Dispatches from Ukraine


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March 18, 2022

Dispatches from Ukraine

  • Dispatches from Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • war

A collected series of dispatches from Paweł Pieniążek, translated from the original Polish by Łukasz Chełmiński.

Admiringly called “the poet laureate of hybrid war,” Paweł Pieniążek is a journalist and regular contributor to Tygodnik Powszechny, a Polish weekly. He covered protests in Kyiv’s Maidan square–where he was badly beaten by the Berkut riot police–from their beginnings in November 2013. Paweł spent years embedded in the Donbas, reporting on a conflict that became the topic of his first two books, Greetings from Novorossiya (available in English) and Wojna, która nas zmieniła (The War that Changed Us). He has since reported from Afghanistan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Iraq and Syria. Wydawnictwo Czarne published Paweł’s Po kalifacie. Nowa wojna w Syrii (After the Caliphate. A New War in Syria) in 2019. Pieniążek has also been published in Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Opinni, and New Eastern Europe. In 2015 he was awarded a Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale University and in 2021 a Milena Jesenská Fellowship for Journalists at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna.

Fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian, Pieniążek has been reporting from Ukraine for nearly a decade. He had returned to cover the escalating threat of Russian military buildup on the country’s borders for Tygodnik Powszechny and was in the eastern city of Kharkiv when the invasion began. His reports cut through the cacophony of conflict to shed light on the tragic and pointless human cost of war.

We will keep adding translated dispatches here:

February 19th, 2022 The first day of the end of the world

February 22, 2022Residents of Kyiv: We want to know how to defend our families

February 23rd, 2022 – Kyiv residents are buying military gear

February 24th, 2022 – Russia has attacked Ukraine

February 24th, 2022 – When they shell your home

February 26, 2022 – Increasingly difficult to find bread in Kyiv

February 27, 2022 – House keys

February 28, 2022 – Wartime Maidan

February 28, 2022“It’s hard to shake off negative thoughts.” Kyiv lives under threat from rockets

March 1, 2022 – Territorial Defense of Ukraine: Defending our Neighborhood

March 2, 2022 – Kyiv: a rocket falls near the train station

March 5, 2022 The Evacuation of Irpin: Will I ever see my house again?

March 6, 2022 Kyiv prepares. Anti-tank hedgehogs and Molotov cocktails

March 7, 2022 For Our Today, for Your Tomorrow

March 10, 2022 Kyiv: concert for closing the skies

March 11, 2022 “I will lay down in front of a tank, I won’t let it pass.” Correspondence from Ukraine

March 13, 2022 Leaving Kyiv be heartbreaking

March 16, 2022Kyiv Shelled. Correspondence from Ukraine

March 21, 2022 A home on a volcano. Life in Kharkiv?

March 28, 2022 The Kharkiv metro: a month underground

April 1, 2022 Kyiv catches its breath

April 4, 2022Home can’t be packed up. Correspondence from Kharkiv

April 5, 2022 The Donbas rail station: concert and evacuation

April 12, 2022 Donbas: Julia wants to fight for her home

April 15, 2022 Severodonetsk under fire

May 5, 2022 I didn’t think that this would reach us. Correspondence from Donbas

May 7, 2022Mobile defense. What’s happening on the front line?

May 10, 2022 Donbas: I’m leaving because I want to live

May 16, 2022 On the road of life: correspondence from the front in Donbas

May 23, 2022 The fight for the Kharkiv region. Correspondence from Ukraine

May 27, 2022 The International Legion. A Pole and an American fight for Ukraine’s freedom

June 12, 2022 “We finally see how wonderful our country is:” an interview with Yaroslav Hrytsak

June 29, 2022 Ukraine: Exhaust a country defending itself

July 11, 2022 When it’s bad, you appreciate the little things

July 11, 2022 To volunteer in hell: medics at war

August 1, 2022 Ihor remains on watch. Correspondence from Kharkiv

August 8, 2022 Our objective was to not die and we succeeded

August 12, 2022 Ukraine: an increasingly entrenched war

August 19, 2022 Stakes higher than boxing. Oleksandr Usyk will fight Anthony Joshua

August 22, 2022 Volunteers. How Ukrainian women fight for their country

September 19, 2022 A new hope. Will Ukraine win?

September 19, 2022 Family on the other side of the river. Correspondence from Kharkiv Oblast

October 3, 2022Rail – a pillar of Ukraine. Correspondence from Paweł Pieniążek

November 12, 2022 Ukraine returns to Kherson: “We have been waiting for you for so long.” A report from the liberated city

November 14, 2022 My plan is to celebrate

November 21, 2022 Kherson: the joy of liberation and terrifying memories

Novemeber 28, 2022 Save, in turn: life, limbs, sight. Correspondence from a field hospital

December 5, 2022 Ukraine is reclaiming land and tracking down collaborators

December 12, 2022 Where is your flag?

December 23, 2022What will you do when this is over? We asked Ukrainians from different corners of the country

December 23, 2022“My life consists of constant deconstruction.” Paweł Pieniążek about the work of a war reporter

February 13, 2023Correspondence from Ukraine: The last road to town

February 20, 2023Bakhmut: the longest battle

February 26, 2023“Was I supposed to wait for the Russians to knock on my door?” A report from the front in Donetsk oblast.

April 1, 2023A pacifist with a rifle. Artem Chapeye writes about the experiences of ordinary soldiers.