Ukraine and anti-war Russians in ‘Novaia Gazeta’

The first stanza of Bykov’s poem.

Subscribers to this blog will have seen a reblog earlier in the week from the CUL Electronic Collections Management site announcing access to the Russian-language newspaper Novaia Gazeta.

The Russian war against Ukraine was not only the focus of the paper in its final weeks in Russia before it closed but of course also the reason for its closure, as Russian governmental pressure relating to the so-called “special military operation” made it impossible for the newspaper to perform its duties properly.

The paper appears three times in our A-Z databases list (all three here) because East View, the platform via which we have access, provides the years 1994-2021 as a single digital archive, while providing access to the first few months of 2022 as another, and the new Europe edition as a third.  The Europe edition started in Riga in early May, while the last Russian edition appeared in late March, a few days before the atrocities committed in Bucha were revealed.  The latest horrors, including the torture of a Ukrainian POW, are now covered in the most recent Europe issue (but note that an ’18+’ tag is applied to articles with distressing images – take the warning seriously).

The last Russian edition of Novaia gazeta ended with a poem by Dmitriĭ Bykov, a hugely popular author, dozens of whose works are in Cambridge libraries (iDiscover list here).  In the poem, he wonders what line it was that divided people into those who locked themselves into a closet to criticise the west with passion and love symbols like ‘Z’, and those who didn’t.  The latest issue of the Europe edition, 29 July 2022, also features Bykov, but this time as a subject in an article – because Bykov has now been added to the Russian government’s list of inoagenty, or foreign agents.  The various lists of inoagenty (companies/organisations and individuals) existed before Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine but have grown and grown since.

Do make the most of these new resources.  Novaia gazeta is an excellent source for coverage about the current situation in Russia and important Russophone coverage of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Mel Bach

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