south/south dialogues

The Imperial Logic of Mall(urb)icide

by Oliver Banatvala

This essay is part of our south/south dialogues: Beyond the colonial vortex of the ‘West’: Subverting non-western imperialisms before and after 24 February 2022.

Figure 1: The destroyed Nikolsky mall (Kharkiv), courtesy of the Ukrainian Council of Shopping Centers

On the night of 20th March 2022, Russian missiles hit Retroville mall in Kyiv. At the time, it was the most widely reported case of the Russian army targeting shopping malls since the full-scale invasion. Whilst this was not the first such attack, it was the first time that this phenomenon had permeated the international news cycle in this way. Devastating pictures of the burnt-out mall circulated on the internet, of what was clearly an image that constituted an attack on everyday urban life.

Since the full-scale invasion, there have been similar attacks across Ukraine. Of the 326 shopping malls in the country, according to the Ukrainian Council of Shopping Centres, 35 have been destroyed or damaged – over 10% of the country’s malls. Given the fact that none of these are in the Western part of the country, in certain areas this tendency is stronger. This suggests a systematic inclination to damage and destroy these spaces, a phenomenon which I label mall(urb)icide in this essay. My aim is to shine some light on the imperialistic logic that underpins this phenomenon.


I have labelled these systematic attempts of the Russian army to destroy Ukrainian shopping malls as “mall(urb)icide”. I understand that this term may cause some questions, given the utter devastation associated with urbicide, and its relations with genocide (Coward and Mezentsev, 2022). To be clear, I do not seek to suggest mall(urb)icide is necessarily equivalent to the broad and long-lasting horror and destruction that urbicide entails. My inclusion of the bracketed stem of (urb) is clunky; however, I felt it to be necessary to draw attention to the fact that this is a specific manifestation of urbicide. In this section I aim to engage with and provide a short critique of theories of urbicide, situating mall(urb)icide within this phenomenon and presenting my justification for using this bracketed terminology, whilst also drawing attention to the horror that the systematic targeting of malls entails.

In Urbicide: the politics of urban destruction, Coward (2008, p. 14) outlines one of the best-known theories of urbicide, defining it as “the destruction of buildings as a condition of possibility of being-with-others” providing a broad conceptualisation to transcend other more limited interpretations. Elsewhere, Pullan (2020) argues in similarly broad terms that there are three urbicidal conditions – redevelopment, war, and terrorism. The difference between these three categories is clearly vast. In her review of the term, Abujidi (2014, p. 27) describes “three main streams” of urbicide literature: violence against the urban (1) for what it represents, (2) as a means of exclusion, and (3) as a means of terror. Can one word be used for urban destruction in such different contexts? Perhaps, but considering them all under one umbrella term can lead to a concept that can lack analytical specificity.

One central issue which I believe plays a role in an unspecific terminology is the difficulty of defining the “urban”. Among urbicide scholarship it has been defined in various ways, including a place of heterogeneity (Coward, 2008; Fregonese, 2021), a place of shared social and political identity (Abujidi, 2014), or through opposition to the “rural” (Shaw, 2004). Given the many ways it can be defined, there are even more ways it can be subjected to “a pattern of violence” (Coward, 2008, p. 92). The vagueness of “urban” and the many strategies through which it can be targeted means ambiguity is baked into the word.

Do we really need another bracketed neologism, particularly in the context of the horror of Russia’s war against Ukraine? Why not refer to it as “the destruction of malls as a component of urbicide” or something similarly wordy but arguably less problematic? As malls are part of urban space, however defined, their systematic destruction is a specific manifestation of urbicide. However, there is something strangely paradoxical about this specific manifestation of urbicide: the construction of malls themselves can be seen as urbicidal, destroying local communities in favour of a globalised neoliberal urbanism. As Kuri (2023, p. 379) explains “the concept of ‘urbicide’ is useful for thinking about and understanding urban processes and phenomena that damage the city and erode social life in circumstances of neoliberal globalization.” This also raises questions about the possible urbicidal character of post-war reconstruction if the forces of neoliberal globalisation play a significant role, as seems likely.

