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Ukraine Without Hype

Ukraine Without Hype

By Ukraine Without Hype
Ukraine-based journalists Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway discuss the biggest stories from Ukraine, and the region - all in English.
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Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 3: Russian Military Buildup

Ukraine Without Hype

Episode 24: Ode to Joy - Ukraine Gains EU Candidacy
A rapid Russian offensive captures territory around Lysychansk, leading to the Ukrainian withdrawal from Severodonetsk, with a tough fight still to come. The Ukrainian parliament ratifies the Istanbul Convention, a landmark treaty against domestic and gendered violence. Ukraine is granted European Union candidate status, paving the way for future membership. It has been the dream of a generation of Ukrainians, but they have paid a heavy cost for it. The pro-Ukraine Bulgarian Prime Minister loses a vote of no confidence. Lithuania blocks off land transit of sanctioned goods to the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @RomeoKokriatski Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Patreon Music Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, Performed by Bayreuth Festival Orchestra (1951)
June 28, 2022
Episode 23: Ukrainian Foreign-born Fighters Held Hostage and Threatened with Execution
Severodonetsk becomes the centerpiece of the war, as fierce urban fighting claims hundreds of lives. Russian cruise missiles destroy a Kyiv civilian railcar repair plant in the first strike on the city in a month, increasing the difficulty of Ukraine's ability to export grain. Three foreign-born fighters are sentenced to death by the Russian puppet authorities in Donetsk. We go over who these men are and why calling them mercenaries is malicious propaganda. Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Patreon Music Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow (Traditional)
June 13, 2022
Episode 22: Making the Case that Russia is Committing Genocide in Ukraine
Brief news update: While Russia advances through the streets of Sieverodonetsk, Ukraine breaks through enemy lines in an offensive on the Kherson region. The US agrees to send Ukraine a new type of long-range rocket artillery after some very confusing negotiations. The branch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine breaks away from Moscow and its future is uncertain. (08:00) We have an interview with Christopher Atwood, a graduate student at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York. He is a co-author of a report by the New Lines Institute and Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights which makes a legal case to classify Russia's atrocities against Ukrainians as a genocide. We give special attention to the role played by Russian media in spreading genocidal rhetoric. Report from New Lines Institute Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Christopher: @tca1_ Patreon Music Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow (Traditional)
June 02, 2022
Episode 21: Victory at Kharkiv and Eurovision, but Grim Fighting over the Donets River
Anthony Bartaway goes over the latest updates from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (1:00) The fears of Russian general mobilization on Victory Day proved to be false. (1:40) The defenders of Mariupol finally surrender, and their future is uncertain. (4:30) The Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv successfully drives Russian forces away from the city, in some places straight to the border. (7:50) A deep dive into the role played by the Siverskyi Donets River in the Battle for Donbas, and the advantages and difficulties that it gives either side. (20:20) What Happens Next? (26:45) Complete Change of Tone: Ukraine Wins Eurovision (32:00) Patreon Question: What is the situation in Poland with refugees who have been raped by Russian soldiers and need abortion services? Eurovision Winning Song "Stephania" by Kalush Orchestra Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Patreon Music Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow (Traditional)
May 25, 2022
Episode 20: Russian Imperial Antisemitism
The Russian offensive in Donbas becomes bogged down outside of Izyum and Sievierodonetsk, with only minor forward progress since our last update. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces take the initiative around Kharkiv and score more hits against the Russian Navy and its positions on occupied Snake Island in the Black Sea. Russia's effort to rope Transnistria into a suicidal war is subsiding, but still something to watch. The US lend-lease bill begins to show results in getting much-needed equipment to Ukrainian defenders. (32:20) For our main segment, we focus on the incredibly antisemitic remarks made by Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and the Russian media who picked up on them. We do a bit of a deeper dive into the history and nature of Russian antisemitism, and how it is an integral part of the Russian imperial project. Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Patreon Music זאָג ניט קיין מאָל (Never Say) by Hirsch Glick, Performed by Leon Lishner and Friends
May 09, 2022
Episode 19: The Aftermath of Occupation
The Battle for Donbas rages on as the Russian army tries desperately to encircle Ukrainian forces in the east, while the defenders of Mariupol make their last stand in the ruins of the sprawling Azovstal metallurgical plant. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army presses in on Russian-occupied territory in the East from Kharkiv and the West toward Kherson. Ukraine has begun receiving shipments of heavy weapons in order to take the fight to the enemy. At the 37-minute mark, Anthony recounts a reporting trip into the Brovary region, where Russian soldiers sacked the villages of the eastern Kyiv countryside. Article Referenced Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Ukraine Without Hype: @HypeUkraine Patreon Music Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow (Traditional)
April 25, 2022
Episode 18: How many acts of Genocide does it take to make Genocide?
