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.

Why does the West protect Israel but not Ukraine?

When Israel and its allies shot down hundreds of Iranian drones and missiles, they demonstrated what an effective air defence looks like. The slow-moving Shahed-136 suicide drones were not hard for the Israeli, Jordanian, British, American and (probably) Saudi air forces to find and eliminate. Even Iran’s cruise missiles were thwarted. It was an overwhelming

Ukraine’s controversial new conscription law takes effect

The Ukrainian parliament has finally stopped delaying the inevitable and voted for a new law that tightens mobilisation processes, strengthens penalties for draft dodgers and allows the government to track Ukrainian men of military age who are living abroad, at its second reading yesterday. Once the law is signed by Volodymyr Zelensky, more men aged 25 and

Will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia?

46 min listen

This week: will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia? Owen Matthews writes the cover piece in light of the Zelensky drone offensive. Ukraine’s most successful strategy to date has been its ingenious use of homemade, long-range drones, which it has used to strike military targets as well as oil refineries and petrol storage facilities in

How Ukraine plans to revive its birth rate

In my village in Ukraine, there aren’t many families left intact. The funerals of those who have been killed in the war have been taking place with crushing regularity. It feels like everyone’s loss. Today, in house after house, you can find parents whose children have either died or are still fighting with no indication

Ukraine has brought the war back to Russian soil

Ukraine can’t stop Vladimir Putin’s re-election as Russian President on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean it can’t shatter the perfect image of his sacred day – by bringing the war once again to Russian soil. Throughout the week, Ukrainian drones have been striking oil refineries and energy facilities deep inside Russian territory, while anti-Kremlin Russian

Zelensky’s sacked army chief posted to London

When Ukrainian war hero Valery Zaluzhny was fired as the head of the military a month ago, all talk was on what his new role would be. The logical option seemed to keep the general among Ukraine’s military command, where he could share his valuable experience of fighting the war with Russia. But instead, he is being

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.