It’s difficult to focus today here in Europe as we’re rocked by war and have friends in danger in Ukraine. To readers, colleagues, friends in Ukraine – I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I hope to make at least some space for networks in Ukraine and across the region working for better futures.

Right now my assemblage is a bit random, so feel free to share more if there’s anything or anyone relevant to include.

My colleagues here in Germany at have written they lack the strength for “business as usual” today. I feel that, and will join them in the black banner. (With apologies, I have borrowed “schwarzer-donnerstag-240222” as that is certainly how I feel.)

Here is their statement, which they make clear is intended as antiwar rather than nationalistic or political:

The news group recommended to me – OSINT UKRAINE on Telegram:

eastbloc is a community full of radical and varied sounds from the former eastern bloc, working to bring together a network of people in the region and its diaspora. Here’s their SoundCloud account – thanks, AGF:

Some recent examples include this spring in birdsong fantasia assembled by Vladimir Arkhipov in Russia, the opposite of the sonic images we have right now, and sounds from lots of other places (Hungary, Poland, Czechia… just scrolling their feed).

But most importantly, they’ve formed an “eastbloc antifascist artists database” – and their Twitter feed has been drawing on their network to keep our worldwide underground of people wanting peace and caring for those in Ukraine up to date.

I think we all need networks of antifascists right now.

It’s a reasonable pace of stories/retweets to follow on Twitter, amidst the love of sound, so wholeheartedly recommended:

People do need our support; I hear that again and again. For now, several colleagues have sent this database of trusted Ukrainian charities:

Another nice one, also with some American options:

And FONDY.EU in particular got some endorsements.

At least some music should be part of this, maybe things other outlets miss. Our friend Bodya Konakov debuted last year with an album on the “ШЩЦ” label (s***ts). It’s even more bittersweet now to read what he wrote about its motivation – but a reminder that the crisis that has blown open today has been simmering for years:

“We have tough times now and I want to brighten up our quarantine reality with this cheerful music. I really miss summer raves and parties with funny music. I see that a lot of music is going dark now. Even I was dark, but I came back. This music against war pressure which we feel, especially in Ukraine, against sadness and depression. This is little escaping to the simple world. So I selected the simplest, kindest and honest tracks for this album” – says Bodya.

This was great, too (and you’ll love the 90s comment):

Almost certainly lost in this swirl of news – I’ll try to get back to this – Yerevan’s Ukrkavan Festival released compilation drawing connections between Perila (St.Petersburg, Russia), Ana Jikia (Tbilisi, Georgia), Chillera feat. DJ Graffity (Odessa, Ukraine), Foresteppe (Berdsk, Russia), I s (Yerevan, Armenia), Nikolaienko (Kyiv, Ukraine), L (Moscow, Russia), and Nystagmus (Yerevan, Armenia), building bridges just as today’s attacks try to destroy them.

It’s such a beautiful and delicate set of sounds that I’m sure someone will find it healing:

My friend Liubov, whose name means ‘love,’ this week posted this hopeful mix of house, disco, and boogie from Odessa. Sending love there to everybody to get through this difficult night.

Having worked so many years with partners in Russia, I also want them to know we hear your cries, especially those brave enough to take to the streets, as today in St. Petersburg:

And Pushkinskaya Moscow, retweeted by CTM Festival co-curator Opium Hum/Michail:

That’s to say nothing of protests around the world, and first and foremost the resilience of the Ukrainian people there as well as the ones who have to face this far away from their loved ones.

It’s a music site, but this is why we make music – to stay close to one another through all our feelings.