US AIR FORCE ACADEMY
Nick Kupensky is an Assistant Professor of Russian at the United States Air Force Academy. A scholar of Soviet Cultural Studies, his research investigates the intersection of aesthetics, economics, and politics in Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. He is currently completing a book manuscript, The Soviet Industrial Sublime: The Agony and Ecstasy of the Dnipro Hydroelectric Station.
Olena Andriushchenko is a journalist, talk show host, and head of the press center at Open TV Media (Vidkrytyi) in Dnipro, Ukraine. She currently is developing an independent media company, EA Global Media Corporation, and is preparing to adapt her war reporting into a book.
The Outpost of Ukraine:
The Role of Dnipro in the War in Donbas
NICK KUPENSKY and OLENA ANDRIUSHCHENKO
In the Fall of 2016, a team of veterans, historians, and curators in the city of Dnipro opened the first museum dedicated to telling the story of the war in Donbas. With its outdoor exhibition in the shadow of Dmytro Iavornyts’kyi’s tomb and its indoor galleries in the lobby of the Battle of the Dnipro diorama, the very location of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Museum encourages visitors to view the ongoing conflict through the prism of the region’s past military campaigns, whether the Zaporizhian Cossacks’ fight for freedom against the Poles and Russians or the Soviet defeat of the Nazis on the Dnipro in 1943. At the same time, the museum emphasizes the city’s crucial role in the war, both as a gateway to and refuge from the conflict. This paper analyzes how the concepts of Dnipro as an outpost, defender, and hospital of Ukraine have served as unifying principles in both official and unofficial narratives about the city. This paper offers a synthetic perspective on how one Ukrainian city on the periphery of the conflict both has changed and been changed by the war.