🇺🇦 The news from Odessa
Vladislav Davidzon joins the Cosmopolicast.
Vivek Kelkar, Monique Camarra and I caught up with Vladislav Davidzon, the author of From Odessa with Love: Political and Literary Essays from Post-Soviet Ukraine—which you should order and read.
Vladislav is in Odessa right now. Right before we started recording, he heard an explosion. He spent a few minutes trying to figure out where it came from and whether it would be followed by a double tap, then decided it was probably the sound of a Russian missile being shot down over the port, and there was nothing (more than usual) to worry about. I wasn’t wholly reassured, but he wanted to go ahead with the podcast, so we did.
Just now, this news came across the transom. Maybe it was this?
Here’s what we talked about:
A week of atrocities: Ukraine’s Katyn massacre.
Is any grain getting out of the ports at all?
Is Europe already tired of supporting Ukraine?
The amazing impact of the HIMARS.
Do you guys have enough ammo?
Why can’t we get ammo to the front fast enough?
Why would Washington be trying to slow walk the supply of equipment?
What’s Russia’s long-term strategy?
What have Ukrainian generals been telling Vladislav?
What’s the plan for the counteroffensive?
What’s going to happen in the winter, after the midterms—and when Germany starts to freeze?
How’s the Ukrainian military’s morale?
How about the public?
Are the Ukrainians going to win?
At what cost?
How long could this war possibly last?
Can an economically viable Ukrainian state survive?
How much of Ukraine’s economy and industry has already been destroyed?
Has long can Putin keep insulating the Russian middle class from the real cost of the war?
Is there any imaginable scenario in which the war ends soon?
How are Vladislav’s relatives in Ukraine coping?
How about his wife? The rest of his family?
What do Ukrainian civil society organizations need?
I’ve got scalpels and gastric tubes to spare. How do I send them to Ukraine?
What’s Vladislav’s next book about?
How has Odessa changed since the war began? Where did all the women go?
Where can I read Larissa Babij’s Substack?
How have views of Russia changed among Ukrainian Russophones?
Is it a good idea for Odessa to tear down its Pushkin statues?
How much physical damage has Odessa sustained?
Why is de-mining the Black Sea contentious?
How exactly do you de-mine the Black Sea?
By shooting a machine gun into the water? Seriously?
How much does it cost these days to insure a Black Sea vessel?
Is Ukraine’s airspace effectively closed?
Does Ukraine still have aircraft in the air?
Why aren’t we giving them planes?
Why is it difficult to get planes into Ukraine?
What was Slovenia’s plan for giving Ukraine its jets? What happened to that plan?
What would it take to light a fire under the Biden Administration’s collective, slow-walking ass?
Who exactly in the administration is holding up the works?
How does slow-walking these weapons make any strategic sense?
Who in the US is most responsible for Ukraine policy?
Should we designate Russia a terrorist state?
How many Chechens are fighting on Ukraine’s side?
What about Belorussians?
What about Westerners?
Who are the best foreign fighters?
I’m a right-wing Ukrainian nationalist, but I’m not white. Can I join the Azov battalion?
Why is the West barely reacting to the murder of Ukrainian POWs?
Why are the Russians ratcheting up their atrocities now?
How far advanced is the effort to prosecute Russian war crimes?
Why did Zelensky fire his prosecutor general and his security chief?
Would you please be careful, Vlad? Keep the helmet on?
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