Andrukhovych: “Love and hatred”

29 01 2014

From Yuri Andrukhovych, writing today in the New York Times:

“We are defending ourselves, our country, our future, Europe’s future — some with Molotov cocktails, some with knitting needles, some with paving stones, some with baseball bats, some with texts published on the Internet, some with photos documenting the atrocities. [. . .]

“The authorities can’t understand this. Recently, some unknown thugs in civilian clothes kidnapped an activist and spent the night torturing him, demanding: Who is funding the Maidan? Which Western sources? Is it the State Department, or someone else?

Read the rest of this entry »

Open letter from world intellectuals

27 01 2014

From “The future of Ukraine,” an Open Letter signed by a growing list of intellectual luminaries, including Timothy Snyder, Zygmunt Bauman, José Casanova, Timothy Garton Ash, Jeff Goldfarb, Andrea Graziosi, André Glucksmann, Adam Michnik, Claus Offe, Richard Sennett, George Weigel, Slavoj Žižek, and many others:

“The future of Ukraine depends most of all on the Ukrainians themselves. They defended their democracy and future 10 years ago, during the Orange Revolution, and are standing up for those values again today. As Europeans grow disenchanted with the idea of a common Europe, people in Ukraine are fighting for that idea and for their country’s place in Europe. Defending Ukraine from the authoritarian temptations of its corrupt leaders is in the interests of the democratic world.

We cannot afford to turn our back on Ukraine. The new authoritarians in Kyiv should know Read the rest of this entry »

Zisels: “To freedom, ours and yours”

27 01 2014

Joseph Zisels, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine (VAAD Ukraine) and leader of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine, former political prisoner, from his speech at the People’s Assembly of Euromaidan during the Day of Dignity, December 15, 2013:

“Today the situation in Ukraine is very similar to 2004, for once more the same propaganda is being used against Euromaidan, against the united opposition, against all of us. They are trying to sow the seeds of conflict, to pit us one against the other, and to create an artificial standoff — national minorities against Ukrainians. But Ukraine and its people have changed in these years, in this short time. The Maidan has changed, not only thanks to the barricades, but in much greater ways — thanks to the people who are defending their dignity here. Read the rest of this entry »


26 01 2014

Ilya Varlamov is a Russian blogger who has been amassing a wonderful archive of perceptively captioned photographs from the Ukrainian revolution.

See his primer on the revolution in Kyiv here. A more analytical piece, in Russian, appears here. The gist of it is a debunking of 3 myths:

  1. that Kyiv is burning: it’s not, only a little corner of it – a stretch of Hrushevskoho Street – is smoking more than burning;
  2. that it’s not a revolution or anything of the sort: it is;after 2 months on the streets and the constitution-violating passage of egregiously authoritarian laws, people are fed up & want a change of government at worst, a change of system at best;
  3. that life in Kyiv has been paralyzed: it hasn’t; stores, cafes, etc. are open & everyday life goes on.

Keeping those things in mind, the pictures are stunning.

Open Letter

26 01 2014

An Open Letter from Ukrainian scholars, scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, pedagogues, and journalists to their fellow citizens and to the international community can be read here.

(Note that the title, “We are not extremists!”, was added by CNN.)



Gongadze: “The last convulsions”

25 01 2014

From Myroslava Gongadze, journalist and political activist, wife of the murdered journalist Georgiy Gongadze:

“Yanukovych is blowing up [zduvayet’sia] and proposing anything just to stay in power.

“They talked and each of them stuck to their positions. The opposition revealed that they won’t back away from anything position until the full satisfaction of their demands: repealment of the dictatorial [Jan. 16] laws; return to the Constitution of 2004; announcement of new elections; and release of all political prisoners. The barricades will be maintained and strengthened, all of the captured state administration buildings will be kept, and local organs of self-government will continue to be formed [as has happened in several state capitals already].

“I think the next couple of days will be decisive. The government will try to go on the offensive, but these are the last convulsions.

What’s happening slideshow

25 01 2014

Physicist Nazar Bartosik has compiled this 12-slide presentation documenting what has been happening in Ukraine:

Kurkov, Riabchuk, Marynovych

24 01 2014

Andrey Kurkov, Russophone Ukrainian author of Death and the Penguin and 17 other books (translated into a total of 25 languages), author and political scholar Mykola Riabchuk, and human rights activist Myroslav Marynovych, writing on behalf of the Ukrainian branch of PEN International:

“[The Ukrainian government has] crossed the red line that separates semi-authoritarian regimes from genuine dictatorships.

“They persistently tighten the screws, encourage lawlessness and provoke more confrontation and violence. They remain deaf to all moderate voices and calls for peace. They seem to understand only the language of force […]

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24 01 2014

From Yuri Andrukhovych, one of Ukraine’s most internationally celebrated writers, author of Recreations, The Moscoviad, Perverzion, Disorientation on Location, My Europe, and numerous other novels, books of poetry and essays:

During the less than four years of its rule, Mr. Yanukovych’s regime has brought the country and the society to the utter limit of tensions. Even worse, it has boxed itself into a no-exit situation where it must hold on to power forever—by any means necessary. Otherwise it would have to face criminal justice in its full severity. The scale of what has been stolen and usurped exceeds all imaginination of what human avarice is capable.

Read the rest of this entry »


24 01 2014

From Serhiy Zhadan, author of “Big Mac and Other Stories,” “Anarchy in the UKR,” “Capital,” “Ballads of the War and Reconstruction,” “The Very Best Poems, Psychedelic Stories of Fighting and Other Bullshit,” “History of Culture at the Beginning of the Century,” and other works:

“The main cause of violent confrontations is the passing of the January 16 laws. They have eliminated any space for maneuvering for the protestors. Wittingly or unwittingly, the government is pushing civil society into a corner, from which there’s no exit except to break the system.”

Complete interview available here (in Ukrainian)


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