Why We Dropped Everything to Make a Ukraine Guide

A letter from our co-founders

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we threw out our end of year plans and began work on this guide. We knew our approach would be radically different from other publications. Most coverage of the war focuses on the day-to-day breaking news or on the implications for geopolitical power across Europe. But what events and movements created this modern, united Ukraine? What history does this country claim and what stories do its people reject?

Stranger’s Guide: Ukraine seeks to tackle these questions and more, through original reporting by Ukrainian writers and photographers. We hope it will offer new insights and perspectives on the formation of modern Ukrainian identity, looking at everything from hipster Kyiv to life for incarcerated mothers and their children living together in a women’s prison. Including three extraordinary photoessays, we hope this volume will prove to be an invaluable companion to the news coverage, offering the context and perspectives that give insight into the country, its people and its spirit. 

As always, more than four out of five stories we publish come from local writers and photographers. That means your subscription dollars are going directly to pay Ukrainian journalists who need support now more than ever. 

We started Stranger’s Guide with a simple, yet ambitious goal: to help make the world smaller by fostering a sense of global citizenship. Each of our guides offers award-winning place-based journalism that breaks down stereotypes. Sometimes we cover traditional travel destinations. But we also focus on places no longer accessible to many visitors—like Ukraine at the moment. 

All of us on staff are tremendously proud of this work, and we hope you’ll find it powerful, challenging and beautiful. 


Kira Brunner Don

Kira Brunner Don is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Stranger’s Guide. She worked as a magazine editor in New York for seventeen years and as a journalist in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She studied philosophy at The New School’s Graduate Faculty and worked at a think tank at Columbia University before joining Lapham’s Quarterly, where she was executive editor for eight years. She is co-editor of the book The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention and is the founding co-director of the Oakland Book Festival.

Abby Rapoport

Abby Rapoport is the publisher and co-founder of Stranger's Guide. Abby spent the first portion of her career as a political reporter, covering Texas politics for the Texas Tribune, the Texas Observer and then The American Prospect. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, The National Journal and The New Republic. Prior to founding Stranger's Guide, she served as Acting Publisher for the Texas Observer and currently chairs the Texas Democracy Foundation.

Discover the Ukraine that was—and the one that will be. Stranger’s Guide: Ukraine is among the most challenging and powerful volumes we’ve ever put out, featuring Ukrainian writers and photographers, many of whom are still in their country, others living abroad ...

Related Content