Ucrania

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky singing the national anthem in Kherson, Ukraine, November 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, few observers imagined that the war would still be raging today. Russian planners did not account for the stern resistance of Ukrainian forces, the enthusiastic support Ukraine would receive from Europe and North America, or the various shortcomings of their own military. Both sides are now dug in, and the fighting could carry on for months, if not years.

Why is this war dragging on? Most conflicts are brief. Over the last two centuries, most wars have lasted an average of three to four months. That brevity owes much to the fact that war is the worst way to settle political differences.…  Seguir leyendo »

A cyclist passes a ruined building in Lyman, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 27 November 2022.

On 17 November, Kyiv woke to its first snow of the winter, the now familiar sound of air-raid sirens and explosions, and the news that, yet again, scores of Russian missiles were cutting through Ukraine’s skies headed for power plants and electricity substations.

The destruction of civilian infrastructure is meant to paralyse Ukrainian cities, but has led instead to a new buzz of activity as people try to adapt. Walking through the capital, you tune in to the hum of generators outside cafes that hint cooked food may be had. Other eateries have switched to cold menus and pre-brewed filter coffee, kept warm in a flask.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los ejércitos de trolls se han convertido en un elemento primordial del manual de desinformación del Kremlin. Se manifiestaron por primera vez en 2016, cuando la Agencia de Investigación de Internet (IRA) del confidente de Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, empleó a miles de personas en una "granja de trolls" de San Petersburgo, para intervenir en elecciones clave, incluida la carrera presidencial de Estados Unidos entre Donald Trump y Hilary Clinton.

Hoy siguen vivos y coleando, en una escala completamente diferente, como parte de la invasión rusa de Ucrania. Aunque menos obvios en sus manifestaciones, después del bloqueo geográfico de los principales medios de desinformación, Sputnik y Russia Today, y la eliminación de su contenido en las plataformas de redes sociales más grandes del mundo, Twitter, Facebook y YouTube.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un bombero intenta extinguir el fuego ocasionado por los bombardeos rusos, en la ciudad de Vishgorod, a las afueras de Kiev, Ucrania, este miércoles.Efrem Lukatsky (AP)

Tras los ataques rusos con misiles del pasado miércoles contra edificios residenciales en Vishgorod, una ciudad vecina de Kiev, Valentina y Vitali Aleksenko acabaron ingresados en hospitales diferentes. Tuvieron suerte. Sobrevivieron, pero durante el bombardeo y el incendio posterior en el edificio de viviendas, sus perros Jack Russell y Bonia huyeron asustados y el gato desapareció. Valentina, desde el hospital, hizo un llamamiento a los habitantes de Vishgorod para que buscasen y salvasen a los perros y al gato. Uno de los perros apareció en seguida, y también encontraron al gato más tarde en el sótano de otro edificio, pero se desconoce la suerte que ha corrido el segundo perro.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a pharmacy in Lviv, a man uses the light on his phone to help the pharmacist find products, amid rolling blackouts, on November 16. Gaelle Girbes/Getty Images

A truce now in the war in Ukraine would essentially spell victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nine months in, Russian hopes of a swift seizure have been well and truly dashed, its army largely on the defensive across more than 600 miles of battle lines strung along the eastern and southern reaches of Ukraine.

Indeed a truce or negotiations may be the only path to victory possible at this moment for the Russian leader; his manpower exhausted and weapons supplies dwindling.

At the same time, there is a flagging will of the West that could prove equally toxic for Ukraine – and that Putin is almost certainly counting on.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde finales de septiembre, cuando el ejército ucraniano emprendió una exitosa contraofensiva para recuperar los territorios ocupados por el ruso, se han venido intensificando los llamamientos a negociaciones para poner fin a la guerra. Desafortunadamente, ni los países involucrados en el conflicto ni los países occidentales que apoyan a Ucrania están preparados para ello, por diferentes motivos: los rusos y ucranianos, porque creen que todavía pueden ganar la guerra; y los occidentales, por considerar que es Ucrania quien debe decidir cuándo sentarse a negociar, pero también por la falta de una idea común acerca de cómo debería concluir la contienda.

Tras la invasión del 24 de febrero, Rusia, a pesar de sus sonados fracasos en el campo de batalla, no ha renunciado a sus principales objetivos políticos: impedir la entrada de Ucrania en la OTAN y en la UE, convirtiéndola en un Estado fallido y controlable desde el Kremlin mediante gobiernos títeres.…  Seguir leyendo »

The author's military unit poses with its adopted dog, Yur, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, in October. (Courtesy of Yehor Firsov)

When we think of the casualties of the Ukraine war, we obviously think of the human cost — the lives lost, the wounded and injured, the families displaced. But there are other, smaller casualties of this war. They’re not announced on the television news, but I see them in the war zone every day.

