Archive for April, 2014

Phillips: “Things are just beginning for us…”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 7, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “‘Things are just beginning for us’: Ukrainian perspectives,” anthropologist Sarah Phillips, author of Women’s Social Activism in the New Ukraine and Disability and Mobile Citizenship in Postsocialist Ukraine, reports on a recent informal survey she launched on Facebook to collect Ukrainians’ perspectives and concerns.

She notes the following overarching trends:  Read more »

Russian media

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 6, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

While the source of this analysis, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, could be expected to be somewhat critical of Russia, the critique offered in “The World Through the Eyes of Russian State Television” is supported by several lengthy video segments from Russian state controlled news Channel 1.

As can be seen there, the news provided on Channel 1 is wildly at variance — frighteningly so — with what the rest of the world sees and knows about Ukraine. Either one state-controlled media industry (and a handful of western outlets) is correct and everyone else is in the dark, or there is a great deal of consent being manufactured here (as Noam Chomsky would likely say, if he lived there).

That does not mean there are no alternative views available in Russia.  Read more »

Neef: Akhmetov, Firtash, & the revolution

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

While Christian Neef’s article “Yanukovych’s Fall: The Power of Ukraine’s Billionaires” was published over a month ago, I had neglected to mention it at the time.

The article provides useful context for understanding the role of two of the most powerful oligarchic backers of the Yanukovych regime, Rinat Akhmetov and Dmitry Firtash, in the fall of Yanukovych and the transition to the current interim government.

Read more »

Foreign Affairs on Dugin & Putin

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

Articles posted on this blog have refererred repeatedly to Eurasianist ideologue and “conservative revolutionary” Aleksandr Dugin and his connection to Vladimir Putin’s expansionist strategy in Crimea. This article in the Council on Foreign Relations’ journal Foreign Affairs puts the Putin-Dugin relationship into some historical and political context.

While the article doesn’t discuss this in any detail, the Dugin-led Eurasianist Youth Movement has been influential in fueling opposition to Ukraine’s interim government in areas of southern and eastern Ukraine. Read more »

Žižek: What Europe should learn from Ukraine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 2, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “What Europe Should Learn from Ukraine,” leftist cultural theorist and philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that the “Europe” Ukraine’s Euromaidan activists were aiming for was not an illusion, so much as it was a Europe that (EU member) Europeans themselves should be aiming to create.

Žižek writes:

“Predictably, many Leftists reacted to the news about the massive protests with their usual racist patronizing of the poor Ukrainians: how deluded they are, still idealizing Europe, not being able to see that Europe is in decline, and that joining European Union will just made Ukraine an economic colony of Western Europe sooner or later pushed into the position of Greece… What these Leftists ignore is that Ukrainians were far from blind about the reality of the European Union: they were fully aware of its troubles and disparities, their message was simply that their own situation is much worse. [. . .]

Read more »

PolitiFact: Did U.S. spend $5 billion on Ukraine?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 1, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

One of the memes circulating in the information war over Ukraine and Crimea is the claim that the U.S. has spent $5 billion on regime change in Ukraine.

In a report published today, the nonprofit-owned Tampa Bay Times‘ Pulitzer Prize winning, a fact-checking site with a long record of nonpartisan evaluation of claims from all sides of the political spectrum, gave this claim its worst judgment, “Pants on Fire.”

Their report can be read here.

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