Ukraine – One year on from invasion

Today - 24 February 2023 - marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. I've just finished listening to the audiobook Invasion: Russia's bloody war and Ukraine's fight for survival by Guardian journalist (and WORD Christchurch guest) Luke Harding. It's a compelling listen - Luke Harding is knowledgeable about Russia and Ukraine, having been based in Russia as a foreign correspondent. He take you deep into the history and background of the conflict, and has insight into both Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky. Harding also talks to people in Russia and Ukraine, and reveals what  life is like in places like Kherson, Mariupol and Kyiv.

While it is devastating and sad, there is much to stir your soul in here as Ukrainian people and fighters stand strong. "Russian warship, go f*** yourself" said border guard Roman Hrybov to Russian missile cruiser Moskva during the Russian attack on Snake Island. This became a Ukrainian rallying cry - a more ballsy "Keep calm and carry on".  It even appeared on an official Ukrainian stamp!

I'm also interested in reading The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy. He's a professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard, and his book on Chernobyl was one of my favourite reads last year. A Message from Ukraine by Volodymyr Zelensky brings together the Ukrainian president's rousing speeches. 

More sources of information on the invasion:

In more Ukraine-related news, there's an event on in March at Tūranga:

Ukrainian Traditions Fundraiser Festival
Saturday 11 March 11am to 3pm at Tautoru / TSB Space, Tūranga

This festival is a celebration of Ukrainian heritage but also a fundraiser for Ukraine:

  • Explore traditions of Ukraine at the exhibition and watch presentations
  • Listen to songs
  • Make soap in Ukrainian colours
  • Eat Ukrainian food for lunch
  • Participate in workshops: make Motanka dolls and soap in Ukrainian colours
  • Sketch Ukrainian images
  • Buy Ukrainian souvenirs

Entry: Koha/donation. Please bring cash. The proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Association of the South Island to be used on projects it funds in Ukraine.