r/ukraine 22h ago Silver Helpful Wholesome

4:57 EEST ; The Sun is rising on the 92nd Day of the Russian Invasion on the Capital city of Kyiv. Ukraine continues to Live and Fight on. + DAILY DISCUSSION + CHARITIES LIST!




For the musicians and music-lovers out there! We bring you Part Three in a multi-part series on Kobzars.

The Mysterious Bandura


Today we will talk about another mysterious object of Ukrainian culture: the bandura. The bandura's looks are not deceiving - this is as complex an instrument to master as it appears to be, and is the joy and pride of Ukrainians. Ukrainians play very traditional songs on bandura, but also incorporate the bandura in modern original music and is quite popular in adaptations of works of other contemporary musicians.

High resolution image of a factory-made, Chernihiv style bandura

History of the Bandura

Bandura is evolutionarily related to a simpler older instrument: the kobza, which is a stringed instrument related to a lute. The kobza was a very popular instrument among Ukrainians and the players of kobza (kobzars) would even play at very distinguished places like Ukrainian royal courts. This fame, however, came with a price - nobles started calling kobza by a fashionable Western name "bandora" which evoked a vaguely Latin atmosphere. With time, the term was "Ukrainianized" and the name "bandura" was born.

The instrument, just like its name, went through an evolution. If the kobza originally had around 10 strings, it had evolved to 20-30 strings by the 19th century. Bandura players of that time were something like Ukrainian rock stars: not only did they master a very difficult instrument with a loud, powerful sound that was almost a band unto itself - they also traveled extensively around Ukraine and cultivated quite a following. Many bandurists became famous by name.

Ostap Veresay, a famous Ukrainian Bandurist; an illustration from "Land and People, General Geography" by Jacques Reclus (19th century).

Kobzars and Kozaks

The bandura instrument was very widely used among Ukrainian Cossacks. The banduras (or kobzas) were played by wandering blind bandura players who performed songs of specific genres - historical, dumas (odes), psalms, folks songs, etc.

Blind bandura players were often former Cossacks who lost their eyesight during military campaigns or while in captivity. The Ukrainian history, heroic feats, and immense pain of paying price for the freedom were carried from village to village by bandura players. Bandura's players were revered and respected by the Ukrainian people. Many bandurists suffered horrific persecution by Soviet Russia and were even killed for being Ukrainian musicians.

For more detail on this topic, we wrote about Ukrainian kobzars here and here.

Modern Bandura

The design and use of the Bandura underwent many changes in the 20th century. Modern bandura, also known as the chromatic bandura that has over 50 strings, was invented by Oleksandr Kornievsky. As he was born at the turn of the 20th century, his life was marked by the horrific events of that time. In 1915 he was drafted to fight in WW1, and his wife immediately brought him a bandura. He began to give paid concerts, the proceeds of which went to a charity for the wounded.

Oleksandr Kornievsky and his modern bandura design.

Stalin's repressions did not omit him either. He was arrested in 1937 for his participation in pro-Ukrainian and anti-Soviet activities and was convicted to 10 years of forced labor in Russian prison camps. But he managed to arrange for a bandura for himself even in the concentration camp. Eventually, he returned home to Ukraine but died before Ukraine regained independence in 1991.


An innovative direction of bandura art is the increasingly popular use of instruments in pop, rock and metal genres in modern Ukraine. Electric bandura is a type of bandura equipped with one or more pickups, which is used to increase the volume of the bandura, as well as to expand the timbral capabilities of the acoustic instrument through the use of modern audio effects. It's very cool to hear this instrument's tones captured similarly to an electric guitar:

Here is a fantastic video Master Bandurist Valentyn Lysenko playing an amplified bandura.

