Archive for Timothy Snyder

Snyder: Europe and Ukraine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 16, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

It’s difficult to provide a well-rounded history of Ukraine, from Kievan Rus onward, in a few dozen paragraphs. Historian Timothy Snyder does this in his newly published piece, “Europe and Ukraine: Past and Future,” which originally appeared in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The piece covers the collapse of Kievan Rus, relations with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Cossack state, the emergence of Muscovy and later the Russian empire, the fall of empires and Soviet revolution, the world wars, and so on. Along the way we get oligarchic pluralism (in the Poland commonwealth, and then again in the last two decades), self-determination (led by the Cossacks), the rise of a nationalist elite that “rebel[s] against [its] own biographies and present[s] the subject of history not as the elites but as the masses,” the twists and turns of Soviet policy, Ukraine’s positioning between Stalin’s “internal colonialism” (as Stalin himself called it) and Hitler’s “external colonialism,” the war in all its messiness, the rhetorical “politics of fascism and anti-fascism” — which in a convoluted way have managed to accompany both Stalin’s and Putin’s courting of the European far right — the Brezhnevian cult of the Great Fatherland War, the fall of the Soviet Union and emergence of independent Ukraine, the politics of hydrocarbons, and the future of the European Union.

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Snyder vs. McGovern

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

While it does not contain much new information, this debate on Democracy Now stages two very contrary views on the Ukraine crisis prevalent among observers in the western (especially U.S.) left.

On one side is historian Timothy Snyder, whose detailed articles have been mentioned several times on this blog. On the other side is former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who presents the left-wing critique of U.S. “meddling” in other countries. The stark contrast between the two makes for an easy opportunity to judge and evaluate the two sets of views. Read more »

Snyder on Crimea

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

Timothy Snyder continues his series on Russia and Ukraine for the New York Review of Books.

A few excerpts:

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Snyder: The haze of propaganda

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

Historian Timothy Snyder reviews the “haze of propaganda” surrounding the crisis in Ukraine in the New York Review of Books:

“Interestingly, the message from authoritarian regimes in Moscow and Kiev was not so different from some of what was written during the uprising in the English-speaking world, especially in publications of the far left and the far right. From Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review through Ron Paul’s newsletter through The Nation and The Guardian, the story was essentially the same: little of the factual history of the protests, but instead a play on the idea of a nationalist, fascist, or even Nazi coup d’état.”

See the entire article here.

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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