Anna Husarska

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La OTAN no debe vacilar con Ucrania

El 6 de junio se cumple el 80 aniversario del Día D, cuando los Aliados de la Segunda Guerra Mundial irrumpieron en las playas de Normandía. Mientras los líderes occidentales conmemoran el acontecimiento que condujo a la liberación de Europa del fascismo, deberían tener presente que sólo cinco años antes, el socialista francés y futuro político fascista Marcel Déat argumentó que las tropas francesas no debían defender a Polonia contra la Alemania nazi. "Luchar al lado de nuestros amigos polacos, por la defensa común de nuestros territorios, nuestros bienes y nuestras libertades, es una perspectiva que podemos contemplar valientemente, si se trata de contribuir al mantenimiento de la paz", escribió en mayo de 1939.…  Seguir leyendo »

A hospital volunteer from Estonia crafted this monument in Kostiantynivka to honor those who died on his watch. It is made of their photos, parts of their uniforms, tourniquets and equipment. (Anna Husarska)

There was something surreal in discussing the possibility of a wider Middle East war while outside, in the most exposed of Ukrainian towns, the air-raid sirens were wailing, signaling a threat of a wider European war.

Last weekend in Kharkiv, as in so many other places, Iran’s attacks on Israel were the talk of the town. Standing on the city’s empty Freedom Square, my friend Olga Shpak — a volunteer with Assist Ukraine — and I were weighing what the possible scenarios mean for Ukraine. The optimistic approach went: If Israel hits Iran, perhaps there will be fewer Iranian-made Shahed drones for Russia to use against Ukraine?…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukraine’s secret weapon: Art

Two years ago, when Russia launched its war against Ukraine, Mikhail Reva, a sculptor, was working on a fountain in Dnipro, a city in the center of the country that is now close to the front lines. Before the full-scale invasion, on Feb. 24, 2022, Reva was known for public sculptures that could be found around the country. After the invasion, he became known for something else: protest art.

Through his work, Reva joined the resistance, as he puts it. He screamed his outrage with ink and paint on paper and, later, by welding chunks of shrapnel, broken shell casings and ragged missile fragments into giant metal sculptures.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Qué pasará si Occidente abandona a Ucrania?

Los líderes occidentales son muy conscientes de los peligros que implicaría una victoria rusa en Ucrania. «Cuando permitimos que los dictadores y autócratas se lleven a todos por delante en Europa», observó recientemente el presidente estadounidense Joe Biden, «aumenta el riesgo de que Estados Unidos termine involucrado de manera directa» y las «consecuencias reverberen en todo el mundo». Específicamente, señaló que si el presidente ruso Vladímir Putin ataca a un aliado de la OTAN, «tendremos algo que hoy no sucede, y que no buscamos: combates entre tropas estadounidenses y rusas». De manera similar, el secretario general de la OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg, advirtió recientemente que «si Putin gana en Ucrania, hay un riesgo real de que no se detenga allí con sus agresiones».…  Seguir leyendo »

Expulsar a Rusia de la UNESCO

El presidente ruso Vladimir Putin ha estado especialmente enfurecido últimamente, y la ciudad portuaria ucraniana de Odesa ha sufrido las consecuencias. En la visión neoimperial del Kremlin, Odesa sería un símbolo del carácter ruso del sur de Ucrania, porque su desarrollo inicial fue dirigido por Catalina la Grande. El año pasado, el propio Putin la describió como "una de las ciudades más bellas del mundo", con "tradiciones e historia maravillosas". Pero para el régimen criminal de Putin, nada es sagrado.

Su furia se hizo patente el 17 de julio, cuando puso fin el acuerdo de exportación de cereal ucranio por el mar Negro, un acuerdo respaldado por Naciones Unidas, firmado en julio de 2022, que permitía a Ucrania exportar trigo, cebada y otros alimentos desde el puerto de Odesa, así como desde los puertos de Chornomorsk y Pivdennyi.…  Seguir leyendo »

The playground of an orphanage in Kherson, Ukraine, from which Russian forces allegedly took 46 children, on Nov. 27, 2022. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is crystal clear: “Forcibly transferring children of [a]group to another group”, when committed with intent to destroy a nation in whole or in part, constitutes genocide. Russian President Vladimir Putin has a law degree, so he ought to be aware of the statute. And his intent should by this point not be in doubt.