More Bandura Videos

Bandurist playing Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skorky's "Melody in A Minor"

Short video about the modern revival of bandura by a Kharkiv resident

Incredible footage from 1990 of a kobzar at the grave of Taras Shevchenko

That last video is really great, because the uploader mentions that the kobzar playing the bandura at the Taras Shevchenko memorial was waiting for the Soviet guards to walk away, and then would play more authentic Ukrainian songs :)



u/Jesterboyd is a mod in r/ukraine and local to Kyiv. He has been spending his days helping get supplies to people. All of the mod team can vouch for the work he has done so far. Link to donation

If you feel like donating to another charity, here are some others!

  • United24: This site was launched by President Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be allocated to cover the most pressing needs facing Ukraine.
  • Come Back Alive: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and the social reintegration of veterans.
  • Aerorozvidka: An NGO specializing in providing support and equipment for unmanned aerial vehicles (ISR), situational awareness, cybersecurity for armed forces.
  • Hospitallers: This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
  • Phenix: A volunteer organization helping armed forces with various needs.
  • Kyiv Territorial Defense: This fundraiser is to support the regional territorial defense group. It is organized by a known journalist and a producer of the acclaimed "Winter on Fire" documentary, which can temporarily be watched for free HERE.
  • Happy Paw: Charity dedicated to solving the problems of animals in Ukraine. Happy Paw helps more than 60 animal shelters throughout Ukraine.
  • Kharkiv With You and associated Help Army Kharkiv: Supporting the defenders of Kharkiv with everything from night-vision goggles to food and medicine.

r/ukraine 19h ago Wholesome Plus One Helpful

Important Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) Gen 7 costs 26,99$. 80% of all battlefield casualties die from blood loss. A soldier needs at least two tourniquets on his vest and one in the IFAK. Me and u/kievit_ua want to buy 2000 of these from RescueEssentials to supply Ukrainian Armed Forces. Reddit effect!

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r/ukraine 5h ago Gold Wholesome Take My Energy Heartwarming Bravo Grande!

WAR Received my piece of a shot down SU-34 in mail today from dronesforukraine.fund

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News Today, president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met prime minister of Finland Sanna Marin.

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r/ukraine 13h ago Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Faith In Humanity Restored Flag of Ukraine Silver Gold

News the eyes of Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin in iprin says it all..

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r/ukraine 4h ago Ally

Media U.S. Army Soldiers loading M113 Armored Vehicles for Ukraine

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r/ukraine 7h ago

WAR East front : very hard situation , but we are holding . Thank you for support West , but we need more long distance weapons because hundreds of lives taken away defending you.

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Discussion Just a friendly reminder of what Ukraine used to be and will be again 💛💙

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r/ukraine 9h ago

Social Media Someone please hold me from the back coz I am swooning over these two cute people 😍😘🥰

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r/ukraine 10h ago Starstruck

Art Friday Cannon Fodder - Gatis Šļūka

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r/ukraine 7h ago Silver

Art Friday Ukrainian checkpoint. Amaizing artwork by RadoJavor

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r/ukraine 8h ago Gold

Russian Protest We can't let Putin win this war: German Chancellor on Ukraine conflict

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r/ukraine 15h ago Silver Wholesome

WAR Russia is using propaganda screens on wheels in occupied Mariupol. You only read about such things in dystopian books.

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Media Sanna Marin and Ze 🇫🇮 🇺🇦❤️

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r/ukraine 8h ago

WAR Ukrainian artillery pounds an advancing column. Second angle in comments.


r/ukraine 7h ago Helpful

News Defectors are lining up to fight for Ukraine. Hundreds per day apply. Alarmed Russia wants harsher punishment.

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r/ukraine 5h ago

WAR Ruzzian occupier that left his selfie in the looted apartment was identified. His name is Nikita Tretyakov, he is 26 years old, originally from Rostov-on-Don. On the VK page, everything is typical: cars, the army, dilapidated Russian houses and, of course, alcohol in the area.

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r/ukraine 10h ago Silver Helpful Wholesome Take My Power

Art Friday Azovstal

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r/ukraine 12h ago Silver Helpful

WAR A Javelin specialist - Ukrainian paratrooper hunting Russian armour on the eastern front.

