Before bedtime I stacked up the blue divan pillow blocks one over the other, placing the large ones on top in the manner of a fort. My son’s baby mattress leaned against this wall of feathers, and the cushioned roof sheltered him in his little blue bassinet.
Before Russia’s 2022 invasion, Ukraine had well-established mechanisms for documentation of those killed or missing — with more than 3,095 conflict-related Ukrainian civilian deaths documented from 2014 to late 2021. But the ferocity of the current conflict has fragmented those existing networks.
Turkey has maintained economic and diplomatic ties with Russia throughout the war, declining to join Western-imposed sanctions and hosting negotiating teams from both Kyiv and Moscow. It has also hosted admittedly failed peace talks between both sides. Yet Ankara has quietly and not-so-quietly supported Ukraine throughout the war militarily, diplomatically and rhetorically.
Bloodstained clothes, shoes (mercifully absent dismembered feet), bits of plumbing, a PJ Mask stuffie, a car seat, and dozens of books and papers. I found a certificate of an eighth-grader, Yulia Lapai, for first place at the All-Ukrainian Olympiad for the English language at her school.
Ukrainians have made repeated attempts to get humanitarian aid inside the city, but Russian authorities haven’t let trucks with food or medicine pass through checkpoints. At the few shops that are open, people must wait in line for hours, and there are severe shortages of essentials like grain and canned food.
“In the Western media they underestimated the expertise that was already in place in Ukraine. Everyone knew what to do.”
For decades, the West has pioneered “stabilocracy” in the Balkans, a pernicious brand of diplomacy that prefers agreement to reform. That diplomacy was exported to their relations with Kremlin — with the extreme, bloody conclusion being the war in Ukraine.