Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World

Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the world. The war’s significance in the 21st century is unparalleled: its reverberations can be felt not just in Kyiv and Moscow, but from Beijing to Washington DC. So how did this country on the Eastern edge of Europe come to play such a significant role in geopolitical events? Why is its future so pivotal to Europe’s stability? And, crucially, how have the conflict’s consequences affected the lives of the people who call Ukraine their home? This series will hear top global minds discuss everything from Eastern European history to modern global food security, as led by Kyiv Independent hosts, Jakub Parusinski and Anastasiia Lapatina. Combining on-the-ground expertise with a global perspective, Power Lines explores the impact and influence of the war on 21st-century geopolitics, global power structures and the survival and self-determination of the Ukrainian people. Sign up for 'Power Lines +' for subscriber-only bonus eps featuring extended and behind-the-scenes guest interviews on Apple and Spotify. Support The Kyiv Independent by finding us on our Patreon: patreon.com/kyivindependent Also find us on our website at messageheard.com, or on our Power Lines Twitter, or our Message Heard Twitter as well as Instagram and Facebook. You can also follow The Kyiv Independent on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram to get latest news and to stay up to date with our coverage.


February 13, 2024 50 mins
Ukraine’s economy has been one of the main bright spots after two years of brutal fighting. With decent preparation work undertaken over the past few years, and continued aid from Western partners, there has not been a bank run, there has not been an economic collapse, and Ukraine has been able to continue fighting the Russian invaders. However, as the war drags on and contributions of aid from Western partners come under the spot...
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The war in Ukraine has evolved a huge amount since it began nearly 2 years ago, not least in terms of the equipment now being used on the front lines. This has been most starkly seen in the use of drones, as these unmanned aerial technologies are now at the forefront of reconnaissance and combat operations for both sides. Ukraine’s drone industry, once chaotic and decentralised, is now one of the most significant in the world. Exp...
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January 16, 2024 43 mins
President Zelensky has said he wants to call up 450,000 - 500,000 new troops to the Ukrainian army in 2024. And recently, there have been proposed law changes to bring this through - laws that include more punishment against evasion, lowering the mobilisation age, and even setting a time limit for demobilisation. But this law is pretty controversial, causing debate in Ukrainian society against parts which have been seen as draconia...
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As 2024 begins, the outlook for Ukraine is generally pessimistic, with foreign aid dwindling and the counter offensive stalled. But there is cause for optimism: Ukraine’s businesses and the economy remain resilient. Since the beginning of the full scale invasion, the business sector has been one of the flexible, not collapsing in the way many predicted. Ukrainians’ entrepreneurial spirit has maintained, and in fact flourished, with...
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December 19, 2023 41 mins
2023 was a really difficult year for Ukraine. People expected that after the Kharkiv and Kherson counter offensives to spawn a whole host of military successes, but in reality, things were more difficult. The counteroffensive stalled, and meanwhile, Western support has started to fracture. But internally, the country has also changed: where once we saw an extremely united front, now politics is back in the conversation. But what d...
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December 5, 2023 41 mins
The Western response to the war in Ukraine surprised the world in 2022 in how unified it was. European leaders and the US stood together in solidarity against Russia’s brutal aggression, a rare moment of togetherness amidst other divisions. But in late 2023? Well, the situation is mixed. Increasingly sophisticated military equipment continues to be sent to Ukraine, but will it prove to be the wunderwaffe that so many Ukrainians ho...
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November 21, 2023 45 mins
Getting in the mind of Vladimir Putin is a notoriously difficult, and indeed thankless, task. Russia analysts have long tried to predict what the Russian President and the Kremlin he dominates is thinking, but often to no avail. It was shown in the surprise by so many when Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine began in 2022, and continues as the war has dragged on. But this week on Power Lines, we’re doing our best to do just th...
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Ukraine, and Eastern Europe more generally, have long had a demographic problem. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and independence across the region, labour migration and other trends have seen millions of working age people migrate to the West or to Russia in search of work. Combined with the demographic catastrophe brought on by the war since 2014 and the full scale invasion, the number of young people in Ukraine can make for a...
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On Sunday October 15th, Poland went to the polls to elect a new government. As one of Europe’s most significant economic motors and a key spokesperson for Eastern Europe more generally, many saw this election as a barometer for where the world stands in the global battle between liberal and populist political movements. And more than that, as the logistics hub for the war in Ukraine, the result was also seen as vital for the strate...