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r/ukraine 2h ago Silver Helpful

Trustworthy News US preparing to approve advanced long-range rocket system for Ukraine

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r/ukraine 5h ago Gold Helpful Wholesome Helpful (Pro) Bravery

WAR CRIME I'm from Izyum, Ukraine.





The last night at the apartment

March 8th

I was tired. I grew tired even before the war. And yet again, there comes a new global issue. It wraps around you, and you don't know what to do about it.

The last night at the apartment was just horrible. I was there with my mom. It was my apartment, the one we spent so much time, money, and effort on making awesome.

The night came and Grads started shelling us. Then there was artillery, and then mortars. And they were not just exploding somewhere, they were hitting the house.

Around 4 am, we could no longer stay. Imagine laying on the floor and hearing how bricks fall down and walls start collapsing. It became so weirdly common that you don't even realize you've got a shell shard in the kitchen. We got around half an hour of silence and I sneaked into the kitchen. The window frame was ripped out and it fell outside. There was a huge hole in the wardrobe, and the blast wave took down the stretch ceiling. We have decided to end this nightmare and go to the basement to hide. But we couldn't get out as the door jammed.

After 5 am, there were the scariest moments of my life. I heard the tank buzzing and rotating the tower. It was around 300m away behind the river, but I could hear it pretty well. The tank started firing right at the house, and it started collapsing.

When artillery or a mortar fires, you hear a long whistle as it flies. But here the sounds were shortly followed by the explosions. And then the sounds of falling bricks.

You lay on the floor. And you try to squish yourself into the tiniest particle of the universe driven by the horror. You watch every shot and pray to all gods that it's not going into your window... And still, one of them goes straight at your window... but falls down a few meters away.

My window used to outlook the bridge. And behind the river, there was this fucking Russian tank, which was killing my home and all our hopes. A few weeks later, Russia will say that that tank was Ukrainian and that they were not even there. Liars. Another month later, they will force some unknown man to tell more lies about that tank being Ukrainian.

All emotions were gone. I didn't even feel any fear anymore. I tried to count the seconds between the shots to have a chance to make it out of the apartment, which was about to get destroyed.

5-13 seconds. This was a period between the shots. Also, there were small periods of silence, around 5-10 minutes. We wanted to get out but we heard artillery on the other side. The tank on this side, artillery on the other side. No way out.

Around 6 or 7 am I knocked on the door using a shoulder. We ran to the basement. The whole yard was littered with glass and bricks. We didn't have time to look back at the building. I was surprised by my mom asking if I had closed the door though.

There were lots of people in the basement. Everyone was in shock and dismayed by this situation. Then tank heavy machine gun started firing as if it wasn't enough. People were scattered around the basement, in different rooms. I walked to some groups, then looked out of the vent window. I saw the bridge, which was already destroyed. It was a beautiful pedestrian bridge. The forecast was at -17, the night was going to be very cold, and we didn't have a place to go back anymore.

This was happening on March 9th. We were promised to have a green corridor at 9 am. We were sitting in the basement waiting for 9 am to leave the basement and our home forever. I had an idea to sneak into the apartment and take my laptop, camera, and documents. I removed winter pants from the backpack to make space for those items while getting ready to go back to the apartment. At that moment I was sitting in the corner smoking and thinking about what else could I take with me. And my thinking process was interrupted by the sudden darkness and deafening sound. It was unexpected and abrupt. The darkness, the ringing in the ears... Then I felt the bricks start falling down at me. One of the bricks hit me in the temple. As I tried to defend my head with the lifted arms, I felt a trickle of blood coming out. I felt nothing. I was ready to face anything. I realize the next thing to fall at me will be concrete blocks. Such a short life it was...

I guess it was a direct hit into the basement by the tank or that projectile that nearly hit my window, finally detonated, or a new one detonated close by (we were right under the kitchen)...

My hat flew away from the blast. Everything I had in my pockets got scattered under the debris. This blast tore the clothes of a lot of people there. I was trying to look around, to analyze but all I hear is dead silence, all I see is the wall of dust and all I can sniff is serum. For a few seconds people try to realize what's happening... the silence goes on...