Even as Russian authorities deported thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia, they did not hide what they were doing. Indeed, they crowed about it, appearing several times a week on Russian state television, often presenting it as a Kremlin-sanctioned campaign for the adoption of Ukrainian children.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un llamado humanitario a las armas

Que los trabajadores humanitarios y los activistas aboguen por el envío de más armas a una zona de combate es siempre una señal preocupante. Sin embargo, más preocupante aún es la situación que vive hoy Ucrania. Mientras los trabajadores humanitarios entregamos a los civiles y a las tropas los suministros que necesitan para sobrevivir -uniformes de vellón y torniquetes, estufas portátiles y generadores, leche maternizada y bancos de energía para teléfonos móviles-, las fuerzas armadas ucranianas carecen a menudo de las herramientas que necesitan para luchar.

La guerra exige realismo. Y la horrible realidad es que, en su invasión y ocupación de Ucrania, Rusia ha atacado deliberadamente objetivos civiles y ha trastornado la vida de la población civil, cometiendo atrocidades que a menudo ni siquiera aportan beneficios militares tangibles.…  Seguir leyendo »

After Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian fashion company Framiore switched to producing sleeping bags and other supplies that are being sent to Ukrainian soldiers. Emile Ducke for The New York Times

With tourniquets, there is no way of doing things on the cheap. These lifesaving devices, used to stop blood loss from a wounded limb and prevent death from bleeding, need to be 100 percent reliable: a solid, wide Velcro band sufficiently long to be put around a thigh and a tough crank to pull it tight, with a sturdy locking mechanism. A good tourniquet costs $20 to $30 and the best ones are made in the United States. As with many other products, Chinese vendors sell a variety of fakes — something as simple as a rope on a rod is an invitation to counterfeit.…  Seguir leyendo »

This is a story of an Afghan wedding gone badly wrong. Or perhaps of “an operation in search of an insurgent leader,” as the official report later said. It is hard to tell which. Probably both.

Meet Abdulrashid, a man with no last name, no profession, no literacy skills and no exact date of birth. He might be in his 30s. I first encounter him as I am interviewing internally displaced people in Afghanistan to highlight their fate, lest the world forget about them after foreign troops withdraw in 2014. Other refugees point him out, ask me to listen to his story: “Tell the world, please.”…  Seguir leyendo »

At a roundabout in Juba, southern Sudan's capital, stands a digital clock. It has four faces, each titled "Countdown to Southern Sudan Referendum — Period Remaining." The referendum on Jan. 9 is part of the peace agreement signed in 2005 ending the civil war between northern and southern Sudan, and its outcome will determine if Sudan remains one country or becomes two. Each side of the clock has a drawing of a pair of hands wearing broken handcuffs, chain still dangling — a not-so-subtle comment about what the southern Sudanese think of being ruled by Khartoum. Below the hands are boxes to designate the remaining days, hours and minutes.…  Seguir leyendo »

The new commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, announced: "The Afghan people are at the center of our mission. In reality, they are the mission." The four-star general was wearing military fatigues, but his wording sounded civilian. Indeed, when President Obama explained in March how the United States plans "to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan," he ordered a "civilian surge" in Afghanistan. But make no mistake: The civilian part of the coalition operations here is subservient to the military arm, and the two are known together as an "integrated approach."

The problem with this approach is that when military structures perform or oversee civilian tasks, the nonmilitary humanitarian work often gets politicized and militarized, and the difference between the two is blurred.…  Seguir leyendo »

"Chu-ku-du, chu-ku-du, chu-ku-du" goes the wooden scooter as it bumps along the lava-covered streets of this central African city. It's a strange-looking contraption, like a handmade toy for grown-ups: two rubber-covered wheels connected by a board, with a steering handle atop an upside-down fork.

Even the oldest people can't remember when and how the onomatopoeically named chukudu first appeared in this part of North Kivu, an area of eastern Congo between the north shore of Lake Kivu and the heart of the Virunga National Park. But it is to Goma what the bicycle is to Amsterdam and the horse-drawn carriage to New York's Central Park.…  Seguir leyendo »

The roads here are awful, partly because of perennial disrepair and partly because of a 2002 volcanic eruption that covered large areas of Goma with black lava. Now the town is the site of a major peace conference, so a few potholes were filled with sand. One can only hope that whatever results from this meeting has a firmer base.

The conference opened Sunday and is scheduled to end next week. Some 1,300 people are attending. Congolese television showed the inaugural speeches, full of hope. It has been 16 months since the current conflict (the most recent of many) began in North Kivu.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United States has not had much luck in winning hearts and minds as it wages what President Bush calls the "war on terror." But it could at least make an effort to stand by those whose hearts and minds it won decades ago in other conflicts. Instead, it is turning its back on them.

The anti-terrorist laws introduced after Sept. 11, 2001, are keeping thousands of bona fide refugees from places around the world out the United States, on the grounds that their past participation in armed insurgencies, even those friendly to (and sometimes supported by) the United States, makes them a threat to American security.…  Seguir leyendo »