Hi, I'm Tim! 

I used to be an investigative correspondent for NPR, and I am also a former U.S. Army combat medic. 

My writing has been featured in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, Politico Magazine, and the L.A. Times. And you may have heard me regularly on NPR's Morning Edition or All Things Considered. I'm also the author of a book about the inner workings of the NRA, titled 'Misfire.' 

Ukraine War Correspondence on Substack

On February 23rd, 2022, I landed in Kyiv for an assignment to cover a possible war – and, by chance, the Russian invasion of Ukraine began that same night. 

Since then, I’ve been providing regular updates for readers: deeply reported vignettes about real life during the war, combined with painstaking investigative reporting in the public interest.

I’ve tracked down the notorious Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade -- known for its role in shooting down MH17. I spent ten months investigating a single war crime -- the killing of a man on the side of the road in a small town called Nova Basan. 

My daily news coverage included stories about a jazz club in Odesa that refused to close; Syrian doctors who visited Ukraine to share lessons from their own conflict; and the alcohol bans in the early months of the war.

Why Subscribe?

War reporting is dangerous and expensive.

Readers can't do anything about the danger, but they can help us purchase the gear we need to mitigate risk. And they can help us not go into crushing debt in order to bring this critical news to the public. 

As of this moment, I’m paying for all our expenses out of my own pocket. 

Your support buys us what we need to report: body armor, medical kits, car rentals, recording equipment, and emergency supplies. And it’s not just gear – hiring my Ukrainian interpreter Ross costs thousands of dollars a month. 

For $8 per month – less than a bottle of Sriracha! Or a bowl of pho! – you can be a supporter of regular reporting on the war in Ukraine – and fight against the instincts of many to turn away from the horrors of the conflict.

Ross and I among the wreckage of destroyed buildings in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

What you get!

You get something powerful in return: reporting that serves a public interest mission, writing that engages and educates. 

Readers will come with me to cities all across Ukraine, tasting the soups made by Ukrainian cooks, meeting the heroic animal shelter volunteers in frontline cities, and listening to patriotic Ukrainian music that’s making a comeback.

You will also experience the cruelties of war: walking through bombed out cities with Ukrainian soldiers; late-night conversations in a bomb shelter with a four-star general; observing war crimes that the Russian military and Putin are responsible for.

This will all be combined with tenacious reporting about the battlefield situation, alternating between the forty-thousand-foot view of brigades and divisions, and the fascinating minutiae of how troops are faring on a human level. 

And of course, the regular #DogsofWar updates!

The Counteroffensive will cover the expected Spring Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

But the name is meant to signify a broader campaign: against apathy, cynicism and ignorance about world events in general and the emergence of a new Cold War in particular.

Subscribe to The Counteroffensive with Tim Mak

A war correspondent's open notebook, reporting live from Ukraine.