Long time, no see
Greetings from Hanoi! As you may have noticed from my salutations, I have been on the road a lot since leaving Ukraine. Some of that time was on vacation with my girlfriend in Turkey, later on I was with my family in Bangkok (for those who don’t know me personally, I have a lot of close relatives who are part Thai). Now I am in Vietnam, where I spent almost four years as the German Press Agency’s bureau chief, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues.
As a result, I have taken an unannounced and unintended pause in my weekly updates on the war. Partly because of the travel, but I have also been unsure of what exactly I have to offer to the discourse after being out of the country for six weeks. When I was still near the front, I was able to offer news aggregation plus on-the-ground insights. After leaving, it began turning more toward the aggregation side.
Since leaving Ukraine, I have also been in a weird professional limbo as I figure out my next move. At the beginning of the year, I was beginning what I thought would be a long climb up the ladder of the Moscow foreign press corps. February 24 upended my plans completely, and I have been struggling a bit as I try to figure out what to do instead. Consequently, my head has not been 100% in the war, and I have felt that my analysis started to deteriorate once I left it. The last thing I want to do right now is discredit myself with less-than-stellar analysis. Case in point, my last update, where I predicted that the Battle of Severodonetsk would lead to an even bloodier Battle of Lysychansk, proved wrong.
In any case, the current format of giving weekly updates on the war is no longer working for me. It is time to tinker with the format. But expect more content soon, albeit on a more sporadic basis as I experiment with this newsletter’s next direction.
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Welcome home, of sorts. Enjoy Hanoi!