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Good morning, this is Sophie. One of this week’s big news is Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s plan to recapture the country’s southern territory from Russia. Zelenskiy asked military chiefs to gather a “million-strong” fighting force equipped with western weapons. Occupied areas around the Black Sea coast are vital to the country’s economy, said the country’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

Today, I’m looking at some of the stories we published the last few days from Ukraine and Russia. Our journalists Iryna Matviyishyn and Joseph Roche met one of the thousands of Ukrainian defenders who took up arms: “Thanks to the Americans in our unit who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, we learned how to use [the occidental weapons we received].” Meanwhile, Zaira Abdullaeva writes about a ten-year friendship in tears and laughs. Plus, our correspondent Stanislav Kibalnyk explains why “Kharkiv desperately needs to recover its economy”.

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Sophie Woeldgen


Latest news from our Ukrainian colleagues

Photo article

The bodies of Russian soldiers are stored on a refrigerator train in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian military personnel identify their verification. (AP Yomiuri Shimbun/Hiroto Sekiguchi)

'The first Russian I killed was the Russian inside me.' Valery Lypynsky is one of the thousands of Ukrainian defenders who took up arms when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24 2022. This 29 year-old veteran abandoned his civilian life to form an international combat unit that liberated Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts and conduct reconnaissance missions around Kharkiv. Our correspondents in Kyiv met Valeriy, nom de guerre “Heartman”, during his short break from the frontline.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Must reads

Image of the day

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Saltivka neighborhood, Kharkiv. April 2022 (Credit: S. Woeldgen)

“Kharkiv desperately needs to recover its economy.” Active fighting is currently 20 kilometres from Kharkiv and the economy is in shambles. While those that have fled earlier are considering coming back, having spent all their savings, residents are also debating whether to stay or leave. The restriction to leave for men might be lifted by mid-autumn. For some, it could be a solution to unemployment.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

On the agenda

📌 16 July | Readings of Aeschylus’ play The Suppliants - on Zoom. The Suppliants is an ancient Greek play about a group of people who flee forced marriage and violence in the city of Argos. To help frame global discussions about the war in Ukraine, professional actors and a chorus of Ukrainian citizens will participate in the performance and discussion from Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.

Eventbrite (EN)

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