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Author: The Kyiv Independent

Breaking Point: Ukraine reaches critical crossroads against Kremlin’s strategy of assault at any price

Russia’s all-out war in Ukraine has subverted a lot of prophecies, doomsday omens and bright hopes alike. It has now been a month of this new reality since Russia’s attacks began early in the morning on February 24, 2022. Yes, the Kremlin really did launch a World War II-level military offensive against Ukraine. Their invasion is full of war crimes and barbarities, and lacks an obvious voice of reason. No, Ukraine did not turn out to be frail and did not kneel before the invading army. Instead, after a month of hostilities, tangible results indicate that Ukraine has sustained...

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Irpin Diary: Personal stories of war from the volunteers saving lives in Milwaukee’s sister city

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following essay is a personal account of Іgоr Kоssоv, a journalist for the Kyiv Independent, describing spending a day with a small group of volunteers helping people get out of some of the most dangerous areas outside Kyiv. A clear, frigid day rises over the city of Irpin. The bright sun overhead provides only mild comfort. The icy breeze penetrates to the bone. “It’s gonna be an interesting one today, Igor,” Oleksandr says to me, upbeat. I met this guy earlier in the war, when I was monitoring refugee evacuations at the Irpin River crossing, in...

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Evacuees fleeing to Kyiv share dire stories about escaping Russia’s terror campaign on small towns

While Ukrainian forces have, so far, successfully held off the Russian troops from taking Kyiv, the towns around the capital have become some of the most intense battlegrounds of the ongoing war. Russia seized the outlying suburban towns with vehicles and infantry, setting up checkpoints and, in many cases, cutting off access to utilities, phone and internet access, and food. The local civilians bore the brunt of the damage. Many remained trapped, in most cases for over a week, either because Russian forces wouldn’t let them leave or they were afraid of being cut down by Russian fire if...

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Grief and Solidarity: Kyiv’s suburbs transformed from thriving community to ghost town in two weeks

As I write these lines in Kyiv, my window panes are shaking to the booms of air defense guns intercepting Russian aircraft over the city. On March 7, the Ukrainian military reported two airplanes had been downed. What happened to the city still feels like an old movie. Two weeks ago our streets were buzzing with joy, cafes and shops were full, street singers were singing and young people were dancing outside the Khreshchatyk subway station. Now it is a ghost city, a mix of London during the blitz and something from futuristic post-apocalyptic fiction. Most of the population...

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