This is ultimately why I felt a single word terminology was needed: it is the mall that is being destroyed, rather than doing the destroying. Unlike urbicide, mall(urb)icide lacks any ambiguity regarding its referent and how it is destroyed. Using a single word can enable me to focus on empirical observations rather than abstract theoretical questions about how these different types of urban destruction do or do not fit together. I have also defined it in relation to the result of the attack – destruction or damage, irrespective of intention. This overcomes issues of vagueness, meaning it is possible to concentrate on the specificities of this particular case of the destruction of the built environment rather than navigating the thorny issue of defining the urban. I use brackets rather than a hyphen (“mall-urbicide”) because I wanted to break up the word “urbicide”, hopefully releasing me from the constraints of this nebulous term.

There is also a question of intent. When describing this as a “systematic attempt”, I do not mean to suggest that it is necessarily intentional. In his analysis of urbicide, Coward (2008, p. 46) explains that “[i]t is not integral to the logic of urbicide or genocide then to demonstrate intent. Logic simply implies that the various acts or events that make up such political violence are articulated into a wider program of destruction.” Intention is not required for a logic or tendency to exist: mall(urb)icide can exist without evidence of a line of command proving intent. 

The targeting of civilian spaces undoubtedly commands a sense of terror and fear. This is shown in The Mall Hit By a Rocket (2023), a short documentary from Vanity Fair which details the tragic stories at the centre of the attack against the Amstor mall in Kremenchuk which resulted in the death of 22 civilians and caused many more injuries. The film contains interviews with employees of the mall combined with footage of the mall shortly before and after it was hit. The first-person accounts and the shaky, indistinct video footage indisputably coveys this horror.

These attacks prompt understandable outrage and anger from Ukrainians, provoking comments in the media such as “Russia’s rocket strike against the Amstor mall in Kremenchuk has been added to the list of the most egregious war crimes of the Russian Federation since the beginning of the full-scale invasion” (Semenova, 2022), and tweets such as:

(вареничок.eristavi 🇺🇦🏳️‍🌈 [@maksymeristavi], 2023)

Russia’s targeting of these spaces is often framed with reference to their explicit civilian purposes, highlighting the indiscriminate killing that it entails. A few tweets include:

(Ostap Yarysh [@OstapYarysh], 2023)
[16:00—The time when many Kremenchuk families went to the shopping centre to buy various things: food for dinner, clothes for the new season, gifts for their children who finished the school year well.
Today some of them will never return.
(чорногуз [@chornogoose], 2022)
[“Maybe a shopping centre in Vinnytsia. Or Kremenchuk. There could be a queue at Silpo in Kherson. Or a residential building. The truth is that russians don’t care who or where they kill. The main thing is to kill as many as possible.” (Замаханий репортер [@ReporterTired], 2023)]

Malls are often presented alongside other civilian buildings, a reminder that, as the destruction of a civilian object, mall(urb)icide violates the Geneva Convention. These tweets place the mall within the context of everyday, even mundane, activities, such as standing in a queue or buying food for dinner, demonstrating something particularly horrific and terroristic about these attacks. It does not cover the entirety of the devastating destruction of the built environment that Russia has conducted in this war, but the targeting of malls is still a phenomenon of extreme aggression, violence, and cruelty.

The Imperial Logic

Mall(urb)icide as orientalising

In this section, I outline the first strand of the imperial logic of mall(urb)icide by arguing that mall(urb)icide orientalises Ukraine by creating a clear ontological separation between the urban space of the coloniser and the colonised. It creates an obvious difference between Russian and Ukrainian malls, and by extension between Russian and Ukrainian cities. Urbicide and mall(urb)icide perpetuate the long-standing orientalising and imperialist idea that colonised cities are “disorderly, violent, and overly spontaneous”, and thus the coloniser’s “other” (Bishop and Clancey, 2004, p. 56).