I had a whistle hanging from my neck for a few weeks. I needed it to help the rescuers to find us in case the building collapses. I started whistling. Then people woke up and started shouting. I was also shouting: "Moooom! Mommy!!!"

Then I saw her... She was standing there covered in dust, with the torn jacket, looking at me without understanding "What's just happened?".

Some were standing, some were laying on the ground. One girl was sitting on a pile of debris gazing into the emptiness while others were screaming in pain. She was sitting there looking into nowhere with ash-covered hair and a trickle of blood flowing down her head. That was the moment I regretted not having a camera with me to capture this moment of horror and nothingness. But at the same time, I was glad not to have it because it seemed somehow wrong to think about the shutter speed and such.

Later she would ask me if I had seen her cat Lemon.

I glanced into the other room where I slept next to the pipe. The pipe was damaged by the blast, everyone was ok.

I heard someone saying:

Russian bastards, how could I trust them...

It was weird but I realized I was whistling again. I thought "What's wrong with me? Why am I doing it?"

We tried to knock down a small window to crawl out but it was bricked up. I kicked it a few times but it didn't work - I'm not Jackie Chan. I step back trying to find a hammer to knock the window out. But I can't find anything - everything shifted after the blast. The time flow felt very weird. I look back and the bricks are already gone, the light starts coming in and we can finally clearly see what's happening inside.


Children, women, the aged. Many of them were dabbled in blood. My neighbor got hit in his face by the blast debris, his eyes were bleeding. Another neighbor also was injured. One half of his face was clean, but the other one was all blood red as in a horror movie. After two months I'll discover that one person got killed and three were badly wounded in the next room that morning. In our room everyone stayed alive. A woman broke both legs when a blast wave threw her 3 meters away as if she were a puppet. Her husband would have to take her out by himself and carry to a basement of the next building. She could have died... that very evening both of them were saved by the territorial defense forces and taken to Slavyansk. She had surgery and got plaster casts and a wheelchair. I'm still ashamed that I didn't ask if they needed help. Though on the other hand there was my mom who I had to take care of and who had to be taken away from there.

We couldn't pull down the whole wall opening where the window had been before. There was a window-frame and someone had to uphold it so the people could go out through that hole. Men took turns at holding it and letting others out. It was my turn to hold it. I saw my neighbor with a broken arm and her five-year-old son climbing through the hole. Her husband died on February, 22nd. And on top of that she had to go through all that horror.

Then my mom went out. I saw her standing there outside the basement about five meters away from the building. She was looking at me and waiting for me to come out. It seemed like she still didn't quite realize what had just happened. I glanced back into the basement and saw that there were several people left there. I upheld the window-frame and climbed out.

It was a total clusterfuck out there. I've seen such a mess only in movies before. Our five-storey building was totally gutted. And just in the middle of it there was a huge gaping hole going from the fifth store down to the ground. The building was now divided in two.

The decision was made to take the pathways... so that the tank wouldn't see us. We were walking in line taking narrow streets and passages between buildings. The Orlan-10 (a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle) was flying above us and observing. Near one of the buildings there suddenly came artillery right next to us... You just keep walking... stifled....broken glass is everywhere under your feet... You should run, but you are flaked out... There were people standing near their basements and looking at us in horror... Our clothes were torn and scattered in blood, some of us were still in shock or blast injured. They didn't hear when others tried speaking to them. Some still had fear and terror written on their faces. Some people from the basement just disappeared on the way. By the time when we reached the library there were only a few of us left. I have no idea what happened to them. I just hope they are still alive.

It was rumored we'd be evacuated from a place near the school building. But everything was totally destroyed there. The artillery was shelling the park and a machine gun was shooting. It was terrifying to approach even the park, not to mention the school. Our neighbor said he would go and look for evacuation buses and he never came back.

