How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, September 6

Sasha Sverdlova

The Atlantic published a special issue about the frontline battle for democracy ― the war in Ukraine. The issue includes reports by Anne Applebaum, George Packer, and Franklin Foer, whom the publication calls the three most influential voices on the dangers of war and authoritarian threats to democracy. The articles will be available in the online version of the magazine from today until Thursday, September 8, and will be included in the October edition of the print magazine.

Today we write about George Packerʼs report under the title "Ukrainians are defending the values Americans claim to hold". Packer went to Ukraine as a journalist and also to transport medical supplies to Ukrainian combat medics. He writes that itʼs often difficult to find black and white in journalism, but Russiaʼs attempt to destroy Ukraine is just such a case. Because of this, Packer considers it absurd to try to talk about the war in Ukraine from a neutral point of view and writes that it is possible to wish for Ukraineʼs victory and at the same time honestly tell its story. The author was struck by the fact that most of the people he spoke with from the first day of full-scale war were looking for a way to help achieve victory. This horizontal self-organization of the community is peculiar to Ukrainians, in contrast to the Russiaʼs vertically organized one, managed from one authoritarian center. According to Peker, the invasion of the Russian Federation raised the idea of commonship to a higher level ― up to a national community united by faith in victory and hatred of Russia. After visiting the suburbs of Kyiv ― Bucha, Irpin, and Brovary, Packer realized that the Russians seek not only to destroy Ukrainian cities, but also to demotivate people so that they believe that they are powerless against a destructive, almost supernatural force. "To shit on the floor of a new house after killing its owner" is how the author characterizes Russiaʼs war against Ukraine. However, Ukrainians are so eager for progress that they quickly dig up rubble and build new ones ― both physically and metaphorically. Packer also spoke with several American volunteers who came to Ukraine, because Ukrainians are fighting for simple and understandable ideals ― freedom and dignity, which, it seems, Americans began to forget at home.

Volodymyr Zelensky writes about Advantage Ukraineʼs plan to attract investments to Ukraine in a column on The Wall Street Journal. The President invited foreign investors to invest in the future of Ukraine, for which the Advantage Ukraine platform has collected options for potential investments worth $400 billion, a group of bankers and researchers appointed by the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine will work with investors. Zelensky also writes that Ukraine is looking for investment guarantees from the G7 countries and the EU, and is also preparing changes to the tax legislation. He hopes that Ukraine can become a powerful IT hub capable of implementing innovative business ideas.

Russian economist Konstantin Sonin writes about the shortcomings of the Russian economy in a column for The Economist. The author believes that the main challenge for Putin will not be the political crisis ― because there is no evidence of internal opposition to his policies. But the financial system will experience increasingly serious consequences of sanctions and the high cost of maintaining Putinʼs regime. For example, Denis Mansurov ― the "tsar" of the defense industry of the Russian Federation ― is the richest member of the Russian government, although his entire career was spent in state enterprises. Such extravagance was ineffective even when Russia had a lot of money, let alone the current situation. Thus, the system created by Putin cannot adapt to the transition to a war economy, and the oligarchs will continue to demand more and more money, Sonin writes.