Svitlana Morenets

Svitlana Morenets

Svitlana Morenets is a Ukrainian journalist on the staff of The Spectator. Subscribe to her free weekly email, Ukraine in Focus, here.

Will the Ukrainian army retreat from Avdiivka?

The battle for Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast is a bloodbath. The city, which is also called the ‘gateway to Donetsk’, is semi-surrounded. Some 50,000 Russian troops are trying to advance from three sides while they keep the main supply route into the city under artillery fire. At least 15 per cent of Avdiivka has been

Svitlana Morenets, Paul Mason, Robbie Mallett and Lloyd Evans

26 min listen

This week: Svitlana Morenets takes us inside Ukraine’s new plan for mass conscription (01:01); Paul Mason says that Labour is right to ditch its £28 billion green pledge (10:49); Robbie Mallett tells us about life as a scientist working in Antarctica (15:48); and Lloyd Evans reads his Life column (21:24).  Produced and presented by Oscar

What Tucker Carlson should have asked Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin relished being interviewed by American journalist Tucker Carlson, who doesn’t seem to know much about Russia, Ukraine or the war. The old autocrat turned a two-hour interview into a monologue and spent most of it talking about a fictionalised history of Ukraine. In one of the rare moments when Carlson dared to interrupt

Zelensky has sacked a Ukrainian hero

If you have to ask Ukrainians to name the biggest hero of the past two years, most would probably say Valery Zaluzhny, who has just been fired as the head of the military. Under his command, Kyiv was defended and Ukraine reclaimed more than half of the territory that Russia occupied since February 2022. It

Svitlana Morenets

Ukraine is in a bind over mass conscription

In the second world war, the average age of a combat soldier was 26. In the Falklands, it was 23. For Ukrainian soldiers, it’s 43. The war in Ukraine has been, so far, fought mostly by fathers so their sons and daughters can rebuild the country when the fighting ends. But resisting Russia has cost

Who is persecuting Ukraine’s journalists?

Investigative journalism has often been deadly for the careers of corrupt politicians in Ukraine, with stories leading to resignations and even imprisonment. Now, under the conditions of martial law (including the closure of public data services) and limited opportunities for society to control the actions of the authorities, Ukrainian journalists became the main watchdogs over

Svitlana Morenets, James Heale and Theo Hobson

17 min listen

This week: Svitlana Morenets explains why Ukrainians can’t trust Putin’s hollow promises (00:57), James Heale reads his politics column on Rishi’s January blues (05:42), and Theo Hobson describes the joys of middle-aged football (10:54).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

Putin’s ‘peace’ is a partitioned Ukraine

52 min listen

On the podcast: In his new year’s address this year Vladimir Putin made no mention of the war in Ukraine – despite missile strikes over the Christmas period – and now Owen Matthews reports in The Spectator this week rumours that Putin could be looking to broker a land-for-peace deal. Unfortunately – Owen says – this deal

Ukrainians can’t trust Putin’s hollow promises

Ukraine’s parliament will soon vote on much-needed conscription regulations which would draft an extra half a million recruits into the army. The categories of eligible men will be expanded, the draft age will be lowered from 27 to 25, and any man caught attempting to evade it will face harsh sanctions or imprisonment. Volodymyr Zelensky

What will it take to stop Putin?

I feel sorry for Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s devastating watching him travelling all around the world, struggling to convince even his closest ally, Washington, to keep helping Ukraine. But that is not his only problem. I bet Zelensky and his speechwriters are tossing and turning in bed at night, wondering what he should say when he

Russia’s plan to freeze Ukraine

Winter hasn’t officially started, but Ukraine is already covered in snow. As temperatures dip a few degrees below zero, the nation is grappling with an electricity deficit. Ukrainians have been urged by the national power company to use electricity sparingly during the day and take measures such as switching on the washing machine at night.

Back to the future: Sunak’s big gamble

45 min listen

On the podcast: It’s been a busy week in Westminster. On Monday, Rishi Sunak’s first major reshuffle saw Suella Braverman sacked and David Cameron make a surprise return to politics.  Then two days later, the Supreme Court’s Rwanda ruling left the government’s pledge to ‘stop the boats’ in tatters. It was meant to be the

Zelensky must be honest about the state of the war

‘Happy New Year! The year of our victory!’ said Volodymyr Zelensky on 1 January. After the liberation of the Kharkiv region and Kherson, Ukrainians entered the ninth year of the war with hope that they could win. Light will always prevail over darkness, Zelensky likes to say. But now the counter-offensive is nearly over, having

Zelensky’s rival spells trouble for Ukraine

The debate over the necessity of Ukraine’s presidential elections is creating chaos in a nation at war. The ceasefire among Ukrainian politicians is crumbling as some of them start to chase votes. Oleksiy Arestovych, a scandal-hit former adviser to the head of the presidential office, has called Volodymyr Zelensky a dictator and announced he will

Will the new US Speaker spell trouble for aid to Ukraine?

For the past few weeks, the US House Speaker’s chair has sat empty. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position on 3 October amid accusations from some Republicans that he was colluding with Democrats in a ‘secret deal’ to assist Ukraine. While the position has been vacant, critical legislation, including aid for Ukraine, has not been able

Is Russia’s latest offensive faltering?

Russia’s latest offensive has exacted a heavy toll on its forces. They have lost 127 tanks, 239 armoured personnel vehicles and 161 artillery systems in the past week, according to Kyiv, with the casualties reaching more than 3,000 military personnel. Vladimir Putin is trying to change the narrative, framing Russian forces’ actions as ‘active defence’

Should Ukraine hold a general election next year?

In the months before Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Volodymyr Zelensky was fighting for his political life. The former comedian was elected in 2019 on a pledge to end the war in Donbas by an electorate exasperated with its political class. Zelensky initially set out to negotiate with Vladimir Putin – but achieved nothing. He