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My conversation with a Ukrainian freelance reporter, Nikolai Vorobiev, at a park across the street from the imposing Cabinet of Ministers building in Kyiv, is interrupted by a call. Nikolai just spent three weeks with the Right Sector Volunteer Ukrainian Corps battalion, known by its Ukrainian acronym DUK, which is fighting against pro-Russian separatists in the East, and is sharing his experiences with me. “It’s a member of DUK’s reconnaissance group,” he says and picks up. “Hello my friend, how are you!” As I listen to Nikolai’s side of the conversation, it dawns on me that the caller is asking him to bring back night vision gear. “Friend, you know it’s expensive… You really need it? Ok, I’ll try to hit up a few businessmen…”

About the Author

Izabella Tabarovsky

Izabella Tabarovsky

Senior Program Associate
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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Through its residential fellowship programs, public lectures, workshops, and publications, the Institute strives to attract, publicize, and integrate new research into the policy community.  Read more

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