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- Three Stories of Pregnancy and Birth in Ukraine
"The doctors told me only God could help me." Last month, The Reckoning Project journalist Angelina Kariakina and illustrator Zhenya Oliinyk published an interactive opinion piece in The New York Times' opinion section. Our house in the Kyiv countryside was a mess. Our furniture, clothes, cutlery and papers had all been tossed around, and there was a bullet hole in our bedroom wall. A filthy and cheap-looking paid of military boots had been left in the hallway, and three glasses of vodka sat on the kitchen table. It wasn't our vodka. They weren't our glasses. Read the full story in The New York Times here.
- How Ukraine Viewed Russia’s Aborted Coup
From Kyiv, a Ukrainian journalist assesses how the Prigozhin insurrection could impact Putin—and the ongoing war. Arkady Budnitsky/ Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images. On Friday night, June 23, Ukrainians went to bed with a glimmer of hope. We had all been living under the cloak of war for 16 months. But despite our usual underlying fears, people across the nation shared a common sentiment on that third evening of summer: At least tonight the Russians would have other things to distract them and wouldn’t bombard us with missiles. The confounding events of the next day, of course, would dash our hopes. And yet, there were many reasons for a newfound sense that something momentous had occurred. That history had shifted. That President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power—and his hold over the lives of many millions of Ukrainians and Russians—might be slipping. Read the full story in Vanity Fair here.
- Collecting Evidence of Alleged Russian War Crimes
Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN Di Giovanni: Russia is trying to eradicate Ukrainian identity by abducting kids Fareed talks with Janine di Giovanni, executive director of The Reckoning Project, about her group's work documenting alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Watch the full CNN segment here.
- Russia’s Smoking Guns
How to Prove the Putin Regime’s War Crimes in Ukraine Gleb Garanich / Reuters/Foreign Affairs In early March, senior officials from numerous Western countries met with international prosecutors in Lviv, Ukraine, for the United for Justice conference. Among other things, they discussed establishing an international center for prosecuting the crime of aggression. For the participants, it was the first step toward holding the Russian government accountable for invading the country. The conference was opened by President Volodymyr Zelensky and included many top legal experts, including the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan and U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. Read the full story in Foreign Affairs here.
- My Friend Was Out for Pizza When the Missile Hit.
Putin’s Targeting of Civilians Must Be Punished Guardian/Reuters Please, not that place”: that was our first reaction to the Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk’s Ria pizza restaurant, which took 13 lives and wounded more than 60 people. Kramatorsk is the biggest, safest and most accessible town close to the Russian-Ukrainian frontline. Before the full-scale invasion, up to 200,000 people lived there; 80,000 now remain, including military personnel coming for a break, volunteers and journalists. Still, the services on offer are limited, so a central, well-run restaurant with quality wifi, space for meetings and quick meals will always be crowded. I remember Ria’s young waiters always providing perfect service, knowing that everybody was in a rush. Some of them are now among the dead. The second thought after this new attack was: who was there? One visitor, Victoria Amelina, a famous Ukrainian writer, was left in a critical condition. We learned yesterday that she passed away after five days in hospital. Amelina was a war crimes researcher – last Sunday, a day before her Kramatorsk trip, she was at the Arsenal book festival in Kyiv moderating a panel on “What kind of crime is Russia committing?” at my invitation. Beforehand we prepared together, chatting about how hard it is for us to travel outside Ukraine, and how we drum up the strength and spirit to carry on. We felt defiant. The book festival was our celebration of Ukrainian resilience. Read the full story in The Guardian here.
- Journalistic Warfare: Janine di Giovanni's Quest for Justice in Russia's War Against Ukraine
UATV Janine di Giovanni, journalist, director and co-founder of the 'Reckoning' project, talked about her work in Ukraine and her impressions of it as part of the project 'On the Edge'. The guest of the program helps document the war crimes of the Russian army. The author of a unique project, created together with Natalia Humeniuk, di Giovanni collects the evidence of the monstrous crimes of Russia in Ukraine, combining them into one big archive, and actively tries to make the international community aware of the horrors of the war against Ukraine. The methods of collecting evidence are very different from the standard interview, so the data collected will be almost impossible to refute in court. For more details about the project and what journalistic ethics should be in times of war, watch the interview. Watch the full segment here.