They are the many homeless, abandoned animals that roam the streets of front-line towns and villages leveled by the Russian assault.

Most of these animals, and there are hundreds, even thousands, of them, are former pets — dogs and cats left behind by owners who’ve fled or died.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian soldiers take a selfie with President Volodymyr Zelensky during his visit to Kherson, Ukraine, on Nov. 14. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Thanksgiving is an American holiday; arguably, the American holiday. But there is no reason that the objects of our gratitude have to be American. This year, I am grateful, above all, to the brave people of Ukraine for all their sacrifices and successes in the battle for freedom. They are fighting not just for the right to determine their own future. They are fighting for the universal principles embodied in our own Declaration of Independence.

Many people have become jaded about the prospects of democracy, which has been in decline around the world for the past 16 years. Freedom House reported in its 2022 “Freedom in the World” survey: “A total of 60 countries suffered declines over the past year, while only 25 improved.…  Seguir leyendo »

Is Putin a Rational Actor?

On February 24, as he launched the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the specter of nuclear war. He warned that any outside interference would lead to consequences “never seen in history”, a clear reference to the use of atomic weapons. The prospect of an outright nuclear war with Russia may indeed have convinced NATO member states that their direct involvement in the conflict was too dangerous to countenance. But the war did not follow Putin’s script. Russia’s surprising early struggles on the battlefield, along with Ukraine’s dogged resistance, persuaded many NATO members to send military equipment and supplies to aid the defenders.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un grupo de civiles ucranios celebran con las tropas la retirada rusa de la ciudad de Jersón, el pasado 13 de noviembre. Foto: METIN AKTAS (ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES) | Vídeo: EPV

La muerte de dos civiles a consecuencia de un ataque con misiles en el este de Polonia este martes muestra que la invasión de Ucrania por parte de Rusia tiene posibilidades de extenderse hasta territorios de la UE y la OTAN. Sea cual sea el origen del misil (ruso o ucranio), la causa original del ataque es la salvaje ofensiva de Rusia contra objetivos civiles, contraviniendo la Convención de Ginebra. Así es como responde el Kremlin a su expulsión de Jersón, la única capital de provincia que ha ocupado desde febrero. Y ocurrió a pesar del generoso gesto humanitario de Ucrania, que permitió a las fuerzas rusas replegarse y cruzar el río Dniéper la pasada semana sin someterles a un intenso bombardeo.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian service member in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 2022. Gleb Garanich / Reuters

If there is a feminist way to wage war, Ukraine wants everyone to know that this is how it is fighting its battle against Russia. Officials proudly proclaim that up to one-fifth of Ukraine’s armed forces are women. President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials take pains to thank both male and female defenders of the country. Photographs and videos on social media show male soldiers cooking, women fighting, and everyone snuggling kittens and puppies. Prominent Ukrainian feminists have traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for weapons.

From the perspective of both gender equality and combat effectiveness, this is heartening. In order to prevail in a conflict in which its very sovereignty is at stake, Ukraine must attract its best and brightest to serve, irrespective of gender.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Paz en Ucrania?

Pese a la liberación de Jersón y de buena parte de los territorios conquistados antes por la Rusia de Putin, de los que las tropas rusas han sido expulsadas por el coraje de los ucranios, se vuelve a hablar de “paz” en el más grave conflicto que se haya producido desde la II Guerra Mundial.

El estallido de unas descargas de proyectiles en Polonia, con el fallecimiento de dos polacos, enviados por Ucrania o por Rusia, todavía de responsabilidad dudosa, agrava la tensión en esa frontera, mientras que Volodímir Zelenski, que compareció ante la prensa hace dos días, pidió que se abran cuanto antes “las conversaciones de paz” entre Rusia y Ucrania, exigiendo, eso sí, que Rusia devuelva todos los enclaves ucranios que ha ocupado, algo que el canciller ruso ha calificado de “pretensiones exageradas”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Children playing in the main square of the city of Kherson after the retreat of Russian troops, Ukraine, November 14, 2022

As we started to descend, the air was warmer and more humid than in the cool Cathedral of St. Catherine above us. Father Ilia had yanked open the heavy trapdoors to the vault where Grigory Potemkin was buried in 1791. Prince, general, and lover of the Russian empress Catherine the Great, Potemkin had delivered Crimea for Russia’s empire, founded Kherson, and planned the colonization of what is today southern Ukraine. Now, in the beam of a flashlight, we could see the low dais on which his coffin had lain until Russian soldiers removed it two weeks ago. The official explanation was for “safekeeping”.…  Seguir leyendo »

World leaders hold an emergency metting on the sidelines of the G-20 in Bali to discuss the missile that landed in Poland earlier this week. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Each day, it would seem, Russian President Vladimir Putin has become ever more adept at creating more victims and new enemies – solidifying, even enlarging, the ranks of those arrayed against him, and strengthening the resolve of those he would seek to conquer. At home and abroad, there seems to be no limit to Putin’s appetite to wreak mayhem in pursuit of an ever more elusive victory.