Some people started coming to us, just somebody we didn't know. They brought us water and treated our wounds. That fucking Orlan was still flying above us and observing. The shelling approached and we went down to the basement. It was deep, cold and drafty, but at least there was no fiberglass in the air as in our previous basement. There were ten or fifteen of us left. At first we were at the entry hallway but later we decided to go deeper into the basement and stay there in a room.

There are two types of looters. Some are assholes and some are not. For example, those who steal washing machines and other household appliances... I would just shoot and not tie them to light poles as they do in other cities. And there are those who ransack pharmacies and grocery stores. Many of them later would come into basements and give away food and medicines to those in need. It was such a... fellowship, you know, as tourists have. When you are up in the mountains, you often meet people who ask if you have enough water, food, matches and so on and if they should share those things with you. Unfortunately there also were those who had just robbed the shops and sold staff afterwards. I haven't seen them, but my friends who had stayed there a week longer than I did, told me about it.

That evening good looters came into our basement. They brought us some food, bread, meds and a big stolen bottle of water from Kulinichi. They even brought us tea in a thermos. The night was freezing cold. Bone-chilling cold, graveyard cold. As a hobo I was walking around the basement looking for something to put on. Even a plastic bag or a floor-cloth would do.

We got settled in a library. The one where had been a presentation of a book about the history of Izium. It was just a couple of days before the war... A neighbor brought down two small sofas and we gave them to children. I took my tourist mat from the previous basement. My mom tried to sleep on it but it wasn't quite possible. Everyone kept waking up because of the cold and sounds of artillery.

That night taught me just one thing. I had to find warm clothes. I came into the library and tried to find that book. I didn't succeed, sadly. I haven't read it. But I found two warm sweaters in one of the rooms and took them to the basement. Well, at that moment I officially became a looter. (Someday when the war is over, I'll come back to my city and will find the owner of those sweaters. I'll make sure to pay back the debt and say that I'm sorry about that).

There was a coded lock on the entrance front door of the apartment building above the basement. I cracked that code, entered the building and went up to the second floor. I saw that one apartment door was ripped out by a blast. I realized that I had to enter the apartment and steal some blankets and warm clothes. I was just standing there and staring. I couldn't make myself enter and walked away. I told a neighbor in the basement about it. He went up there and ran away because there were two dogs inside.

We started preparing for the night. It was really cold. And again there was the shelling from RF positions. And it was snowing again. And that fucking Orlan was flying above us. We really needed some firewood. Next to “1000 Melochey” (it used to be such a shop there) somebody left open his garage full of firewood for people to take as much as they needed. And we were carrying that firewood to our basements as ants to their anthills.

There was a rumor that some volunteers from the village Yaremovka, next to Izium, were going to evacuate people. They had their own cars and petrol and were going to do it for free. You are the heroes, guys! Thank you!

We left everything and moved to a different house in the hope of being evacuated. There were fires and people were cooking some food there outside the building. They shared it with us. Thank you, people, so much! But the basement there wasn't so great, really crowded with quite a low ceiling.

It was dangerous to go around by car. Russians were across the river shelling the city. As I understood, the only way out was along the river and around the Kremyanets mountain. Along that route volunteers took people to Svyatogorsk. They'd been back and force a few times already and they only took women, children and elderly people. I managed to get my mom to the front seat of one of the cars. She was crying looking at me and didn't want to leave without me. But there was no choice. I wanted at least her to be safe and sound, far from all that fucking disaster going on. (As I'd get to know later, the car wouldn't be able to go up the hill because of ice and my mom alone would have to push it. No one else would come out to help)

My neighbor from the basement and his wife decided to go visit somebody at a distant district of Izium.

Can I come with you?

No, we are going to visit someone and stay there.

Well, ok.

They left me some food and medicine and started packing for their walk to freedom and quiet.

By the way, my mom left me a piece of hard cheese that someone had shared with her. She cut it into small pieces and put it into my pocket. I'll eat that diced cheese mixed with sand all the way to Poltava.

There came some woman and gave me cigarettes. I'm thankful to her.