This orientalising dynamic has a long history. Fregonese (2021, p. 17) explains how “[t]he colonial destroyed city – by air bombing or by planning – shaped many Eurocentric representations of ‘Oriental’ lands.” Her conflation of colonial and Europe points to the historical and discursive dominance of western imperialisms, something which this forum is dedicated to disrupting. Indeed, Russia has a long history of orientalising Ukraine. Shkandrij (2001, p. 77) explains the parallels between Russia’s perception of Asia and Ukraine, describing how

[j]ust as admiration of Asia in the early part of the century […] quickly gave way to a disgust with the East’s perceived stagnation or immobility, the attitude to Ukraine quickly shifted from delighting in exoticism to condescension and contempt for lack of development.

Russia’s imperial war against Ukraine shows that colonialism and imperialism are not always Europe versus “the Orient”, complicating the simplistic view that this is something done by the west to the rest of the world. Imperialism does not fit into such clear binary categorisations and a more nuanced understanding is essential to subvert it truly.

One of Russia’s orientalising narratives about Ukraine, often parroted by scholars in the west, is that Ukrainian society is in a state of perpetual and unresolved conflict (Koval et al., 2022, p. 173). The enduring image of Ukraine as a violent society can be found throughout Russian culture, visible in various canonical pieces – Pushkin’s Poltava, Bulgakov’s Kyiv, and arguably even Repin’s Cossacks. One particularly striking example is the 19th century Russian Westerniser Belinsky, who was “deeply complicit in the defence and exercise of imperial power”, despite his supposed anti-nationalist views (Shkandrij, 2001, p. 124). In History of Little Russia (1955, p. 60), he described how

The Little Russians have always been a tribe and never a nation, much less a state. They knew how to fight bravely and die generously for their homeland, it was not unusual for them to defeat a strong enemy with little means, but they never knew how to use the fruits of their victories. They would smash their enemies to pieces, show miracles of bravery and heroism and go home to drink vodka.

From the Russian imperialistic perspective, Ukraine is eternally plagued by violence. There is no recognition that Ukraine’s bloody history might be to do with the constant threat from aggressive imperial neighbours. Instead it is continually presented as a violent land of unintelligent warriors.

The common Russian defence of mall(urb)icide, frequently espoused by pro-Russian Twitter accounts, is that Ukraine was using malls as storage for military equipment and so had to be attacked. In response to questions about the attack on Amstor mall in Kremenchuk, Putin himself stated that “you can see from drones when they place weapons, MLRS systems, artillery, heavy equipment in residential neighbourhoods and somewhere else” (Plamenev, 2022). This presents the Ukrainian city as always-already militarised, continuing the above tendency to view Ukraine being in perpetual conflict, filled with savage fighters. Russian propaganda’s common presentation of Ukraine as fascist and the war’s supposed aims of “demilitarisation” and “denazification” can be understood as a continuation of this pattern of this discursive militarisation of Ukrainian society.

Ukraine’s territory is perceived as militarised and by launching its full-scale invasion, Russia has ensured that this perception becomes reality. The idea that the civilian space of the shopping mall is used to store military equipment fits within this narrative and can be used to legitimise its destruction at any moment. Mall(urb)icide becomes a means through which to cement a fundamental opposition between the coloniser and colonised. Russia’s malls are still filled with plentiful goods, resilient in the face of (western-imposed) economic constraints; Ukraine’s malls are violent, militarised spaces and thus legitimate targets for bombardment.

Mall(urb)icide as power

This phenomenon is closely related to the question of power. Of course, this is not exclusive to mall(urb)icide: in their analysis of urbicide, Kipfer and Goonewardena (2007, p. 107) describe it as “a rather concrete neo-colonial context of military strategies determined to destroy built environments in order to destroy networks of resistance and undermine the socio-spatial conditions for true independence”. In the context of mall(urb)icide, it is a question of controlling the “socio-spatial conditions for true independence” through targeting sites of urban leisure. However, as civilian spaces, what is normally lacking is the “networks of resistance”. The targeting of malls is particularly cruel and cowardly. 

