Bushboy’s Last on the Card Challenge, June 2022

Self is participating in bushboy’s Last on the Card Challenge.

Her Last on the Card for June 2022 is a real heartbreaker: Roman Ratushny’s obituary in The Economist of 25 June 2022.

A Ukrainian activist, Roman Ratushny volunteered the first day of the Russian invasion. He was killed near Izyum on 9 June. He was 24.

“Where Are the Ukrainian POWs?” wsj, 14 June 2022

Where are the Ukrainian POWs?, by Jillian Kay Melchior, wsj editorial page writer

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently said Russia had taken nearly 6,500 Ukrainian soldiers prisoner since February, Voice of America reported. Ukraine said in early April that it held some 600 Russian POWs. The Ukrainian government is tight-lipped about negotiations for prisoner exchanges, and the families of Mariupol’s defenders say they don’t know how Russia has treated their loved ones. But Ukrainian human-rights activists say Russia routinely tortures prisoners of war, deprives them of necessities, and holds them in deplorable conditions.

Mariupol’s defenders included the Azov Regiment . . . and the 36th Marine Brigade. After enduring weeks of siege and brutal attack, the Ukrainian soldiers laid down their arms in hope of saving lives. Many civilians were successfully evacuated from the Ukrainian soldiers’ last stronghold in the city. Bohdan Krotevych, the Azov Regiment’s 29-year-old chief of staff, said last month that the Ukrainians proposed that Russia would receive their severely wounded soldiers and release them in a prisoner exchange.

The Russians said no — “either everyone or no one” would have to surrender. Mr. Krotevych told me by text message on May 18. “So we were faced with a very tough choice . . . Those with serious wounds were basically rotting away and slowly dying in our hospitals, while the enemy was robbing the humanitarian convoys with medicine.” By May 20 he had stopped responding to messages, and the press reported the soldiers’ surrender.

“The only comfort is they are no longer under direct threat of dying from combat,” says Maria Netreba, 24.

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, p. A19

Poetry Sunday: Siobhan Campbell

An excerpt from The shame of our island

is that we killed the wolf.
Not just the last
but the two before that.

I knew a man who met a man
who was the cousin removed
of the great-grandson of the man
who killed the third-last wolf
on the island.

Slit it he did,
to see the steaming innards —
how long they were, how tightly wound.

Had it a white paw to the fore?
That gene would have been recessive.

The shame of our island is part of the collection Heat Signature (Seren Books, an imprint of Poetry Wales Press, 2017)

  • About the author: Siobhan Campbell was born in Dublin. Her collections of poetry are Cross-Talk (Seren), The Permanent Wave and The Cold that Burns (Blackstaff Press) and chapbooks The water speaks in tongues (Templar) and Darwin Among the Machines (Rack Press).

Six Word Saturday: Discovering Small Presses and Literary Magazines

The annual AWP Conference was held in Philadelphia this year. Self spent two days browsing the AWP Bookfair: she uncovered a whole treasure trove of quirky literary magazines and small presses.

Posting a sampling for Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday.

wsj, Wednesday, 23 March 2022: Devastation, Mariupol

The excerpt below was from a Page 1 article written by WSJ correspondent Isabel Coles.

For those caught in Mariupol, the situation has been desperate. Women and children largely stayed hidden, while men ventured out to scavenge for food, find water and search for a phone signal to find out what was going on.

Dmitro, 25, joined efforts with neighbors he had never met before the war to find wood and keep a fire burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. On March 9, he was making tea on the fire when an airstrike hit the nearby maternity hospital in what was one of the highest profile attacks on civilians during the almost monthlong fighting. The shock wave lifted him off his feet. Since then, he said, the bombardment has been relentless.

As the bombing intensified, basements and bomb shelters filled up as people whose homes had been destroyed sought shelter in the shrinking area of the city controlled by Ukrainian forces.


After Russian forces took control of the main intensive-care hospital, there was nowhere to treat the wounded, nor any medicine, people who fled the city said. The director of the heart-disease center told Mykola Trofymenko he had been forced to amputate the mangled leg of a patient using a kitchen knife without anesthetic.

Introduction, We Are Bellingcat

This discipline is so new that it lacks a single name. Most common is ‘OSINT’, for open-source intelligence. But that shorthand derives from government intelligence, whose secretive practices diverge from the open and public mission of Bellingcat. A more accurate description is ‘online open-source investigation’. What we do is far more than just internet research, though. We counter the counterfactual forces warping society. We insist on evidence. And we show ordinary citizens how to expose wrongdoing and demand accountability from the powerful.

When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut

Opening sentence:

  • In a medical examination on the eve of the Nuremberg Trials, the doctors found the nails of Hermann Goring’s fingers and toes stained a furious red, the consequence of his addiction to dihydrocodeine, an analgesic of which he took more than one hundred pills a day.

Perfect segue from Aftermath: Life in the Fallout from the Third Reich!

Quote of the Day: Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)

To refuse to countenance a war that does not speak its true name . . . you can no longer mumble the old excuse, “We didn’t know”; and now that you do know, can you continue to feign ignorance or content yourselves with mere token utterances of horrified sympathy?

— Simone de Beauvoir, French author and activist

SquareOdds # 9: Shoreditch, East London

Self loves The Squares Challenge hosted by Becky at Life of B.

It is so much fun looking at the galleries of odd things.

Here are pictures from a walk around East London she did with Old Map Man, who used to lead tours. She loves that part of London because of its ersatz grit and cheekiness. The walls are a collage of old flyers.

Tour, Monticello

The decision to use “human” as the primary descriptor rather than “slave” was a small yet intentional move. He desvribed the games the children played on warm Sunday afternoons (the only day of the week they did not have to work), the songs enslaved workers sang late into the evenings, the celebrations they took part in when someone was married. What reverberated throughout was the humanity of the enslaved people — their unceasing desire to live a full life, one that would not be defined simply by their forced labor.

How the Word Is Passed, p. 13

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