Archive for pro-Russian separatism

“These people are sick…”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2017 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

The border war in eastern Ukraine is, it turns out, also about art. Or so this video (below) suggests.

It was made in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, after its military occupation by the separatist “Donetsk People’s Republic” a few years ago. The first interviewee is Leonid Baranov, head of a special committee that lodged itself on the premises of Donetsk’s Izolyatsia Art Center after its takeover by pro-Russian separatist fighters. The building housing the non-profit art center had previously been an insulating materials factory.

Baranov decries the art of the center and vigorously defends the DPR’s occupation of it: Read more »

Separatists vs. leftists (& an oligarch)

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

Developments in eastern Ukraine have been taking some interesting turns.

Among the themes I’ve been seeing in the coverage are more detailed profiles of the pro-Russian separatists, who are looking ever more like a motley bunch. As noted on this blog before, many have links to far-right groups in Russia. (Some of those groups — like Russkaia Pravda, with its bizarre conspiracy tales of how the Jewish-Masonic “Kiev junta” is planning to massively resettle Hasidic Jews from Manhattan into eastern Ukraine — are pretty outlandish.)

University of Manitoba historian Myroslav Shkandrij‘s account of the Russian mercenearies in Donbas details the criminal and/or neo-Nazi backgrounds of about a dozen of the most prominent pro-Russian separatist figures, including Strelkov/Girkin, “Babai”/Mozhaev, “Dingo”/Ponomarev, and several others. Collectively, their prospects seem to be declining.

Another theme is that left-wing eastern Ukrainians — from coal miners and steel workers to national-communists and anarcho-syndicalists — have either begun to clearly distance themselves from the separatists, or have been doing that all along (if less noticeably).

An example is this interview with Mykola Tsikhno, co-ordinator of the National Communist Front, which models itself on the national communists who were prominent in Ukraine in the 1920s (before getting squashed by Stalinism). Another is this interview with Mykola Volynko, head of the Trade Union of Donbas Miners.

Read more »

Marples: Separatists’ grievances

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 8, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

One of the best blogs on current Ukrainian affairs (despite its home page) is Current Politics in Ukraine, run out of the University of Alberta’s Stasiuk Program for the Study of Contemporary Ukraine. (You can always get to it from the link in the right-hand sidebar of this blog’s homepage.)

One of its recent articles, by Stasiuk Center director David Marples, analyzes the five major grievances of the pro-Russia separatists and assesses them for their credibility and actuality.

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Separatist profiles (updated)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 24, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Profiles of the pro-Russian separatists are appearing in the western press. Here are a few of them, along with some related reports.

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Fishman: on the anti-Semitic flyers in Donetsk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 23, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In The Real Truth About Those Anti-Semitic Flyers in Donetsk, historian David Fishman provides an analysis of the flyers as an “act of political theater” consistent with a broader strategy of “playing the ‘Jewish card’.” Fishman is a professor of Jewish history and director of the Moscow-based Project Judaica.

A few quotes:

“With all the focus on the Donetsk incident, the conversation has missed the forest while being distracted by a single tree. During the past month, since the annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin has shifted its rhetoric and tactics in playing the “Jewish card.” It has embraced the language of classical Russian nationalism, going back to tsarist times, and has engaged the dark forces of the Russian ultra-right. That includes using anti-Semitism as an ingredient in the anti-Ukrainian campaign.

Read more »

Mitrokhin: Who are the separatists?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 18, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In a piece written for the anti-racist/anti-fascist Searchlight magazine, Bremen University researcher Nikolay Mitrokhin provides at least a partial answer to the question: who are the leaders of the pro-Russian separatist movement in Ukraine?

His analysis broadly concurs with other researchers’ (notably Anton Shekhovtsov’s and Andreas Umland’s) linking of the pro-Russians with the Eurasian Youth Movement and other far-right and (sometimes) neo-fascist groups.

See “Ukraine’s Separatists and Their Dubious Leaders.”


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