✅ Ukrainian Parliament Passes Controversial Donbas Law
On October 6, the Ukrainian parliament voted on two laws potentially defining the future of the country's occupied Donbas region. One draft law, passed in the first reading, would set a legal framework for the region's "de-occupation," declare Russia an agressor, and alter Ukraine's military operation in the Donbas. The other — passed by parliament and signed into law by the president — will now extend the region's "special status" and local self-governance for another year. Initially passed in 2014 as a requirement of the Minsk Accords, the "special status" law has never truly come into force. But it has sparked controversy for granting amnesty to the Russia-backed fighters. It's extension was also bound to be contentious. Hromadske speaks with political analyst Maria Zolkina to learn what these two new laws mean for Ukraine.
Political Analyst, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
✅ Covering the Caucasus Across Conflict Lines
By any measure, the Caucasus is a rough neighborhood: three so-called “frozen conflicts,” flashes of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russian occupation of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia region. But Jam News somehow manages to get people from all the countries of the region to work together. Editor-in-chief Margarita Akhvlediani explains how Jam does and discusses with Hromadske some of the biggest stories in the Caucasus right now.
Editor-in-Chief at JAM News
✅ Despite War, Ukraine And Russia’s Economic Ties Continue
This past week, two unusual stories broke. First, it emerged that Ukraine’s State Railroad Company purchased nearly $500,000 of spare parts from Russia. Then, a Polish official admitted that his country had purchased coal mined in Ukraine’s occupied east from Russia. Ukraine and Russia are, de facto, at war. Yet, they also maintain important trade ties. This contradiction represents one of the most unusual aspects of their conflict. Hromadske speaks with Volodymyr Vakhitov about the odd nuances of the two countries’ economic ties.
Raiffeisen Bank Professor of Kyiv School of Economics
✅ The Holodomor Famine: Giving A Voice To The Victims
In 1932 and 1933, Ukraine was struck by a deadly famine that killed between 7 and 10 million people. Today, many in Ukraine regard the famine — called the Holodomor (“death by starvation”) — as a Soviet-made atrocity intended to break Ukrainian resistance to the Communist regime. They also allege that it was an act of genocide. Anne Applebaum, a columnist at The Washington Post, recently wrote a book on the Holodomor. She tells Hromadske why she believes it was an act of genocide and how she strove to give voice to the famine’s victims.
Washington Post columnist
✅ Make Ukrainian Infrastructure Great Again
Like many countries of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine is famed for unsightly, monolithic cement buildings and crumbling infrastructure. But where many see decay, Mexican architect and global investor Fernando Romero sees potential. Impressed by Ukraine’s progress over the past three years, Romero believes Ukraine can help create a new international model of how to build a sustainable city. The country’s biggest challenge now is to project a new image to attract both foreign capital and investment.