Coward (2008, p. 5) explains how specific acts of urbicide have symbolic power. And indeed, the destruction of a space of leisure acts a highly symbolic act of horror and domination. Perhaps this is one reason images of mall(urb)icide spread so quickly on social media, a realm which deals in the memetic reproduction of symbols. It is an easy image to interpret: the global reach of the mall means that most people on the internet will have spent time there and will understand the role they play in society. Whilst the mall is a typology that people love to hate, those who have visited know that their function is antithetical to military spaces. The bombardment of these everyday, mundane spaces represents an attempt to destroy civilian leisure in the city. Images of mall(urb)icide communicate the fact that this everyday reality has been taken away from Ukrainian civilians following Russia’s full-scale invasion.

As a result, the systematic targeting of malls-as-civilian-spaces is one of many brazen violations of Articles 51 and 52 of the Geneva Convention – the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects respectively – that Russia has committed since its full-scale invasion. Panasytska and Koroy (2022) explain how this is a tactic that has been widely used by Russia in Ukraine, as well as in Chechnya and Syria. This phenomenon is part of a much wider neoimperialistic inclination exhibited by the Russian Federation through its direct attempt to subvert international law, often perceived as being an “instrument of this war” against Russia, as articulated by the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Aleksandr Bastrykin (2016).

Russia believes itself to be a uniquely great country, endowing it with the power to oppose western hegemony (Mälksoo, 2015, p. 143). It is possible to hear echoes of the imperialistic neo-Eurasianist doctrine here, according to which “Russia is the embodiment of the search for a historical alternative to Atlanticism. That is its global mission […] Russia has its own historical path. It is charecterized by a continued […] growth in the realisation of its mission” (Dugin, 2004, pp. 87–88). Through challenging (western-assumed) international law, Russia seeks to establish a multipolar world – “a world defined by multiple imperial cores instead of just one” (Krishnan, Li and Kokriatski, 2023).

Russia’s blatant flouting of international law (and its ability to avoid punishment so far), manifested in mall(urb)icide, points towards a central paradox of Russia’s imperialist vision in the 21st century: it presents itself as an anti-imperialist power, standing up to the threat from the “Atlanticists” on behalf of the rest of the world, but it seeks this end to entrench its imperialistic power and through deeply imperialistic means. The destruction of an explicitly civilian urban space symbolically challenges (western-assumed) international law.

Primarily, however, this power is very real. Abujidi (2014, p. 33) criticises the way in which theories of urbicide focus on the built environment over its significant impact on the humans living within the city. Focusing on the mall, a localised space of urban leisure, naturally draws attention to the humans within. It becomes apparent that the destruction of the mall is a means of control. Mall(urb)icide consists of the power to militarise the city, to transform the everyday embodied urban experience into one filled with military equipment, air raid sirens, and rubble. It makes uncertainty, fear, and death omnipresent for the inhabitants of the city.

Mall(urb)icide also has the power to control the spaces that people can and cannot visit in their leisure time. Malls that still stand untouched are now imbued with a specific tension. On the one hand, these are spaces that are used for pleasure, even providing safety and comfort with bomb shelters, live music, fashion shows, cinemas, and so on in their basements (figure 2). At the same time, mall(urb)icide means the mall can no longer simply be thought of as a safe, sanitised, controlled space: one Ukrainian acquaintance referred to the fact that they now avoid shopping malls as they feel nervous visiting. The power of mall(urb)icide brings doubt and uncertainty into the minds of inhabitants of Ukrainian cities. It recentres the locus of power from the individual towards the decision-making centre of the imperialist state: the everyday urban experience of those living in cities is significantly influenced by Russia. 

Mall(urb)icide as russkii mir

Thirdly, mall(urb)icide targets the specific type of localised global neoliberal urbanism of the shopping mall. A central component of the mall is the distinct way it brings together the local and the global forces. Laszczkowski (2011, p. 86) draws attention to the complex interplay between “architectural structure, the cosmopolitan connections that its form and content suggest, and its embeddedness in the local context”. Similarly, De Simone (2018, p. 68) argues that the “the mall as an urban agent is […] a global and a local concern”. Mall(urb)icide destroys both the global and the local.