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October 10, 2023 39 mins
Under its constitution, Ukraine is meant to be in the midst of parliamentary and presidential elections over the coming months. But there’s a hitch - under martial law Ukraine’s constitution prevents it from holding them. But there’s a case being made to change this and hold them anyway. So what would be the benefit? Would elections bolster Zelensky’s support, or unleash unnecessary chaos in a country already engulfed by it? And wi...
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October 3, 2023 3 mins
Last year, Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine changed the world. But with the conflict reaching a kind of stasis, the questions surrounding it have changed. With interviews with world leading analysts and thinkers, Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World season 2 will prove why this war still matters to everyone across the globe, while looking ahead at the practical applications that will allow Ukraine to recover and rebuild in...
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February 23, 2023 59 mins
What is it like to live through the psychological pain of war? How can you heal the trauma of genocide? How do you rebuild a country when a generation has been lost to war? Rebuilding Ukraine will not solely be about creating new cities and rebuilding destroyed infrastructure, there will need to be a new sense of a nation, one not cowed by Russia’s aggression, but stronger and more unified because of it. In the final episode of the...
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February 16, 2023 19 mins
This week, it’s our last Q&A of the season. We reached out to our listeners on Twitter to see what they wanted answered on rebuilding, both now and after the war. We received a lot of questions, but most can be boiled down to: how on earth are we going to pay for this?  Jakub and Nastya discuss the possibility of Russian reparations, foreign investment and post-war tourism.  Sign up for 'Power Lines +' for ad-free content on Appl...
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February 9, 2023 56 mins
The aftermath of war leaves physical scars in its wake. The abject destruction of landscapes and cities like Kherson, Kharkiv and Mariupol will take tens of years and maybe even a trillion dollars to rebuild, while systemic infrastructure like healthcare and energy plants have been equally affected. So where do you begin when you have to rebuild a country destroyed by war? Who pays for it? And what should be the priorities: people’...
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February 2, 2023 23 mins
This week, Jakub and Nastya are speaking to Anna Myroniuk, the head of investigations at the Kyiv Independent. They discuss the complexities of reporting on Ukraine’s corruption in the current climate, offering unique insight into the duty of the media during war.  Since its founding, The Kyiv Independent has always been at the forefront of reporting on corruption within Ukraine’s government. Then, on 24 February 2022, priorities ...
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January 26, 2023 53 mins
The humanitarian response to the full scale invasion of Ukraine has been immense - an outpouring of good will from people across Europe and indeed the world. But when it comes to the large aid organisations facilitating it, the story becomes more blurred. From Amnesty International to the Red Cross, there have been major blind spots, including reports situating the Ukrainian army as aggressors, to aid projects in support of the Rus...
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January 19, 2023 24 mins
This week, Jakub and Nastya are doing a special Q&A episode on the Russian Intelligence Services. We reached out to our listeners on Twitter to discuss the things you really wanted answered on the FSB, the GRU and the history of this most secretive of organisations. Expect answers to questions like: what is the history of tension between the Russian military and the FSB? Are these agencies focused on spying or just looking to cont...
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January 12, 2023 57 mins
For years, Putin has used his intelligence, including the FSB and the GRU, to try and understand Europe - what they are thinking, how they would react to a crisis of war. The failure of Russia’s intelligence to predict Ukraine’s commitment to defending itself and Europe’s response of solidarity shows their failures. But what role do the Russian intelligence services play in modern warfare? And what does their history and growth und...
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January 5, 2023 21 mins
In this week’s episode, we again take a look into Cyber Warfare, this time from a more policy focused perspective, as Jakub speaks with Lauren Zabariek, the executive director of Harvard’s Belfer Centre.  Lauren tells us about the various ways in which hackers across the globe are seeking to attack foreign targets, how this has affected the war in Ukraine, and the ways in which countries like the US are making policy to prevent at...
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December 29, 2022 51 mins
The war in Ukraine is being fought by land, sea, air… and online. Russia, has long been infamous for its hacking and aggressive cyber warfare capabilities, having previously been responsible for devastating attacks in Ukraine and across the world. But how effective have they really been during the war? And what about the fightback?  In this episode, we speak to Andy Greenberg, the journalist and author of Sandworm: A New Era of Cyb...
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