When a Russian missile recently struck a TV tower in Kyiv, near Babyn Yar, the site of Nazi mass murders during the Holocaust, some saw the attack as a potent symbol of the tragic occurrence of violence in Ukraine. To talk through the historical significance of the attack, Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Maksym Rokmaniko, an architect, designer, entrepreneur, and director at the Center for Spatial Technologies in Kyiv, and Linda Kinstler, a PhD candidate in the rhetoric department at UC Berkeley.
In her recent New York Times essay, the Bloody Echoes of Babyn Yar, Linda wrote, "the current war in Ukraine is so oversaturated with historical meaning, it is unfolding on soil that has absorbed wave after wave of the dead, where soldiers do not always have to dig trenches in the forest because the old ones remain."
Linda's writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and Jewish Currents, where she recently reported on the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial center. Linda is also the author of Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends, which is out in the U.S. on August 23rd, from Public Affairs.
Tyler, Linda and Maksym discuss the history of Babyn Yar as a sight and symbol, the role of open source investigative techniques and forensic modeling in the documentation of war crimes, the battle over historical narratives, memorialization and memory, as well as the limits of the law in achieving justice for victims of negation and genocide.