- Prigozhin couldn’t seal Putin’s fate. But here’s how all of us in the west still can
The Russian leader’s grip on power relies on fossil fuels and unchecked capitalism – we can all exploit these vulnerabilities A Wagner fighter with a tank outside a circus in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 24 June 2023. Photograph: Reuters Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted insurrection against Vladimir Putin made for popcorn-gobbling viewing, full of social media twists and turns, as Russia’s generous collection of war criminals challenged one another. It was tempting to just sit back and gawp as Russia’s “great power” image was reduced to the photo of a tank in Rostov-on-Don seemingly stuck at the gates to the city circus. But we are not passive observers of this show: each of one of us influences its ultimate outcome. Putin appears weaker than ever – and for a ruler who relies on projecting strength, that’s a bad look. To further dull Putin’s fading aura of invincibility, and to ultimately lead to a reversal of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we need to undermine the pillars his strongman myth is based on: colonial conquest, unregulated capitalism and climate abuse. As questions are raised about his ability to rule, Putin will claim that despite the efforts of the nefarious “collective west”, the Russian economy can stabilise because the world needs Russian fossil fuels; that the need of western companies to make money in Russia means it will never be truly isolated; that for all his blunders on the battlefield, he can still hold on to swathes of Ukraine and its resources, which he will dole out between the Russian system’s stakeholders for whom the risk of sticking with Putin will thus still be smaller than the risk of going against him. Read the full story in The Guardian here.
- Unscripted With Janine Di Giovanni
Ikuzo Unscripted Podcast #81 "There is no justice and injustice in history, there are only weak and strong.“ In this episode, we had the honor of talking to the author, journalist, and war correspondent, Janine Di Giovanni, about her experiences on the frontlines of some of the most significant military conflicts of our time, including Bosnia, Syria, Rwanda, Iraq, and more. We discussed the nature of war; how it affects people and countries in the long term, the morality of NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, the similarities between Bosnia and Ukraine, and how we can hope to prevent future conflicts. Enjoy! Watch the full episode here.
- Is this war different from others? - with Janine di Giovanni
| Ep. 235 UkraineWorld Every war is different, yet they share a lot of similarities. Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Chechnya, Ukraine - how can these wars be compared? What are the patterns of Russian actions in Chechnya and Syria which are being repeated in Ukraine? Why should we talk about evil? - Volodymyr Yermolenko, a Ukrainian philosopher and chief editor of UkraineWorld.org, invites Janine di Giovanni, a prominent American war correspondent who has worked in Chechnya, Iraq, Syria, Bosnia, and many other places, and is the Executive Director of the Reckoning Project Thinking in Dark Times is a podcast series by UkraineWorld. This series seeks to make Ukraine and the current war a focal point of our joint reflection on the world’s present, past, and future. We try to see the light through and despite the current darkness. Listen to the full podcast on UkraineWorld's SoundCloud here. UkraineWorld (ukraineworld.org) is brought to you by Internews Ukraine, one of the largest Ukrainian media NGOs.
- What lies behind Russia’s acts of extreme violence? Freudian analysis offers an answer
The blowing up of a Ukrainian dam echoes a traditional cycle of destruction and self-destruction marking the country’s history Russian president Vladimir Putin appears to be waging a campaign of destruction for its own sake in Ukraine. Photograph: Ramil Sitdikov/AP Beneath the veneer of Russian military “tactics”, you see the stupid leer of destruction for the sake of it. The Kremlin can’t create, so all that is left is to destroy. Not in some pseudo-glorious self-immolation, the people behind atrocities are petty cowards, but more like a loser smearing their faeces over life. In Russia’s wars the very senselessness seems to be the sense. After the casual mass executions at Bucha; after the bombing of maternity wards in Mariupol; after the laying to waste of whole cities in Donbas; after the children’s torture chambers, the missiles aimed at freezing civilians to death in the dead of winter, we now have the apocalyptic sight of the waters of the vast Dnipro, a river that when you are on it can feel as wide as a sea, bursting through the destroyed dam at Kakhovka. The reservoir held as much water as the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Its destruction has already submerged settlements where more than 40,000 people live. It has already wiped out animal sanctuaries and nature reserves. It will decimate agriculture in the bread basket of Ukraine that feeds so much of the world, most notably in the Middle East and Africa. To Russian genocide add ecocide. Read the full story in the Guardian.
- Will Vladimir Putin Get Away with War Crimes?
In the Room with Peter Bergen featuring Janine di Giovanni and Nataliya Gumenyuk When a newly-hired intern at the International Criminal Court was arrested and revealed to be a Russian spy, it begged the question: what was he up to? Listen in full at Apple Podcasts here.
- What happens when leaders disregard the truth? Putin and Trump are about to find out
A novel approach to holding Russia accountable for atrocities in Ukraine could ensure that lies and mass murder do not go unpunished Getty Images/The Guardian The powerful were meant to be afraid of the truth. Journalists were meant to “hold truth to power”. Evidence was meant to destroy wrongdoers as sunlight does a vampire. Find the evidence, the logic went, and the powerful could be shamed and brought to justice. Historically, the powerful would try to censor and suppress the facts. The Nazis tried to keep the truth about their atrocities hidden. The Soviet leadership would howl with embarrassment when dissidents passed information about conditions in the gulag to the outside world. Richard Nixon was brought down after the facts of his bugging his political opponents, and his ensuing cover-up, were brought to light. But what happens when the powerful stop being scared of the truth, indeed flaunt their disregard for it – as we see in the behaviour of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and America’s Donald Trump? Why has shame disappeared and why does impunity reign? Are we now helpless to hold the powerful to account? Read the full story in The Guardian here.