SUCHO is the first large-scale initiative to archive websites as a war unfolds. The Kharkhiv National Library, for example, contained documents of the people that the Soviet Union had banished to Siberia. The records could have been lost forever if SUCHO hadn’t finished archiving it just hours earlier.
Zelenskyy’s tone on the Donbas battles has darkened noticeably in recent days as Russia tries to press its advantage in armor and artillery before Western weapons systems arrive and there is a chance to turn the tide Ukraine’s way.
“Tonight, we had five raids. If we had air defense, it wouldn’t be happening. We have it, but not enough. It’s from the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s too weak. We need modern air defense. We haven’t received any yet. And you also have to learn to use it first. It’s not like driving a car.”
Many people have bloodshot eyes or skin discoloration and, in some cases, visible sores. “When we worked here our guidelines were to never spend more than half a day underground because it could make you sick,” said Nastya, a 23-year-old former train attendant who now works as a volunteer organizer. “Now there are people who haven’t left in nearly two months, and it is impossible to keep them all healthy.”
“Russians and Ukrainians are from different planets. They are surprised that streets in our villages are lit, that there are WCs and showers in our houses. They are surprised that we have a decentralized system of governance, that mayors and village heads are elected, not appointed, that there is no top-down hierarchy when everyone follows orders from above.”
“[They were] surprisingly pathetic,” he says of the Russian troops he encountered. “I have never seen a military force perform this badly. The Taliban had better logistics and planning than the Russian military. I don’t know if it’s basically the incompetence of their intelligence that they just expected flowers to greet them, but they are so poorly trained, so badly motivated, so underequipped that it’s outright ridiculous.”
In 2022, in their latest struggle for freedom from Russian imperialism, many Tatars have contributed and helped Ukraine to continue defying the invaders. The memory of pain and history of repression is the basis of Tatars’ support for Ukraine’s defense, though Muslim neighbors with similar historical experiences of brutal violence unleashed by Russians — like some Chechens — have openly joined their oppressor’s side.