When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

What I Missed In Turkey's Earthquake — A Ukrainian Reflection On Caring From Afar

One Ukrainian writer looks back on a year of international support for her nation, and what happened when the world’s attention shifted to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

photo of a woman with a Ukraine flag

A Ukraine supporter in Times Square, New York City.

Edna Leshowitz/ZUMA Press Wire
Anna Akage


One year after Russia’s invasion began, 74% of Europeans, 60% of Britons and 65% of Americans want their respective countries to continue to support Ukraine.

Hundreds of millions of people in the West, and well beyond, are thinking about the destiny of my mid-sized country and the safety of our people. Maybe not hour-by-hour like those first weeks of the war — and the way I still do — but we can see that day-in, day-out support is holding strong.

There are simply no words to express my gratitude.

The past year of support has been crucial for the survival of Ukraine, and I will never take it for granted — both past and future. But I have been reminded of that in a whole new way this past week as events unfold elsewhere in the world.

In my own small way, with the space I have to write, in the stories I share and articles I translate, my driving motivation has been to give the world one more reason to stand by Ukraine. To say and show each reader that victory over Vladimir Putin’s Russia is not only the right thing but also in their interest — that uniting in the struggle against this invasion, the autocratic regime is the best way to defend democracy and territorial integrity for the future. For us all.

Help is not forever

And so far, the argument has been convincing: in part, at least, because Putin’s expansionist ambitions and nuclear arsenal, along with the war criminals of the Russian military and Wagner mercenaries, have made the case themselves.

But as the war reaches its one-year anniversary, we are also reminded that support from afar is a fragile thing and that political alliances and economic aid don’t roll on forever. We’re getting through winter but have seen prices double and triple for energy and food. More weapons are requested as budgets are running over.

But even more than purely economic or political considerations, the real risk is in the simple fact that the world’s attention is a precious commodity. If the war turns into a quagmire, that far-off conflict that had seemed so close will start to drift out of our daily thoughts.

There is nothing and no one to blame — it is human nature to care about that which is closest. All Ukrainians, both those who stayed and those who left, live inside this war every day; in other parts of the world, another kind of life goes on.

Yes, we all tend to forget the grief of others. And I was particularly guilty of that this past week.

photo of a woman sitting in the rubble in Turkey after the earthquake

Amid the rubble of Hatay, Turkey

Svet Jacqueline/ZUMA Press Wire

Remember Gaziantep

While I was immersed as usual in the newsfeed about Ukraine — President Zelensky's tour in Europe, reports of Russian troops crossing the border — updates from the earthquake kept popping up from Turkey and Syria. From the corner of my eye, I could see the death toll rising. And though the details and images were disturbing, it barely took me away from the latest from the frontline of Ukraine and the debate about Western allies sending fighter jets to Kyiv.

And then, suddenly, hearing an earthquake report from Gaziantep, Turkey, I remembered that it is the hometown of my good friend, Eray. Though he lives in Canada, his mother and sisters, all his childhood friends, were all there near the epicenter. I grabbed the phone and texted him, apologizing, asking how the family was, burning from the shame of my selfishness and utter absorption in the fate of my own country.

He texted back that he had just arrived in Istanbul from Toronto. The reports from Gaziantep were that his family’s house was destroyed and the city all erased. The bodies of friends had been recovered and others were still missing. By a miracle, his immediate family had all survived.

This phone call was five days late. I remembered my old friend a full five days after the disaster that was flashing on my screens around the clock...

Remembering Eray after the fact has been a lesson for me, not about comparing misfortune or how the world must best divide up its aid and empathy. Instead that the support that Ukraine or Turkey or Syria receives is more than a political act — it is the sum total of the individuals who afford it their attention.

As the war enters its second year, I will try to look at Ukraine through their eyes, your eyes: Even if you’ve probably never been to Ukraine, never walked the hills of Kyiv, never felt the rough wind blow in the Carpathians, or breathed in the smell of the sea on a summer night in Odessa.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Pro-Ukrainian Hackers Have Undermined Russia's War Every Step Of The Way

Authorities in Moscow continue to struggle to stem the tide of data breaches from hackers inside and outside Ukraine, who have been one of the unsung heroes in the resistance to the Russian invasion.

photo illustration of a light bulb with code in front of ukrainian and russian flags

Digital assets continue to be a point of vulnerability for Moscow

Andre M. Chang/ZUMA
Lizaveta Tsybulina

It was a concerted effort that began with Russia's Feb. 24, 2022 full-scale invasion, and has not relented since: pro-Ukrainian hackers have been targeting Russian government agencies and businesses, gathering secret information and passing it on to the Ukrainian security and intelligence forces.

Discrepancies exist in total reported breakthroughs and leaks obtained over the past 20 months. This year so far, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s digital watchdog, identified 150 major leaks, while Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, reported 168 leaks, totaling about 2 billion lines of data, including 48 million with top secret passwords.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Following the Russian invasion, a substantial number of hackers worldwide expressed solidarity with Ukraine, and took action. "My colleagues and I operate under the principle that 'if it can be hacked, then it needs to be hacked,'” said a representative of the Cyber.Anarchy.Squad group. “We believe in targeting anything accessible, especially if it's significant to defeating the enemy."

“BlackBird,” one of the founders of the DC8044 community, explained that the primary objective of hacking Russian entities is to acquire data useful to Ukrainian security forces.

"The personal data obtained by our groups is typically shared with security forces,” he said. “They aggregate and analyze this information to support their operations effectively.”

Hackers closely cooperate with Ukrainian intelligence services as well: they are engaged in reconnaissance, sabotage and information operations. Andrey Baranovich, co-founder of the Ukrainian CyberAlliance group said that “If we spend 24 hours hacking something, our victims should spend at least a week recovering, and in the optimal case, the victim should not recover at all.”

Keep reading...Show less

The latest