Russian soldiers have retreated from northern Ukraine and will try to re-focus on Donbas, but what they left behind is a path of destruction that must be called a genocide. There have been multiple statements from the Russian government showing genocidal intent, and that intent was followed with action. Evidence of mass murder and other crimes is found in nearly every location that Russia occupied. To sort through some of the issues regarding genocide and denial, we speak with scholar Joey Ayoub of the Fire These Times podcast. Ukraine Without Hype is also partnering with Fire These Times to produce a Ukraine series on their channel. Twitter Anthony: @Bartaway Romeo: @VagrantJourno Joey Ayoub: @joeyayoub Fire These Times: @FireTheseTimes Patreon Music Plyve Kacha Po Tysyni, Traditional performed by Unattributed CC BY
April 06, 2022
Episode 17: One Month Of War, Eight Years in the Making
Anthony Bartaway and Romeo Kokriatski talk about the current situation in the Russo-Ukraine War. Russian advances around Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv have been stopped by Ukrainian defenders, but have been replaced with artillery fire and rocket strikes. Along the Black Sea coast, the Russian army has been turned away from Mykolaiv, but is committing horrible war crimes to try and break Mariupol. In the second segment, they sit down with Kiril, an open-source intelligence analyst with the Conflict Intelligence Team. We ask him about the state of the Russian army and why it seems to be underperforming so severely compared to their strength on paper. Twitter Accounts: Anthony: @bartaway Romeo: @vagrantjourno Kiril: @Mortis_banned Conflict Intelligence Team: @CITeam_en Support us at Closing song: Bella Ciao, Ukrainian translation by Alex Tkachuk, performed by Vitalii Vointenko, Creative Commons
March 23, 2022
Episode 16: March 5th War Dispatch
The state of the Russo-Ukraine War as it stood on March 5th. Russia is making gains in the South, but stalling out in the North, leading to their increased reliance on indiscriminate bombardments of civilian areas. While the Russian army is suffering from low morale and poor logistics, the Ukrainian people rally to defend their homes. We go into some of the important topics that come up so far, such as the Russian use of saboteurs and the threat posed to critical infrastructure such as the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Apologies for some audio problems, Ukraine Without Hype Studios in Exile has faced some difficulties.
March 06, 2022
Episode 15: February 24th War Dispatch
Short emergency episode: the long-feared war has come.
February 24, 2022
Episode 14: Artillery Fire from the East
Russia begins a barrage of both artillery fire and misinformation to drum up any excuse to go to war. Their claimed "troop withdrawal" turned out to be just another misdirection. Diplomatic efforts to calm the situation continue to fail. The Russian legislature asks Putin to recognize the occupation authorities in Donbas as sovereign nations, but is rebuffed for now. A Russian cyber attack brings down Ukraine's largest banks for a few hours. Russian "naval exercises" bring most of the Black Sea under their control. Scandals in both the Eurovision Song Contest and the Winter Olympics. We close with an analysis of the present situation and what this all means.
February 20, 2022
Episode 13: Ukrainian Journalism Style Guide and J'Accuse!
New Patreon page, so please help us spread the news about Ukraine: Ukraine and its allies continue to try to head off the possible Russian offensive, but there is tension between Kyiv and Washington over how severe the threat may be. Then, in local news, a mass shooting by a National Guardsmen of his fellow soldiers and a corruption scandal at the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone regarding nuclear waste. Next, we list some of the most frequent errors made by foreign journalists and politicians when describing Ukraine and go into some detail on how to correct them. We end by analyzing the arguments from the different sides of the political spectrum for why they might support Russia, and make a plea to the Left to re-adjust some of their assumptions and have solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Here are some timestamps to better reach some of our arguments: Style Guide 27:30 - Kyiv, not Kiev and other naming conventions. 33:00 - It is a Russian invasion, not a Civil War. 29:40 - The Far-Right is not as much of a problem as it is made out to be, do not focus on it to the exclusion of anything else. 45:00 - Ukrainian West vs. Russian East is vastly misunderstood. 49:30 - Do not rely on what you learned in WW2 movies and video games Russia's Supporters and Fellow Travelers 53:00 - Bipartisan Bad Arguments 49:30 - Why the Right Supports Russia 1:04:30 - Why the Left Supports Russia
February 03, 2022
Episode 12: The Diplomats Arrive, along with Poroshenko
As the Russian military buildup continues on the Ukrainian border, diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the UK, and the EU meet to avert catastrophe - to little effect thus far. A likely Russian or Belarusian-based hack of multiple Ukrainian government-connected websites was mostly just an inconvenience. But, it highlights the years-long trends of both cyber warfare and using false flags to try and hurt Ukrainian-Polish relations. Protests in Kazakhstan are met with lethal force by the government, who called in help from Russia and its other allies in the CSTO. Former President Petro Poroshenko returns to Kyiv, where a judge was waiting for him to answer treason charges.
