Please join me in lavishly thanking our reader Michael Greenspan for donating his time today to helping me edit this podcast. I’m so grateful for the favor, and you will be too when you listen without hearing Vladislav and me ask each other repeatedly, “Are you still there? Still there?”
To follow along, I recommend looking at the Ukraine Livemap, which is an invaluable resource for visualizing the war and following the news in real time:
Here’s Vladislav’s book: From Odessa with Love: Political and Literary Essays from Post-Soviet Ukraine.
Here’s the intercept in question:
Here’s the speech Ronald Reagan gave after the Soviet attack on KAL 007—the kind of speech Biden should be giving, but can’t.
Thousands are trapped in the flood zone — an estimated 230 square miles — and thousands of animals are dead. It is the single most damaging act of the war so far. “This is hell—but instead of fire we have water,” a local told me yesterday, before adding, as the people here so often do: “F****** Russians.”
Reports of fresh horrors reach me almost hourly. Contacts send videos and images of everything from sofas to the corpses of pets floating through towns and cities. Many of the elderly, disabled and those with large families, are trapped.
Some are contemplating the prospect of either a quick death by drowning, or the agony of a slower end if no one can reach them.
Even by the standards of this war, what is unfolding out here is horrific.
(Clearly the reports of “five dead” are completely inaccurate—some kind of artifact of the way they’re being recorded, not reality.)