On May 27th, The Guardian published an article by Charlotte Mullins with the lede: ‘Ukraine’s heritage is under direct attack’: why Russia is looting the country’s museums. In it, the author decries the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural property and describes well-known cases of the removal of museum collections. Ms. Mullins compares these Russian crimes to… Continue reading May 28 — Why fact-checking matters in wartime
On May 17th, the Main Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine published an intriguing press release. It didn’t attract much attention, either from the Ukrainian or international press, perhaps because it provided confirmation of something widely suspected: the Russian occupiers are conducting an organized operation to loot art in the Kherson region.… Continue reading May 23 — The subtle — and not-so-subtle — sacking of Kherson
On April 10th, I wrote about the danger to the museums and monuments of the city of Izyme. Unfortunately, the worst of my grave predictions has come true. One of the town’s landmarks is the collection of kurgan stelae on Mount Kremyanets. These six-thousand-year-old figures are known locally as the “stone women” or “Scythian women.”… Continue reading May 13 — De-Nazifying the Scythians
The destruction of the Jewish heritage of Ukraine is ongoing. On May 8th, Russian missiles struck the old Jewish cemetery in the ancient city of Hlukhiv, once the capital of the Cossack Hetmanate. Hlukhiv is located in the Sumy region. The cemetery is more than three hundred years old. It is one of a few… Continue reading May 12 — May the Jews rest in peace?
Over the past few weeks, the Russian campaign has focused on the Donbas region and the southern parts of Ukraine. The bombardment of Kharkiv continues; however, it seems that the aggressors’ target of choice has shifted from the city center to densely populated districts in the outskirts. The names Mariupol, Melitopol, and Kherson have become… Continue reading May 11 — The fog of war. What really happened in Mariupol, Melitopol, and at the Hryhorii Skovoroda Literary Memorial Museum?
Last week, the world was shocked and horrified by images of crimes perpetrated by the Russian army in towns and villages near the Ukrainian capital. These outrages were not limited to the hamlet of Bucha. The 400 inhabitants of Lukashovka, a tiny village near Chernihiv, didn’t escape the brutality of the Russian “liberators;” neither did… Continue reading April 10th — Lukashovka’s desecrated church; Izyum’s imminent destruction
Ukrainian officials have now issued a warning: the people of Kharkiv must evacuate. Russian forces continue to bombard the city center. According to military analysts and intelligence reports, it seems likely that Kharkiv will become the target of a massive Russian military operation, possibly as a form of revenge for Ukraine’s successful defense of Kyiv.… Continue reading April 7th — Kharkiv: Clouds gather over a Constructivist palace.
On March 28th, Ukrainian forces liberated Trostianets, a small town in the northeast corner of the country, from its Russian occupiers. Trostianets was under military occupation for thirty days. While a damage assessment is in progress — a job complicated by the mines left by the retreating Russian troops — some things are already clear.… Continue reading April 1 — The sad fate of Trostianets, confirmed; and a visit with the ghosts of Huliaipole
There have been developments in the mystical “Denazification” that Vladimir Putin gave as one of the primary goals of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine. On March 27th, Russian artillery damaged the Holocaust memorial in Drobytsky Yar in Kharkiv. Drobytsky Yar is a ravine where the Nazis murdered approximately 16,000 people, most of them… Continue reading March 28 — New Glories in the “Denazification” Campaign
In light of the ongoing bombardment of the Ukrainian capital, the Kyiv city administration has moved to protect monuments in central areas that haven’t yet been targeted. Public monuments, such as the iconic statue of St. Vladimir on Vladimir hill, have been covered in improvised blast shielding. Other memorials and public sculptures — the monument… Continue reading March 26th — Dante’s Kyiv; Chernihiv in the Crosshairs