Through targeting malls, Russia is attacking the world of neoliberal globalisation they encapsulate – an order that must be said to be exclusive and hierarchical, dictated by access to capital. Malls are filled with multinational brands, often funded by international investors, frequently designed by global architecture firms, selling many goods made across the world. Through the destruction of the mall, the links of neoliberal globalised commerce are also destroyed. Yet the mall equally constitutes a real part of the local urban landscape of neoliberal Central and East Europe. They are spaces where local residents spend time and money, local residents work, local businesses trade, local customs are practiced (Günel, 2011, p. 549; Laszczkowski, 2011). As such, they constitute a key part of local urbanity. Mall(urb)icide targets a global typology by destroying part of the local urban fabric.

Although many malls that have been destroyed are in Ukraine-held territory, Russia’s goal at the beginning of the full-scale invasion was, and presumably still is, their maximalist aim to occupy and control the entire country. It is therefore possible to envision the ultimate end point of imperialistic mall(urb)icide by picturing how occupied territories would be treated in this context. The global would likely be replaced with Russian, or at least Russia-approved, brands, investors, architects. We see this already within Russia itself, with the various transformations of western brands into Russian equivalents. The (in)famous rebranding of McDonald’s to Vkusno i Tochka has been presented by Alexandr Govor, owner of the company, as being freed from the strict rigidity of the McDonalds menu –

I asked about changing the menu, but it was very difficult to overcome the corporation’s standards. I have already given commands to work out these options: closer to the Caucasus, Siberia [there will be] spicier dishes; in Central Russia, a milder flavour. We will decide.

(TASS, 2022)

Russkii mir unshackles Russia from the constraints of the globalised order, in favour of a more national(ist) menu.

In line with Russia’s genocidal aims in this war, the local (Ukrainian) city must, at the same time, be replaced with a Russian one. A glimpse into this dark future is provided by the so-called Master Plan for the rebuilding of Mariupol, a centralised plan from the Unified Institute of Spatial Planning of the Russian Federation (The Village, 2022). The imperialistic aims of this document are made clear by one anonymous city planning expert, who stated that “[t]his document, which was made without the involvement of the city community, can’t be called a master plan” (Meduza, 2022). There is no indigenous, local, Ukrainian input, but rather a vision for the city that comes from the imperial centre – encapsulated by the front page of the document: a sunlit future under the Minstroi – the Russian Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities (figure 3). Both the local and the global would be wiped out, in favour of a new Russian identity, an urban embodiment of the russkii mir.

Those who have benefitted and will continue to benefit from this reconstruction are Russian. Beketova (2023) describes how “construction contracts have been awarded to companies linked to the Russian security forces, government officials, and at least 25 organisations from Putin’s home city of St. Petersburg.” It seems likely that those rebuilding malls, unlike the international corporations often associated with their construction, would be Russian. Rebuilding Ukraine is yet another extractivist endeavour by Russia in Ukraine, which is still viewed “as a resource” (Bazdyrieva, 2022). The imperialist legacy of exploitation of the Ukrainian people and land continues here in an urbanised form. 

This fits with Kotliuk’s description (2023) of Russian colonialism: “While European colonizers have always emphasized an essentialistic dichotomy of ‘Occident-Orient,’ Russian colonialism denies any differences between the colonizers and the colonized on the premise that the latter should surrender their identity and accept Russia as the universal norm.” The ultimate aim of the imperial logic of mall(urb)icide is to destroy the globalised Ukrainian city, which the mall embodies and represents, to rebuild it as part of the russkii mir.


A central tactic of the Russian army during this brutal imperialistic war has been the targeting of civilian spaces within the city, including malls. This forms part of a much wider urbicidal tendency witnessed within Russia’s attacks against Ukraine, a key component of this genocidal war (Coward and Mezentsev, 2022). Turning attention to smaller and more specific, but nonetheless still horrific, manifestations of urbicide enables us to paint a more detailed picture of the Russia’s imperialistic genocidal practice.