January 19, 2022
Episode 11: New Year, Same War
The New Year is right around the corner and our last episode of the year is a big one. Anthony Bartaway talks about what he saw and heard in some of the conflict-affected places in Donbas. Then he and Romeo Kokriatski get into the weeds about the likelihood of a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine. The episode wraps up with news of former President Petro Poroshenko being accused of treason and how much it can be considered a power grab. З Новим Pоком!
December 30, 2021
Episode 10: What Did I Miss?
After a far too long August hiatus, Ukraine Without Hype is Back. Anthony Bartaway runs down some of the top news stories that we missed while we were away. These include the current Russian military buildup, Belarus spurring on a migrant crisis, an update on the Nordstream 2 pipeline, the end of the war in Afghanistan and Ukraine's role in evacuating refugees, Zelensky's bizarre presser and how it relates to press freedoms, the Crimea Platform, the Pandora Papers, checking in on the far-right post-Avakov, a covid update, public Hannukah observance as a mark of progress, and the death and rebirth of the Kyiv Post. A lot has happened.
December 10, 2021
Episode 9: Security Sector Shakeup, Indigenous Ukrainian Law
For the August 3rd edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway go over the large-scale personnel changes at the top of the Ministries of Defense and Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian military. Most of the attention goes to the newly-minted Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky. Then, on to a recent law that protects the rights of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine. We wrap up with some comments on Belarus trying to kidnap one of their own Olympic athletes and the mysterious death of a Belarusian activist in Kyiv.
August 03, 2021
Episode 8: Avakov Out, Land Markets In
For the July 21st edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway go over a bombshell story from the week: the irreplaceable Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has finally been replaced. Then, we cover how Ukraine is implementing one of the reforms most demanded from international partners: the opening up of agricultural land for purchase, something that was previously banned. Finally, a small section on the arrest of a left-wing activist on manufactured charges and his possible deportation to Belarus.
July 21, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 7: The Long Road to NATO and Firtash's Foibles
For the July 5th edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway go over Ukraine's most recent attempts to spur NATO leadership into moving forward with its ascension into the alliance. Then, we cover the next oligarch to have come into the sights of the current, though flawed, push for de-oligarchization: Dmytro Firtash. We close with some brief thoughts on William Shatner's new business relationship with Russia Today, which even he seemed confused about, and the unfolding story of the assault on Tbilisi Pride.
July 05, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 6: Medvedchuk's Treason Investigation and Belarusian Torturers
For the June 8th edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway cover delve into the story of pro-Russian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, his treason investigation, and what that means in terms of a larger "de-oligarchization" effort. Then, updates on the situation in Belarus, where the Lukashenko regime is making such flagrant use of torture that they invited Russian militants from Donbas to help them do it.
June 08, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 5: Belarusian Air Pirates and Fake Degrees
For the May 25th edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway cover the still-breaking news about Belarus forcing down a Ryanair flight en route to Vilnius in order to kidnap an opposition journalist. Then, the ridiculous case of a pro-Russian member of the Verkhovna Rada who bumbled and bribed his way into a doctorate.
May 25, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 4: Spies and Swindlers
For the May 10th edition of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway delve into revelations about Russia's covert operations in Europe following a round of antagonistic diplomatic actions between Czechia and its allies, and Russia. Then, we discuss the career of possibly the most corrupt judge in Ukraine, Pavlo Vovk, and whether it might be coming to an end.
May 10, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 3: Russian Military Buildup
For the return of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Anthony Bartaway look at the Russian military buildup that had positioned itself for war and set Ukraine on edge before the Kremlin announced it was only a military exercise. Then, we narrow our scope to look into the Ukrainian protest movement that has been built around supporting jailed right-wing leader turned anti-corruption activist Serhiy Sternenko.
April 26, 2021
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 2: Constitutional Corruption
On this week's episode of Ukraine Without Hype, Romeo Kokriatski and Maria Romanenko discuss the aftermath and early results for local elections in Ukraine, a controversial Constitutional Court decision that could spell the end of anti-corruption efforts in the country, and protests in Poland following the Polish government's total ban on legal abortions.
October 31, 2020
Ukraine Without Hype - Episode 1: Local Elections
On this newly returned episode of Ukraine Without Hype, hosts and journalists Romeo Kokriatski and Maria Romanenko discuss the biggest stories of Ukraine, and the region. This week - the upcoming Ukrainian local elections, the players, the numbers, the parties, and much, much more!
October 23, 2020