When you come out to smoke, you realize your profound loneliness. You hear artillery and mortar-guns shelling somewhere in the city. You see a house burning nearby and hear sounds of cracking roof slates there. There are fires and black smoke all around. It's snowing and the snowflakes are falling down mixed with ashes. (I've seen it before when some dumbass would set a field on fire. And now fields and forests and the city itself were burning)

You are looking around and see the houses which are not actually houses any more. All the windows are broken. Some window-frames are hanging in their places and sometimes they fall down inside the flats or outside to the ground. It's dangerous to walk close to buildings. A window-frame might suddenly fall down because of the wind blowing. You're looking at all that and feel like you start going crazy. You can't believe all that shit and you can't understand it either. It's not possible to understand what has happened to us and to our city. You feel miserable, lonely and completely fucked up. And that fucking Orlan is still flying up there. When will you finally fall down, bitch?

I had an idea of walking to Svyatogorsk. But it's a long way which would take a couple of days. I'd have to sleep in a forest or somewhere on a field with no food and no fire. I was really sorry that I hadn't taken the driver's license test and hadn't bought a car.

So I was wandering around my new home for a few hours when all of a sudden I saw a lot of buses. There were twenty of them, maybe even more than that. I rushed towards them limping (I'll figure out why I was limping only when I reach Lozovaya). Some buses had already left to downtown, the district where I used to live before, but most of them were still near the city hospital. People were crowding there. I asked a bus driver:

Where are you going?

Lozovaya and Barvenkovo (or maybe it was Borovaya, I keep confusing them all the time)

There came my neighbor and I realized that their plans to walk somewhere had changed and that they were going to take the bus. At that moment some woman approached us and asked for help. Her paralyzed mother was in a basement 150 meters away and somebody had to take her out of there and carry to the bus. I asked a neighbor:

Let's go and help, really quick!

No, I've got a bad back

Fuck, I've got a bad back as well and sometimes it was even hard to get out of bed. And now I had to deal with that somehow.

I really wanted to say no to that woman and just wait for the departure. But fuck, I just couldn't! I was ashamed and I knew that I wouldn't forgive myself. I went with her thinking that the buses would leave without me and I'd get stuck there forever.

We came down to her house. The fence was broken and had holes in it. Shell fragments were all around. The house was also damaged. The old woman was about 80 years old. As she was paralyzed she couldn't walk but she was able to crawl. So she crawled out of the basement. Her daughter gave me a blanket to put her mother on it and drag her along the ground. As soon as the grandma was on the blanket we saw an attack bomber flying over us. Shit! We were fucked up... So we were lying there on snow all together. It was scary and it was snowing. Something was wrong with time perception. It seemed like we were lying there forever being covered by snow and despair. There was a thought about running away and again I just couldn't do it. I'd be ashamed for the rest of this fucking life. That motherfucker would do a couple of circles above us and above the buses. Then it threw a bomb on Kremyanets and flew away.

We got up and started carrying the old lady. But on the way up the hill it became too difficult and I had to run up there and ask for help. Two of the drivers came down and helped carry her. So finally I could get into a bus.

After 15 minutes I'd get a tour around the city. And I'd see everything what had been done to it by that fucking Russian piece.

r/ukraine 5h ago Silver

Trustworthy News Polish president accuses Germany of breaking promises on tanks for Ukraine

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r/ukraine 6h ago Silver Wholesome

WAR US howitzer M777 on the front lines (subtitled)

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r/ukraine 2h ago Silver

News (unconfirmed) The Biden admin is preparing to send Ukraine advanced, MLRS and HIMARS. Approval could be announced as soon as next week.


r/ukraine 5h ago Wholesome

Discussion Did you know that WhatsApp, Paypal, Grammarly, Revolut, Solana, people.ai and many other famous tech companies were founded or co-founded by Ukrainians?

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r/ukraine 12h ago Helpful

News (unconfirmed) #Ukraine received from Eastern European partners 14 Su-25 attack aircraft, delivered "in disassembled form."

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r/ukraine 5h ago

News Russia Confirms Sacking 100 Servicemen for Refusing to Fight in Ukraine

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