Urbicide is such a broad category that malls can be implicated within both as destroyer and destroyed. The constructions of malls can also be seen as a form of urbicide, leading to questions about a possible urbicidal quality to post-war reconstruction. To avoid getting sucked into these discussions, I have labelled the systematic damage and destruction of these spaces as mall(urb)icide, a term which I argue has enabled me to focus attention more closely on empirical fact than theoretical discussion.

Mall(urb)icide orientalises Ukraine, manifesting and perpetuating the historical discourse of Ukraine as a bloody and chaotic land; it is a symbolic and real manifestation of power, an attempt to establish multipolarity by undermining international law whilst enforcing a degree of psychological control over the citizens of Ukrainian cities; and it also creates the conditions for the reconstruction of the city as an urban russkii mir. This tendency speaks to the continuities of imperialistic discourses and actions that Russia has historically perpetrated against Ukraine. Mall(urb)icide is a modern phenomenon, but the roots of its logic can be traced back through years of imperial domination. Exploring this in detail can help draw attention to the tactics of non-western imperialisms, in time contributing to their subversion.


I would like to thank the editors for the opportunity to contribute to this forum. I am particularly grateful to Freya Cumberlidge for her insightful feedback which helped to shape this essay. I would also like to thank Dasha Anosova for her comments and reflections too, and to the Ukrainian Council of Shopping Centres for providing me with some of the images used.


Abujidi, N. (2014) Urbicide in Palestine: spaces of oppression and resilience. London: Routledge (Routledge studies in Middle Eastern politics, 63).

Bastrykin, A. (2016) Pora postavitʹ deistvennyi zaslon informatsionnoi voine, Kommersant” Vlast’. Available here (Accessed: 23 March 2024).

Bazdyrieva, A. (2022) ‘No Milk, No Love’, e-flux Journal [Preprint], (127). Available here.

Beketova, E. (2023) Behind the Lines: The Sugar-Coated Myths of Mariupol, CEPA. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

Belinsky, V.G. (1955) Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Tom 7. Moskva: Izd-vo Akademiĭ nauk SSSR.

Bishop, R. and Clancey, G. (2004) ‘The City-as-Target, or Perpetuation and Death’, in S. Graham (ed.) Cities, War, and Terrorism. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 54–74. Available here.

Coward, M. (2008) Urbicide: the politics of urban destruction. London ; New York: Routledge (Routledge advances in international relations and global politics, 66).

Coward, M. and Mezentsev, K. (2022) Martіn Kovard, Kostiantin Mezentsev: «Urbіtsid – tse «vbivstvo mіsta». Form і vidіv tsʹogo iavishcha, na zhalʹ, іsnuie chimalo», Available here (Accessed: 25 March 2024).

De Simone, L. (2018) ‘The Latin American shopping centre: cultural translation, symbolic adaptation and typological evolution of commercial architecture in Latin American cities’, in J. Gosseye and T. Avermaete (eds) Acculturating the Shopping Centre. S.l.: Routledge, pp. 127–146.

Dugin, A.G. (2004) Proekt ‘Evrazija’: geografiia – nasha sudʹba. Moskva: Iauza [u.a.] (Putʹ Rossii).

Fregonese, S. (2021) War and the city: urban geopolitics in Lebanon. Paperback edition first published. London New York Oxford New Delhi Sydney: I.B. Tauris.

Günel, G. (2011) ‘A Flying Man, a Scuttled Ship, and a Timekeeping Device: Reflections on Ibn Battuta Mall’, Public Culture, 23(3 (65)), pp. 541–549. Available here.

Kipfer, S. and Goonewardena, K. (2007) ‘Colonization and the New Imperialism: On the Meaning of Urbicide Today’, Theory & Event, 10(2), p. N_A.

Kontseptsiia master-plana razvitiia goroda Mariupolʹ (2022). Urban plan. Edinyi Institut Prostranstvennogo Planirovaniia RF.

Kotliuk, G. (2023) ‘Colonization of minds: Ukraine between Russian colonialism and Western Orientalism’, Frontiers in Sociology, 8, p. 1206320. Available here.

Koval, N. et al. (2022) ‘Morphological Analysis of Narratives of the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict in Western Academia and Think-Tank Community’, Problems of Post-Communism, 69(2), pp. 166–178. Available here.

