Archive for February, 2014

Arel: “Crossing the Line in Ukraine”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 20, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Dominique Arel‘s comments delivered yesterday at the roundtable “Why Ukraine Matters?”, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 19 February 2014. Arel has held the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa since 2003.

Crossing the Line in Ukraine

by Dominique Arel

My unvarnished thoughts on the deadliest events in Ukraine since the end of the UPA insurrection sixty-five years ago:

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Snyder on “Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 19, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Eminent historian Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, writing again on Ukraine and the propaganda war over its future:

“But a maidan now means in Ukrainian what the Greek word agora means in English: not just a marketplace where people happen to meet, but a place where they deliberately meet, precisely in order to deliberate, to speak, and to create a political society. During the protests the word maidan has come to mean the act of public politics itself . . .

“The protesters represent every group of Ukrainian citizens: Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers (although most Ukrainians are bilingual), people from the cities and the countryside, people from all regions of the country, members of all political parties, the young and the old, Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Every major Christian denomination is represented by believers and most of them by clergy. The Crimean Tatars march in impressive numbers, and Jewish leaders have made a point of supporting the movement. The diversity of the Maidan is impressive: the group that monitors hospitals so that the regime cannot kidnap the wounded is run by young feminists. An important hotline that protesters call when they need help is staffed byLGBT activists. . . .

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Viatrovych in translation

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

The article by Volodymyr Viatrovych, referred to in the previous post, can be read in English here.

Viatrovych on “the long road to freedom”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

This post takes a slightly different form than most on this blog, as it both summarizes and comments on an article not found (yet) in English translation.


Volovymyr Viatrovych’s “The Long Road to Freedom” — an article which, in its title, is intended to echo Nelson Mandela’s autobiography — is one of the most interesting and detailed analyses I’ve read of the Ukrainian Maidan protest movement. Viatrovych himself is a very well positioned observer — a leader of the Maidan’s Civic Sector, which remains one of the most pluralistic and broadly based of the visible groupings in the Maidan movement.

The article presents a summary and evaluation of both the nonviolent revolution represented by the Maidan in all its variants, and the “violent turn” represented by the street actions of January 19th and some of those that have followed.

He begins from the premise that the Yanukovych regime cannot fall unless three prerequisites are met: (1) the revolution spreads to encompass a maximally broad spectrum of Ukrainian society; (2) a part of the pro-government elite and armed forces shift their allegiance to the opposition; and (3) the world community supports the movement, if only morally.

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Nakhmanovych: Open letter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 3, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Historian Vitaliy Nakhmanovych, Museum of Kiev researcher and Executive Secretary of the Babi Yar Public Committee, in his Open Letter to Jewish Communities of the World:

“It’s a familiar scene for Kyiv today: hired thugs protected by the “agents of law enforcement” burn cars, attack passersby, and disappear into the night. Their expectations are simple: either the Jews believe that they have become victims of the “Bandera followers” and call for a stop to the Maidan “outrage,” or the Jews understand that they were chosen by the government for a scare and… call for a stop even louder, afraid of things becoming worse. [. . .]

“Lithuania and Poland, Austria and Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia, the USSR and the Third Reich – empires and republics, monarchies and tyrannies, they had all been united in one thing: that the people of this land must remain silent and obedient. [. . .] Read more »

Snyder: Europe between oligarchy & inclusion

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Historian Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999:

“Since late November, millions of Ukrainians have campaigned for a pro-European course, only to find themselves branded extremists, foreign agents and criminals. With the Russian money came the Russian model of rule. Yanukovych had the Parliament illegally “pass” legislation that made Ukraine a dictatorship on Jan. 16.

“The new laws were imitations of Russian ones. But Ukraine is not Russia. [. . .]

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Statement by right-wing watchers on Euromaidan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 3, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Forty of the world’s leading researchers of Ukrainian (and other) far-right and xenophobic groups have signed a statement decrying the reduction of the Euromaidan protests in some mass media to a right-wing led or dominated movement. From the statement:

“We are a group of researchers who comprise specialists in the field of Ukrainian nationalism studies, and most of the world’s few experts on the post-Soviet Ukrainian radical right. [. . .]

“While we are critical of far right activities on the EuroMaidan, we are, nevertheless, disturbed by a dangerous tendency in too many international media reports dealing with the recent events in Ukraine. An increasing number of lay assessments of the Ukrainian protest movement, to one degree or another, misrepresents the role, salience and impact of Ukraine’s far right within the protest movement. [. . .]

“Both the violent and non-violent resistance in Kyiv includes representatives from all political camps […]. Read more »

Shekhovtsov: reply to “right-wing” claims

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 3, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

From Anton Shekhovtsov, researcher of far-right movements in Ukraine and other European countries:

“Every single mass political mobilisation in Ukraine has been accompanied by the attempts to compromise the popular uprisings by associating them with the extreme right. And not only uprisings or protests, but big events too.

“The current campaign to defame the Euromaidan protests is so far the strongest attack on the Ukrainian civil society and democratic politics. [. . .]

“All the above-mentioned people and groups form – apparently a small – part of the wide network which is aimed at promoting anti-Western, pro-Russian and pro-Eurasianist ideas in the EU and the US and Canada. Read more »

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