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Tag: Ukraine

Activists fight for Ukraine’s disappearing Soviet mosaics

Following the implementation of Ukraine’s decommunisation law in 2015, many Soviet-era mosaics have faded from the country’s landscape. One group however, is making a stand against their disappearance, arguing that the works hold significant artistic, educational and even touristic value.

The last decade has witnessed the release of countless coffee table books dedicated to Soviet-era architecture, reflecting a growing interest, particularly in Western Europe, in buildings often typecast as “relics of a forgotten future” and “remnants of a failed utopia”, among others. Such interest has veered beyond an affection for the buildings themselves, centring on design elements such as socialist mosaics.

February 26, 2018 - Elizabeth Short

Yevpatoria. Crimea’s microcosm

An interview with Stanislav Tsalyk, a Ukrainian writer and historian. Interviewer: Katarina Novikova

KATARINA NOVIKOVA: Several years ago you wrote a book on Yevpatoria, a multi-cultural city in Crimea which seems to be a fascinating place. How did you discover Yevpatoria in the first place?

STANISLAV TSALYK: When I decided to write a historical guide to Yevpatoria, my friends were quite surprised, asking me what I could write about it. We all would visit this place as kids as it was a favourite beach resort for families in the Soviet Union. At that time, however, touring Yevpatoria was a very different experience. Sightseeing was limited to the monuments commemorating the victims of the Second World War and the Lenin monument. There were also organised tours offering visits to famous palaces in the south of Crimea, including the tsar’s residence at Livadia, the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka and others.

February 26, 2018 - Katarina Novikova Stanislav Tsalyk

A “Eurasian” Ukraine

In Ukraine it has become popular to view the country as a bulwark of democratic Europe, one that protects the continent from Moscow’s expansion or Eurasian despotism. This vision, however, neglects the fact that for centuries Ukraine was connected to the Great Steppe, stretching from the Carpathians to Korea.

The Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine has given new life to the archetype of Ukraine as a bulwark which defends Europe. As Mykhailo Hrushevskiy, the father of Ukrainian historiography, once wrote, Ukraine has played “an honourable role in protecting European civilisation from Asiatic hordes”. Ukrainian nationalists tend to orientalise Russia which is portrayed as an Asiatic or Eurasian tyranny formed by the allegedly authoritarian Mongols.

February 26, 2018 - Adam Balcer

Polish Memory Law: When history becomes a source of mistrust

The changes to the Law on the Institute of National Remembrance foster a tremendous mistrust within Poland, provoke memory wars amongst states and halt reconciliation processes between nations. The memory war also puts even more spotlight on the recent political changes in Poland.

February 19, 2018 - Uladzislau Belavusau and Anna Wójcik

Successful reforming is the key to security

To be able to effectively confront external security threats, the post-Soviet Eastern Partnership countries should overcome domestic problems and succeed in reforms – confirms a new survey of experts from Central and Eastern Europe.

February 16, 2018 - Maksym Khylko Oleksandr Tytarchuk

Russian: Between re-ethnicisation and pluricentrism

A more peaceful and stable world is possible. A de-ethnicised pluricentric Russian language – thus transformed into a colorful multiethnic and multicultural multitude of world Russians – could be a versatile means to this end.

February 9, 2018 - Tomasz Kamusella

A pro-Russian spiral

The pro-Russian activity in Ukraine was on the rise years before the annexation of Crimea. Every new turn allowed a test of new mechanisms of separatism and new arguments to justify a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. As a result, all the events which took the international community by surprise in 2014 were nothing new. They were being tested earlier.

February 5, 2018 - Yury Lobunov

President Poroshenko’s zugzwang

President Petro Poroshenko has faced a dilemma. If he supports the reforms requested by pro-European part of Ukrainian society, he will act against the basic interests of his own circle. However, if he acts in line with the interests of his associates, he will eventually find himself among the enemies of pro-European reforms.

February 2, 2018 - Yaroslav Mendus

The language of discord: Ukrainian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian

Instead of building on the concept of child-centered education, the Ukrainian authorities will likely implement the poorly designed and unprepared educational reform that will bring nothing but further controversy.

January 29, 2018 - Ararat L. Osipian

Ukraine in 2017: A summary

The situation in Ukraine, at first glance, looks good: the military conflict is frozen, the macroeconomic stability has been achieved, the economy has started to grow, and the West continues to support the country. Despite the successes, however, Ukraine has failed to meet the expectations of its citizens.

January 25, 2018 - Valerii Pekar

Why Warsaw is not supporting Kyiv as much as it should

The recently intensifying memory conflict around the interpretation of some Second World War events between Ukraine and Poland is distracting the two intertwined nations from their main international challenges today.

January 16, 2018 - Andreas Umland

Building hybrid resistance

Review of "The Hybrid Aggression of Russia: Lessons for Europe" (Гібридна агресія Росії: уроки для Європи). By: Yevhen Mahda. Publisher: Kalamar Publishing House, Kyiv, 2017.

January 8, 2018 - Tomasz Lachowski

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