile destroyed an apartment complex in the village of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk oblast. Despite the operational pause of large-scale offenses, the Institute for the Study of War said, “Russian forces continue to conduct more-limited offensive operations in this sector and elsewhere along the front line."
  • Another Humanitarian Catastrophe: According to Luhansk’s regional governor, the captured city of Severodonetsk is becoming the site of another humanitarian crisis. He claims that most of the critical infrastructure has been destroyed with no way to repair it, leaving residents without water or electricity. Officials are desperately trying to avoid another Mariupol-like crisis.
  • Hostile Tone: In a press conference on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ominously warned Ukrainian officials that they should accept Russia’s ceasefire deals or face the worst-case scenario on the battlefield. Putin accused Western officials of prolonging the war and attempting to isolate Russia. In regard to the conflict, he said, “Everybody should know that largely speaking, we haven’t even yet started anything in earnest.”
Cult Comedy Hall in Lviv. Credit: Cult Comedy Hall
Tears and Laughter
  • Youth of Ukraine: Fabian Ritter, a documentary photographer, spent three weeks traveling throughout Kyiv, capturing photos of the city’s youth. The images show young Ukrainians in their homes, out at cafes, and dancing at discos. While some of the photos portray a sense of normalcy, Ritter also shares the destruction within the city and countryside.
  • Laughs in Lviv: Despite the horrid conditions of war, some in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv have tried to find humor in the situation. Cult Comedy Hall in Lviv is hosting comedians who are talking about the war with Russia, the absurd nature of living next to a dictatorship, and the stereotypical frugality of Ukrainians. The laughs have come as a welcome reprieve for a country dealing with immense trauma and grief.
Ben and Jerry's is one of the companies allegedly still partially operating in Russia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
 Behind the Scenes of the Economy
  • Deception: According to a study by the Moral News Agency, sixty-three international companies are still partially operating in Russia, despite their announcement that they would be ceasing operations in the country after the invasion. Many of the companies gave vague timelines for withdrawal or have simply moved to veil their operations. Forty-four of the companies made no exit announcement and are still fully operational. Only seven international companies have completely left Russia.
Rally for Ukrainians in New York City. The person is holding a sign that says, "Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes." Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Humanitarian Crisis 
  • Struggling in the City that Never Sleeps: Over 15,000 refugees have made their way to New York City, but the non-profit organizations dedicated to helping them are struggling to provide adequate support. The mayor’s office allocated $2 million to five organizations, but most of the money has gone to maintaining hotlines and paying for legal assistance. The refugees need funding for housing and food, but there are few organizations equipped to aptly help them. The $5 million in Federal funding that congress allocated last month for Ukrainians is spread thin and does not support their day-to-day needs.
    • Donation: You can donate here to a local charity, Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, located in New York.
Some Human Moments Prevail
Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the war in Ukraine, videos shared over social media show that humanity still exists. 
  • Wife of President Zelenskyy, Olena Zelenska, gave an interview to TIME Magazine which was accompanied by her headshot.
Want to Help Ukraine?
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
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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