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.

Russian missiles blown up in Crimea

Ever since last February’s invasion, Russia has used Crimea – annexed in 2014 – as a base for its military. But that base is now under regular attack. Last night, cruise missiles being transported from Crimea were blown up by drones. The attack was in Dzhankoi, a junction just north of Crimea used by Russia

Why did a Russian jet and a US drone collide?

The United States and Russia are blaming each other for an incident which led to an American drone crashing into the Black Sea. Yesterday morning, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with a US MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone. The US claimed that Russian aircraft struck the drone’s propellors, so US forces had to bring the

Ukraine can sympathise with Georgia’s pro-EU movement

Protests that broke out in Tbilisi against adopting a controversial Russian-style law have turned into a pro-European movement with political demands. The law could have seen media and non-government groups which take funding from abroad classed as ‘foreign agents’. Although the Georgian government has released all arrested protesters and dropped the proposed law, which copied

The rationale for Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine

It has long been suspected that Russia was going to mount a renewed military offensive in Ukraine as spring approached. This fear was realised overnight. From midnight to 7.a.m., Ukraine suffered one of the worst barrages of Russian bombing this year: some 81 missiles were fired at residential buildings and critical infrastructure from air, land

Why are Russian soldiers videoing their war crimes?

One of the strange aspects of the conflict is that Russian troops not just commit war crimes but film themselves doing so. Another one was released today: a captured soldier surrounded by his soon-to-be executioners. He is standing over a hole he appears to have dug himself. He looks at his Russian captors with contempt,

Will Ukraine retreat from Bakhmut?

‘Is Putin winning?’ asks the cover of this week’s Spectator. Until recently the overall narrative around the war focused on how much land Ukraine was liberating from Russian occupation – but the Kremlin’s strategy of throwing soldiers into the meat-grinder is paying off, with significant progress on their way to the encirclement of the city

Why Ukrainians won’t settle for a ceasefire

Growing up as a Ukrainian means being acquainted with death when you are too young to know much about life. When I was a teenager, I saw dozens of coffins being brought to my hometown from Vladimir Putin’s war in the Donbas. Now, I am seeing my friends go to war – and, like so

Why Ukraine needs British war planes

‘We have freedom,’ said Zelensky in his address to Westminster Hall. ‘Give us wings to protect it!’ This sums up the message of his visit to the UK: to thank Britain for the weapons, without which Ukraine would not have survived so far, but to ask for planes. The last time he was in London,

Ukraine will not compromise

Among Ukrainians, there is little debate about how the war will end. The overwhelming consensus is that it cannot conclude until Russia has been fully repelled, and Ukraine’s borders are returned to the 1991 frontier when independence was declared after the Soviet Union collapsed. This means removing Russian troops from Crimea and the self-proclaimed republics

Zelensky’s corruption crackdown is working

Ukraine has been shaken by a wave of corruption scandals in recent days. Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff, six deputy ministers and five regional governors all left their posts today after a string of controversies left their positions untenable. Some were fired by the President, others left of their own accord – the number may

Ukraine’s interior minister dies in helicopter crash

Denys Monastyrsky, Ukraine’s interior minister was amongst 17 people killed in a helicopter crash in the outskirts of Kyiv this morning. He was heading out of the city with colleagues when his helicopter crashed near a nursery in Brovary. Four children, who were on the ground, are also reported to be amongst the dead with

Has Soledar fallen to the Russians?

Moscow this morning hailed the ‘liberation’ of Soledar, a strategic point in the battle for control of the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. The Wagner Group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Wednesday that his mercenaries – who are spearheading the offensive – were in control of the salt-mining town (or what remains of it). It was denied at the time,

The missile strike on Poland will be a test for Nato

Since the start of the war, there has been a risk of Ukraine’s neighbours being caught in crossfire – especially when Russia turned to a missile-based strategy. This now seems to have happened, with two rockets hitting the Polish village of Przewodów, nearly six miles from Ukraine’s border, killing two farm workers. The stakes are obviously high:

Svitlana Morenets

Third wave of Russian shelling blitz begins in Ukraine

A third wave of Russian missile attacks consisting of approximately 100 shells was launched against Ukraine today. Kyiv has taken a direct hit, with three blocks of flats on fire in the district of Pechersk in the city centre. Other explosions have also been confirmed in Lviv, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Zhytomyr, Kryvyi Rih and Rivne,

Ukraine’s huge victory in Kherson

Less than two months ago, Putin declared four occupied regions of Ukraine as part of Russia. Some speculated that Moscow would view any attempt to liberate those territories as equivalent to an attack on Russian soil. Yet today Volodymyr Zelensky visited the recently liberated Kherson, awarded Ukrainian soldiers and watched them raise the country’s flag.

The last hours of the Russian occupation of Kherson

The only large Ukrainian city Russia has been able to capture since February’s invasion – Kherson – has now been liberated. But something else extraordinary happened: Russian reports emerged of thousands of troops being left on the right bank of the Dnipro river after the occupiers blew up the mile-long Antonivsky bridge. Moscow flatly denies this, saying: