A Ukrainian City Under a Violent New Regime

A Ukrainian City Under a Violent New Regime

How the Russian occupation transformed life in Melitopol.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/05/23/a-ukrainian-city-under-a-violent-new-regime

After he came to, he was brought to the former base of the 25th Brigade, in Melitopol. Russian soldiers there were carrying out a process known since the Chechen wars of the nineties as “filtration,” a dark euphemism for separating prisoners into categories, with varying degrees of violence applied to each. As Oleksa remembered, interrogators at the airbase were intent on sniffing out anyone they considered a Ukrainian nationalist. Prisoners from Ukrainian military units such as Azov, which has attracted fighters with far-right sympathies, were subjected to regular beatings and torture. Some were locked in a metal safe until they lost consciousness and had to be revived by Russian Army doctors. Oleksa got off relatively lightly: a Russian officer told his soldiers that Oleksa’s head was already smashed in, and not to hit him too hard.

Bucha’s Month of Terror

Bucha’s Month of Terror

We documented dozens of killings of civilians and interviewed scores of witnesses to uncover Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/04/11/world/europe/bucha-terror.html

Reporters and photographers for The New York Times spent more than a week with city officials, coroners and scores of witnesses in Bucha, uncovering new details of execution-style atrocities against civilians. The Times documented the bodies of almost three dozen people where they were killed — in their homes, in the woods, set on fire in a vacant parking lot — and learned the story behind many of their deaths. The Times also witnessed more than 100 body bags at a communal grave and the city’s cemetery.

‘This Was Trump Pulling a Putin’

‘This Was Trump Pulling a Putin’

Amid the current crisis, Fiona Hill and other former advisers are connecting President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine to Jan. 6. And they’re ready to talk.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/11/magazine/trump-putin-ukraine-fiona-hill.html

Cheney took umbrage at Hill’s assessment. “So, you’re telling me you’re opposed to freedom and democracy,” she says he snapped. According to Hill, he abruptly gathered his materials and walked out of the Oval Office

Will Mercenaries and Foreign Fighters Change the Course of Ukraine’s War?

Will Mercenaries and Foreign Fighters Change the Course of Ukraine’s War?

At a critical strategic juncture, non-state actors threaten to complicate the conflict.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/will-mercenaries-and-foreign-fighters-change-the-course-of-ukraines-war

The infusion of outsiders and “irregular forces” could further complicate an already messy conflict, according to a report released on Monday by the Soufan Center, a nonprofit, global-security research group. “The battlefield in Ukraine is incredibly complex, with a range of violent non-state actors—private military contractors, foreign fighters, volunteers, mercenaries, extremists, and terrorist groups—all in the mix,” it concluded

Collecting Bodies in Bucha

Collecting Bodies in Bucha

A team of Ukrainian volunteers say that, since the Russian retreat, they have picked up three hundred corpses.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/collecting-bodies-in-bucha

After three weeks, Cherednichenko approached two soldiers outside her house. “I said to them, ‘I’m asking you as a mother,’ ” she told Havryliuk. “ ‘Is my son alive?’ ” One of the soldiers responded, “You don’t have a son anymore.”

Opinion | ‘At Night I Dream of Mariupol’: Nine Accounts of Surviving a Russian Siege

Opinion | ‘At Night I Dream of Mariupol’: Nine Accounts of Surviving a Russian Siege

Mariupol, Ukraine, has been encircled by Russian forces for about a month. We have collected the statements of people who recently escaped.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/06/opinion/international-world/mariupol-ukraine-russia.html

Dead people: Everywhere. At first, people tried to bury in mass graves, but when the density of shelling made it impossible — people just lie covered with sheets. Everywhere.

‘This Is True Barbarity’: Life and Death Under Russian Occupation

‘This Is True Barbarity’: Life and Death Under Russian Occupation

The town of Trostyanets was occupied by Russian forces for a month before the Ukrainian military liberated it. Residents described weeks of hunger and horror.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/03/world/europe/ukraine-war-russia-trostyanets.html

In the morgue, beside the three dead Russian soldiers, Dr. Volkova pointed to a body bag in the corner of the room. “This person was tortured to death,” she said. “His hands and legs are tied up with sticky tape, his teeth are missing and almost all of his face is gone. It’s unknown what they wanted from him.”

Up-Close Ukraine Atrocity Photographs Touch a Global Nerve

Up-Close Ukraine Atrocity Photographs Touch a Global Nerve

The apparent execution of Ukrainian civilians by retreating Russian forces, their bodies strewn in streets and yards, has focused attention on what constitutes crimes in war.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/05/world/europe/russia-ukraine-war-atrocities.html

An analysis of the satellite images by The New York Times showed dots in the exact coordinates where the bodies were later found in the newly liberated areas by Ukrainian forces and journalists. That corroborated the accounts of witnesses who said many had lain there for weeks.

A Brutal Russian Playbook Reapplied in Ukraine

A Brutal Russian Playbook Reapplied in Ukraine

The besieging of cities, the deliberate targeting of civilians — they are the tactics Russia used before, in Grozny. I saw it firsthand.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/29/world/europe/russia-chechnya-grozny-ukraine.html

They were met by highly motivated units of Chechen fighters, armed with anti-tank rockets, who ambushed their columns, trapping and burning hundreds of Russian soldiers and armor in one night. An entire brigade, the Maikop brigade, was wiped out almost to a man.

Impunity for War Crimes in Syria Casts a Grim Shadow Over Ukraine

Impunity for War Crimes in Syria Casts a Grim Shadow Over Ukraine

Syria, with Russian support, used many of the brutal tactics now seen in Ukraine — and its dictator stayed in power. That conflict offers lessons for Russia’s leader, analysts say.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/15/world/middleeast/syria-ukraine-invasion-russia.html

“Creating a humanitarian catastrophe is part of the war strategy, not a secondary effect, because this is how you shift the burden on to the other side,” he said.

The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine

The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine

A series of strategic missteps has hampered Putin’s campaign. Will desperation make up for a lack of preparation?

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-russian-militarys-debacle-in-ukraine

I always tell people that military defense analysts focus on capabilities, but military strategy and the operational concepts really matter. It’s the force employment that really matters. The initial Russian campaign represents completely irrational force employment and, in many cases, frankly, nonemployment. A host of capabilities sat on the sidelines

Ukraine Becomes the World’s “First TikTok War”

Ukraine Becomes the World’s “First TikTok War”

Social media’s aesthetic norms are shaping how Ukrainians document the Russian invasion. Is it a new form of citizen war journalism or just an invitation to keep clicking?

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/watching-the-worlds-first-tiktok-war

as the Russian convoys outside of Kyiv continue attempting to penetrate the city center, traditional news organizations are pulling their journalists to safety. Social media is an imperfect chronicler of wartime. In some cases, it may also be the most reliable source we have.