The first missile to have landed in Poland – a NATO member – on Tuesday may well have been a Ukrainian anti-aircraft rocket intercepting an incoming Russian missile a short distance from one of Ukraine’s largest cities, Lviv, as suspected by Polish and NATO leaders.…  Seguir leyendo »

Presente escrito

En tiempos de aflicción y trastorno las personas comunes escriben diarios. Parece que tan poderoso como el instinto de sobrevivir es el de dejar testimonio. Ahora mismo, en Ucrania, en medio de la guerra, bajo el acoso de los misiles rusos que destruyen tan heroicamente las redes de suministro de la electricidad y del agua, mujeres refugiadas en sótanos escriben sus diarios a lápiz, a la luz de las velas o de los teléfonos móviles. Escriben para dar cuenta de lo que están viviendo en el momento en que lo viven. La soledad austera del diario escrito a mano se convierte en difusión inmediata en los que se publican en plataformas digitales.…  Seguir leyendo »

The site of the MH17 Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Donetsk, July 17, 2014. Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

On July 17, 2014, several weeks after “little green men” had started to occupy Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, I rushed into the management offices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, located in Kyiv, as word spread over social media that the unthinkable had happened.

A passenger plane – Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 – enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had been shot down over the territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

As the OSCE’s spokesperson in Ukraine at the time, I quickly realized that because we were the only international entity with access to the area, we would soon be tasked with rushing to the crash site – and reporting to the world what was transpiring.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war in Ukraine is about more than Ukraine. In Vladimir Putin’s view it is part of his single-minded war on the West and on the kind of free societies that thrive there. Why don’t we see that reality with sufficient urgency?

At the Rome Summit in 2002, which I chaired, as NATO’s secretary-general at the time, alongside Mr Putin, I believed that Russia wished to join the club of countries that had put the cold war behind them. So did the leaders of the 19 NATO-member countries present at the table. I wasn’t the only one who harboured the thought, or the hope, that we might have found a new way to deal with an angry country.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mykhailo Chendey, a la derecha, y su esposa, Valentyna, escucharon los gritos de otros prisioneros mientras los interrogadores rusos, que le rompieron el brazo a Chendey, los retenían. Ella dijo que su marido estuvo en coma tres días.

Inna Osipova señaló los escombros de 9 metros, todo lo que queda de su edificio de apartamentos. Ella y su hijo de 5 años escaparon por poco cuando los bombardeos rusos destruyeron la estructura, pero su abuela no pudo salir y está enterrada en algún lugar de las ruinas. Para poder darle una sepultura adecuada, Osipova espera que su cuerpo sea encontrado.

Su voz se quebró por la emoción, pero se mantuvo firme hasta que le pregunté qué pensaba de los estadounidenses que, dicen, es hora de retirar el apoyo a Ucrania.

“Somos personas, lo entiendes”, dijo, y empezó a llorar.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reunión de Biden y Xi olvida a Ucrania para concentrarse en Taiwán

Es difícil imaginar una reunión más transcendental que la que los presidentes Biden y Xi acaban de mantener en los aledaños de la reunión del G-20 en Bali. La ausencia de Putin, sin duda, ha facilitado la redacción de un comunicado final en el que la mayoría de los miembros del G-20—aunque no todos— deploran la invasión de Ucrania por parte de Rusia y solicitan que las tropas rusas se retiren. En cambio, el resto —entre los que se encuentra China— declara de manera abierta no ver las cosas así, haciendo referencia expresa a las sanciones como problema. A pesar del comunicado, la guerra en Ucrania no parece haber sido el fondo del diálogo bilateral entre Biden y Xi, sino Taiwán.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian soldier and locals look at two alleged Russian collaborators in Kherson, Ukraine, on Sunday. (Libkos/AP Photo)

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Ukraine has finally liberated my hometown of Kherson.

Yet there are still countless problems ahead. The city has no water, gas or electricity. People are hungry and cold.

And then there are the moral and political problems — such as alleged collaborators.

Consider the story of my old high school civics teacher, Tatyana Tomilina, 56. When the Russians occupied Kherson in March, Tomilina — who already had a reputation as a pro-Russian separatist — seemed ready to help. They appointed her rector of Kherson State University, a high-profile cultural and political position that would have only gone to someone they believed willing to work hand-in-hand with the occupation government.…  Seguir leyendo »