February 24, 2023

Russia's Year of Horror


Russia's Year of Horror
Taras Shevchenko memorial in Borodianko, Ukraine, damaged with a bullet.
Alex Fedorenko (cc)

There is little we can say that we have not already said since the war began one year ago today. Our stance has been clear: Russia’s War on Ukraine was and is an appalling, illegal act. And Russia lost this war on day one.

We can, however, add these summary observations:

  • over the course of the past year, Russian civilian and military leaders, as well as troops on the ground, have clearly been implicated in war crimes;
  • authoritarianism and fascism in Russia have ratcheted up to Soviet-era levels;
  • free speech is now impossible in Russia, both in the media and in private life;
  • hundreds of thousands of the country’s best and brightest young minds have fled the country;
  • the Russian economy is gradually being hobbled by sanctions and a lack of foreign trade and travel;
  • Russia has become a pariah state.

In short, the Russia we knew and loved has been murdered by this horrendous war, and a hideous Soviet vampire replicant has arisen in its place.

Given that, why does a magazine like Russian Life continue? Why not simply wash our hands of it and walk away?

One simple reason: life.

For decades, we published this magazine as a place for Russophiles to share their love of Russian culture, history, and society. With the onset of the war, this was no longer appropriate, because every aspect of Russian life has de facto been implicated in the country’s criminal war.

So we shifted gears. Our job now is to see our magazine’s title as no longer descriptive, but aspirational – to focus on how Russia gets back to life after plunging Europe into a cataclysm of death.

We firmly believe that there are many Russians who abhor the war, who want to make a stand against death and for life, but the costs of resistance are too high. What is more, there are few western media outlets reporting in English about what is really going on inside the country. So we must use our connections, experience, and technology to bring out the stories that need to be told. Thus, our focus both online and in print will be on stories about human rights, democracy, resistance to oppression, and those struggling to preserve what is left of a civil society.

We will be fueled by hope until life returns.

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About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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