Samuel Hanafin

Samuel Hanafin is studying Russian in Paris.

From The Blog
19 March 2024

The Russian Embassy in Tallinn is an art nouveau building on Pikk Street in the old city. There are Ukrainian flags and placards with anti-Putin slogans opposite the entrance, the layers of posters and graffiti providing a rough chronology of events in Russia and Ukraine since February 2022. More recent additions include votive candles and portraits of Alexei Navalny. Estonia has no tanks or planes to send to Ukraine, but the country has committed the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of its GDP in aid, making it by far the biggest donor per capita. It joined Nato in 2004, along with the other Baltic states, and its intelligence reports on Russia’s hybrid warfare often make headlines in Western media.

Short Cuts: In Riga

Samuel Hanafin, 8 September 2022

In Riga​ this summer I went to a ceremony at the Freedom Monument to commemorate the deportations of 1941, when Soviet authorities removed 14,000 citizens in less than 24 hours, sending many of them to labour camps in Siberia. One elderly woman, born in Siberia after her parents were deported, spoke of the illness, cold and malnutrition that had killed many children: she thought of herself...

From The Blog
25 July 2022

Since last September I’ve been studying Russian at the Institute of Oriental Languages in Paris. After the invasion of Ukraine in February our polyglot grammar teacher strayed from the curriculum to explain the differences between Ukrainian and Russian. They are not mutually intelligible, he said; Ukrainian is a language not a dialect. The war has widened the political fault line between them. Other teachers read us responses to the war by newly exiled poets.

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