John Wyver writes: To compile the usual Sunday list of links to articles and videos concerned with film, art, performance and writing, seasoned with a sliver or two of politics, seems somehow a touch pointless, even tasteless, given the current horrendous conflict in Ukraine.
I’ve been reading and watching a range of exceptional reports, analyses and speculations, many of them by desperately brave writers and filmmakers, and I thought it might be interesting to compile these into a list that I keep updated over the coming days, adding new elements and removing ones overtaken by events.
So here’s the start of that experiment, with a couple of Twitter threads that I have found especially useful. I welcome additional recommendations, either in the comments below or via email to email@example.com.
PS. Yes, I have kept the same image as topped the last post to this blog.
PPS. I’m still collecting my other kinds of links, and I’ll return to these at some point in the future.
- • Disasters Emergency Committee: Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
- • International Committee of the Red Cross: Ukraine Crisis
- • Save the Children: Ukraine Appeal
• Another good place to start is this thread of video explainers (and yet one more reason why the BBC is so, so important), 4 March:
• My escape from Kiev: a vivid, unheroic account from The Spectator by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, 5 March.
Somehow, I – we – forgot the lessons of history, the lessons I was taught by my German-Jewish grandparents. They taught me to listen to what was said by dictators, rather than hoping they meant something else, something more sane. I remember standing on the Berlin Wall the day it fell looking down at the city from which they escaped believing – really believing – that the brutal division of Europe had ended. How wrong I was. How lucky I am. How impotent I feel.
• The Ukraine-EU relationship: a clear and valuable explainer from Joël Reland at UK in a Changing Europe, 3 March.
• This bloody invasion is turning the march of history into a sprint – and it’s not going Putin’s way: Jonathan Freedland for Guardian on the ‘moral clarity’ achieved by the presence of Zelenskiy in Kviv, 4 March.
• Putin ‘s plan is failing in ways he could not have imagined: for the FT (which has lifted the paywall for its Ukraine coverage), Simon Schama is comparatively optimistic – and closes with a great quote from War and Peace, 5 March…
• Francis Fukuyama – Putin’s war on the liberal order: … and this too from Fukuyama for the FT is really good, 4 March:
… the current crisis has demonstrated that we cannot take the existing liberal world order for granted. It is something for which we must constantly struggle, and which will disappear the moment we lower our guard.
• History replays like a half-forgotten song, but once we remember, it’s far too late: Neal Ascherson for the Guardian is also thoughtfully concerned about lessons from history, 6 March.
• The next thread is for those who are really into the study of International Relations, from the always worth following Professor Paul Poast, but if you spend time with it, it’s fascinating:
• Why the cultural boycott of Russia matters [£ but limited free access]: Yasmeen Serhan for The Atlantic, 2 March.
• Europe’s 9/11 [£, but one free article on offer]: exceptional writing from the other side of the Atlantic by Julia Ioffre for Puck, 3 March.
• Chartbook #91: What if Putin’s war regime turns to MMT?: some of the most detailed and deeply informed analysis I’ve been reading has been courtesy the Substack of economist extraordinaire Adam Tooze – this is from 3 March and is concerned with the possible impact of sanctions; you can sign up for free, or consider subscribing for even more depth.
• ‘Yes, he would’ – Fiona Hill on Putin and nukes: a profoundly scary interview for Politico with the American Russia expert, 28 February.
• Four steps to surviving the Russia crisis: clear-eyed thinking at Engelsberg Ideas from Patrick Porter, Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham, 4 March.
• Defiant to the last, Moscow’s media star takes aim at Putin’s brutal clampdown: Tim Adams reports for the Guardian about Natalya Sindeyeva, the founder of the now-closed independent Russian TV station Dozhd, 6 March, and with this remarkable video:
• The war that Russians do not see: Masha Gessen for The New Yorker.
• The internet is a force multiplier for Ukraine: Casey Newton at Platformer, 1 March
It is Ukraine that has been masterful in its use of social media — and while that may not prove decisive in whether or not it overcomes Russia’s superior military, at the very least it complicates our understanding of big tech and democracy.
• Putin’s invasion of Ukraine changed everything, especially the information war: Natalia Antelava for .coda, with a very good list of links to reporters working in Ukraine, 3 March
• Иди Hаxуй: this is a terrific piece from the LRB blog by Alex Abramovich about the challenge of translating the proud and defiant obscenities of Ukrainian defenders, 28 February.
• Oligarch money is embedded in London. Beware the big talk of a ‘crackdown’: John Harris for the Guardian, 6 March
• Putin’s oligarchs & the London Laundromat: a nine and a half minute tour of London with money-laundering expert Oliver Bullough, produced by the ever-excellent Led By Donkeys, 4 March.
• What does this mean for British politics? – a thread by Robert Saunders:
• After Putin: for The Nation, Anthony Barnett looks forward to a possible post-Putin, post-Trump world, 4 March.
• The age of levity is over. The Russia-Ukraine war will shake politics into a new sobriety: for me, this is one of the most important – and hopeful – articles of the past week, by Rafael Behr for the Guardian.
• Sunday reading: Literary voices from Ukraine and Russia: a wonderful selection for the archives of The New Yorker, 6 March,
• A poem (and a painting) about the suffering that hides in plain sight: a wonderful, timely New York Times interactive by Elisa Gabbert interrogating W.H. Auden’s 1938 poem ‘Musée des Beaux-Arts’, 6 March.