Marking two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

  23 Feb '24   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Today marks the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. When Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, journalist Jen Stout was in Moscow. Instead of returning home, Jen decided to stay and report on the war, ending up on a border post in southeast Romania, from where she began to cover the human cost of Russian aggression. Her first-hand, vivid reporting brought the war home to readers in the UK as she reported from front lines and cities across Ukraine. 

In May we are publishing Night Train to Odesa: Covering the Cost of Russia’s War by Jen Stout, and we have asked Jen to write a few lines marking this anniversary. Jen writes:

I feel immensely lucky to have spent much of the past two years reporting in Ukraine. The solidarity, resistance, and defiance of people in that country has been an invaluable lesson, changing my perspective and giving me strength.


The scale of loss and suffering they are enduring is atrocious, and getting harder to bear every minute that western support wanes. I hope we, in the UK and elsewhere, realise what this war really is about: freedom vs autocracy, self-determination vs empire. 

The power of Jen’s writing has already been praised by fellow reporters and writers. Read what a few of them have to say here:

‘Jen Stout is very brave. And she is a storyteller of supreme gifts. She has travelled through the war without the backup and financial support that comes with working for the big media organisations. I am in awe of her resourcefulness and courage’ – Fergal Keane

‘The brutality of the war in Ukraine is told with great empathy, compassion and skill by Jen Stout in Night Train to Odessa. She shows not only great courage in her reporting on the ground, but the immense human cost of war, told with passion and clarity, seeking to understand the larger pattern of Vladimir Putin’s war not only on Ukraine, but on democracy and the global order’ – Janine di Giovanni

‘Jen Stout’s writing is an antidote to the cynicism of war . . . Night Train to Odesa is unlike any other book you’ll read on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Her reporting is caring and immediate and this account is honest, intelligent, and visceral; it is independent reporting at its finest’ – Quentin Sommerville

‘Jam-packed with vivid insight and empathy, journalism that’s full of heart.’ – Paraic O’Brien

Night Train to Odessa vividly brings to life the realities of Ukraine at war, in all its complex humanity and history. Jen Stout is everything you could want in a guide: generous, warm, perspicacious. Her writing fizzes with energy, passion and, above all, compassion for the characters she meets whose lives have been turned upside down by a conflict they never wanted yet are forced to live through’ – Peter Geoghegan

Night Train to Odesa is available to pre-order now from our website or your local bookshop.

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