Russia & Ukraine, Explained
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies, Moment guides you through the crisis with exclusive interviews, backgrounders and updates.
Jews in the Ukraine
Opinion | The Jewish Obligation to Ukraine
Part of Jewish history in Ukraine is indeed a surfeit of graves. However, to rephrase the oldest Jewish lesson from history: We know the heart of the refugee, for we were refugees.
Blessed at last with an independent country and coming to terms with a double-edged history, should Israel welcome Ukranian refugees?
The Violent History—and Remarkable Transformation—of Jewish Life in Ukraine
When Russia attacked Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin stated that his goal was “denazification.” Historians agree that there is no substance to this claim—and that by invoking Nazism, Putin is attempting to weaponize the trauma of World War II to justify an invasion, and the many lives it has cost.
Today, life for Jews in Ukraine has changed dramatically. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish; in 2019, he won the presidency with 73 percent of the vote. Compared with other countries, Ukraine scores fairly low on measurements of antisemitic incidents and attitudes.
Read the interview with Ira N. Forman, Obama’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, about Jewish life in Ukraine—its fraught history, its remarkable evolution—and how it continues to affect the Russian invasion.
Helen moved to Ukraine from the United States ten years ago. The move was supposed to be temporary—her husband, a venture capitalist, had invested in Ukrainian start-ups—but the couple ended up staying. “It was quite challenging in the beginning, but over time, the country has grown on me,” Helen tells me over zoom.
“It’s heartbreaking and impossible to comprehend what’s happening in Ukraine now,” she says.
Helen was actually born in Ukraine but moved to the United States in 1988 because of the antisemitism at the time. But being a Jew in Ukraine is different now Helen says. “It’s cool to be Jewish now. My gentile students go around with Magen David necklaces and are trying to learn Hebrew.”
Read regular updates from Helen in her Kyiv Diary about what life is like in Kyiv as the Russians continue their bombardment and try to lay siege to the city.
The Resilience of Ukraine and Its Jews
Direct from the Front Lines
Young Ukrainian Artists Respond to the Invasion
Earlier this year, as Russia’s forces built up on the border, Crow, Slimp, and other artists with ties to Ukraine were forced to shift their attention to the war. “Before the full-on invasion started, we made a shot depicting our fleeing of Ukraine. The wartime work of these artists is full of motifs and imagery from Ukrainian culture, including sunflowers, Mavkas (women who frown themselves from heartbreak and become water nymphs), and wartime inspirations such as the soldiers of Snake Island or the “Ghost of Ukraine.”
Read an exclusive interview with Crow Ra, a Ukrainian animator and illustrator….plus view digital art from other young Ukrainian artists using this platform to express their feelings about Russia’s invasion.
POLISH GAZETA WYBORSKA REPORTER: KONSTANTY GEBERT
Russian Aggression through the eyes of Eastern Europe with Konstanty Gebert and Amy E. Schwartz
NATAN SHARANSKY and ROBERT SIEGEL
Russia, Vladimir Putin and Ukraine: The Struggle Between Authoritarianism and Democracy
AMBASSADOR IVO H. DAALDER & ROBERT SIEGEL
Russia & Ukraine Explained with Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder and Robert Siegel
Israel, Zelensky & the American-Jewish community
ברקע הלחימה באוקראינה: דגלי רוסיה ואוקראינה מוקרנים על חומות העיר העתיקה בירושלים. pic.twitter.com/nZ3gEyDLds
— סולימאן מסוודה سليمان مسودة (@SuleimanMas1) March 13, 2022
How (Almost) Everyone Is Supporting Ukraine: Israel’s response to Russia-Ukraine crisis
An Interview with Radoslaw Sikorski
What Is Putin Thinking?
From the Newsletter
Whatever Happens Next, Putin’s Invasion Has Already Changed the World
Read about Nadine Epstein’s travels through Ukraine and her impressions of their democracy.