Onuch & Sasse: Lessons in protest

27 02 2014

Oxford University political scientists political scientists Olga Onuch and Gwendolyn Sasse have been analyzing the dynamics of the development of the Ukrainian protest movement, from its first stages through to February 22.

Some of their analysis is reported in this blog in this Washington Post blog article.

Gusev: Russian activists facing danger

26 02 2014

Alexei Gusev is a professor of history at Moscow State University and chair of the Praxis Research and Educational Center in Moscow. The following is a letter he sent to Richard Greeman, who asked that I post it online.

Dear Richard,

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Greeman: Revolution’s first phase now complete

25 02 2014

A friend of mine alerted me to the following unpublished text, which was sent to a network of activists in the international Left. It is by retired scholar and activist Richard Greeman, director of the International Victor Serge Foundation, co-founder of the Praxis Research and Education Center in Moscow (which co-sponsored the first International Congress of Independant Labor Unions last November in Kyiv), and close colleague of political theorists Immanuel Wallerstein and Cornelius Castoriadis.

It is being published here by permission of the author.


Ukraine, Revolution or Coup?

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TAZ is here, TAZ is gone

23 02 2014


The concept of the TAZ, or temporary autonomous zone, comes from “ontological anarchist” writer and poet Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson). It is intended to indicate a space of liberation, a space which is at once physical and real, if temporary, and metaphysical — a space of consciousness outside of the mental frames of social structure, from which a reimagination of the world may proceed.

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10 things Ukrainians can focus on now…

23 02 2014

Here’s my little provocation, as I wonder whether and how this blog should continue…

10 things Ukrainians can focus on, now that Yankovych is out

  1. Old-style politicians maneuvering themselves to replace him without changing anything of substance
  2. Backroom wheeling and dealing among oligarchs and politicians
  3. Svoboda, Right Sector, et al., clamoring for power to impose their radical rightist agendas
  4. The pressure for neoliberal austerity programs that will accompany Western financial aid Read the rest of this entry »

Wynnyckyj: “It’s not over yet”

23 02 2014

Mychajlo Wnnyckyj, associate professor at Kyiv Mohyla Academy, has provided a useful summary of today’s events, entitled “It’s Not Over Yet.”

A few excerpts:

“It must have been exceptionally painful for Yanukovych to watch his precious Mezhyhiriya residence opened to journalists and ordinary citizens today. There, they found evidence of hasty packing, and multiple works of art and collectibles (e.g. a collection of vintage cars) that were left behind. They also recovered documents that demonstrate the scope of Yanukovych’s massive corruption machine, and others that show his regime was systematically targeting opposition journalists and civil society activists. Read the rest of this entry »

The “threat” of direct democracy

22 02 2014

These are my own thoughts after following today’s events in Ukraine. I am cross-posting them from Immanence. — A. Ivakhiv

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“Power to the millions, not to the millionaires” (#Leftmaidan)


Three forms of democracy vie with each other in Ukraine today.

The first of these is what we might call authoritarian democracy. This is a hybrid of democracy and authoritarian rule, in which partially developed democratic institutions can be relatively easily played off against each other by the powers-that-be to maintain their rule.

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Bilak: When & why everything changed

21 02 2014

From Daniel Bilak’s “On the Maidan: The Birth of a Real Ukrainian Civil Society.” Bilak is a Canadian international lawyer based in Kiev and a former UNDP senior governance advisor to the Government of Ukraine.

“Unlike those on the Maidan, no one is prepared to die for the regime of Viktor Yanukovych regime. There will not be a civil war; claims to the contrary are attempts by eastern and Crimean political and economic elites to manipulate the situation to preserve their wealth and local feudal power. Most Ukrainians see this as a war between a dictatorial president and his people. [. . .]

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Lebedev: “Imagine Yourself Ukrainian”

21 02 2014

From Imagine Yourself Ukrainian (Imaginez-vous Ukrainien), by author and sociologist Anna Colin Lebedev, an article that conveys a good feel for the everyday life of an average Ukrainian citizen:

“Imagine an absolutely ordinary life in a country whose people have endured deep crises for many generations. These crises happen so often that the people have somehow learned to live with them. Crisis or not, life is for living. [. . .]

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The calm before… the storm

21 02 2014

These radiant scenes of nonviolent revolution took place just four days ago, on February 16. Now there are riot police gunning people down, dead bodies and blood, a downtown that looks like a war zone. Watching videos from Kyiv today can be a horrifying experience.


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