Krishnan, K., Li, P. and Kokriatski, R. (2023) ‘Against Multipolar Imperialism’, Antidote Zine, 15 April. Available here (Accessed: 15 March 2024).

Laszczkowski, M. (2011) ‘Superplace: Global Connections and Local Politics at the Mega Mall, Astana’, Etnofoor, 23(1), pp. 85–104.

Mälksoo, L. (2015) Russian Approaches to International Law. Oxford University Press. Available here.

Meduza (2022) ‘The real goal is to hide the traces of war’ Moscow’s plan for rebuilding Mariupol, a city ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ by Russian troops, Meduza. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

Novyi brend ‘Vkusno – i tochka’ ne budet vvoditʹ alkogolʹ v meniu (2022) TASS. Available here (Accessed: 15 March 2024).

Ostap Yarysh [@OstapYarysh] (2023) ‘School Maternity ward Apartment building Kindergarten Metro station Shopping mall “Military targets” in Ukraine that were hit by Russia this morning.’, Twitter. Available here: (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

Panasytska, O. and Koroy, E. (2022) The Geneva Conventions: How Russia breaches them and blames Ukraine for it. VoxCheck explains, Vox Ukraine. Available here (Accessed: 15 March 2024).

Plamenev, I. (2022) Putin otvetil na slova Zelenskogo o rossiiskom udare po TTs v Kremenchuge, RBK. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

Pullan, W. (2020) ‘The Conditions of Urbicide’, in S. Goldhill (ed.) Being Urban: Community, Conflict and Belonging in the Middle East. London: Routledge, pp. 153–171.

Ramírez Kuri, P. (2023) ‘The City and the Abandonment of Public Space. Between Neoliberal and Citizen Urbanism’, in F. Carrión Mena and P. Cepeda Pico (eds) Urbicide: The Death of the City. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 377–394. Available here.

Semenova, I. (2022) Sledy prestupleniia. Razoblachaem glavnye feiki Rossii o raketnom udare po torgovomu tsentru v Kremenchuge. Available here (Accessed: 30 January 2024).

Shaw, M. (2004) ‘New Wars of the City: Relationships of “Urbicide” and “Genocide”’, in S. Graham (ed.) Cities, War, and Terrorism. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 141–153. Available here.

Shkandrij, M. (2001) Russia and Ukraine: Literature and the Discourse of Empire from Napoleonic to Postcolonial Times. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Available here (Accessed: 25 January 2024).

The Mall Hit By a Rocket (2023). Available here (Accessed: 30 January 2024).

The Village (2022) Ekskliusiv The Village: Plan Mariupolia do 2035 goda, razrabotannii v Moskve., The Village. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

вареничок.eristavi 🇺🇦🏳️‍🌈 [@maksymeristavi] (2023) ‘true russian culture is to bomb a shopping mall during holiday season to maximize civilian casualties. Dnipro, Ukraine 29.12.2023 @SESU_UA’, Twitter. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

Замаханий репортер [@ReporterTired] (2023) ‘Може бути торговий центр у Вінниці. Або Кременчузі. Може бути черга в Сільпо у Херсоні. Або житловий будинок. Правда в тому, що росіянам байдуже, кого і де вбивати. Головне – аби побільше. Тому може трохи варто прикрутити оце от про «закони воєнного часу». Їх нема, якщо шо.’, Twitter. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

чорногуз [@chornogoose] (2022) ‘16:00— chas koly bahato kremenchutskykh simei yizdyly v torhovyi tsentr zakupytysia riznym: yizheiu na vecheriu, odiahom na novyi sezon, podarunkamy dlia svoikh ditei, shcho dobre zakinchyly navchalnyi rik. sohodni deiaki z nykh uzhe nikoly ne povernutsia. nenavydzhu.’, Twitter. Available here (Accessed: 31 January 2024).

About the contributor

Oliver Banatvala is a PhD student at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. His research is concerned with the everyday urban geopolitics of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and his thesis examines the transformation that shopping malls have undergone since the full-scale invasion.