Select topic: Ukraine
Affluent Poles looking at Ukraine – too much lecturing, not enough support
Poland has become a part of Western Europe – for better or for worse. In the face of the escalating Ukrainian conflict it definitely seems for worse. The Poles have become wealthy enough to forget where they were 25 years ago. The memories of our own poor condition are so faded that we can no longer empathize with the Ukrainians’ violent struggle. And yet it seems so easy to keep convincing everyone in Brussels that Poland will teach its European partners to think in terms of solidarity.
Different Ukrainians, different Poles
My friends in Ukraine want to know what Poles are like, since they know I lived in Poland for two years. Poles, on the other hand, ask what we Ukrainians are like. I never know what to tell either group. Each new story I come across is different – the more I learn, the more I am afraid of getting things wrong.
Explaining Europe to the Europeans
During a conference organized five years ago in London to celebrate Europe Day one of the major issues raised by Austrian ambassador to the United Kingdom (Austria was at that time president of the EU) was… the lack of jokes on European Union. At the time being, only British historian, Timothy Garton Ash, replied with the one-liner: “If the EU applied to join the EU it would not be admitted”. Over the next few years this became more of a reality than anecdote and I am pretty sure that…
Litvinov’s Glasses and Polish soft power – on the crisis in the East (at the start of 2015)
Litvinov’s Glasses On the 6th of October 1944, a secret meeting between Maxim Litvinov (1876-1951), the Soviet Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, and a certain American journalist took place. One to one, they…
On the trolls patrolling the Crimean conflict information front
The Ukrainian revolution, the annexing of Crimea by Russia and subsequent attempts at destabilising south-eastern Ukraine have led to the most severe crisis between the Russian Federation and the West for a…
Polishness is a longing for purity [Interview of the Month]
Jarosław Kuisz: Would you consider yourself a dissident? Marci Shore: Only a historian. I don’t have any dissident experiences. But you went to Kiev in May. Yes, but that was too late. Earlier- in…
We need to challenge Putin’s propaganda
On the initiative of professor Timothy Snyder (Yale University, IWM) and Leon Wieseltier (“The New Republic”) a conference “Ukraine: Thinking Together” will be held in Kiev from 16th May to 19th May. Before it begins we ask prof. Snyder to briefly explain the idea and aim of the meeting.
The art of being a stone
How to express the experience of collective violence and trauma without falling into excessive compassion or patterns of propaganda? Sergey Loznitsa, director of „Maidan” calls for filmmakers facing such moments to remain a bit disengaged.
Russia: A sick man with a gun
“If Putin decides on his way down that the only way to remain in power is to create a real crisis, he’ll do it”, claims an American journalist and author.
Svoboda’s swan song
Viktor Yanukovych’s fall from power means Svoboda has lost its most important means of negatively influencing voters, while also still lacking any tools of motivating them positively. The national colours of Ukraine were also the colours of the revolution – its society today, however, displays civic-republican rather than nationalistic tendencies.
Nationalism – a master key to open all doors?
Fears of Ukrainian nationalism and of Russian imperialism have some historical grounding. But, as in all fears, these two contain traces of insecurity, delusion and only partly formulated arguments about national security being threatened.
Reconciliation after Putin
Questions regarding forgiveness following the bloodshed in Maidan are for Ukraine just as vital as those of its economy or politics. But what points of reference can it make use of today?
Toying with nationalism
Vladimir Putin’s Russia is dominated by imperial rather than ethnic nationalism, according to our expert in Russian politics. If in the language used by the ruling elite we come across a certain type of syncretism, this is because the said rulers, having abandoned European ways of communicating, are looking for a new narration, and in doing so borrow from the likes of the far-right Dugin and the anti-semitic Kiselyov.
[Putinada] The worst political class in Europe
“Twenty three years of having the worst political class in Europe can’t leave no mark on the society”, claims a British historian, expert on Ukraine.