Volodymyr Kravchenko: “Experts on Ukraine: All Hands on Deck!”

Volodymyr Kravchenko: “Experts on Ukraine: All Hands on Deck!”

A response by Volodymyr Kravchenko to the article by Vladimir Golstein in Forbes “Why Everything You’ve Read About Ukraine Is Wrong” (5/19/2014)

Photo: Russian propaganda. Illustration for Volodymyr Kravchenko's "Experts on Ukraine: All Hands on Deck!"
Russian propaganda. Source: Al Jazeera

To put it plainly, it has been a long time since I read so shoddy a text signed by a representative of an academic corporation as the article by an American Slavist at Brown University, Vladimir Golstein, published in Forbes on May 19 of this year.

Forget everything you’ve read so far about Ukraine. A little-known specialist in nineteenth-century Russian literature, hitherto unremarked in Ukrainian studies, will tell you what is actually going on in present-day Ukraine. I shall venture to comment on some of the theses put forward in the article, which has shocked many readers. Read more

Bohdan Nahaylo on Ukraine’s Presidential Election

Bohdan Nahaylo: “Ukraine’s Presidential Election Hopes and Blues”

Photo: Ballot boxes. Illustration for Bohdan Nahaylo's “Ukraine’s Presidential Election Hopes and Blues”
Ballot boxes. Source: intvua.com

After tense weeks of waiting and uncertainty, Ukraine has managed to elect a new president in the first round of voting. The convincing victory of Petro Poroshenko symbolizes the consolidated will of a people united and determined to be itself, to exercise its right to self-determination both in its choice of a transparent democratic system of government and in its alignment with the Euro-Atlantic community and its values. Read more

Poroshenko’s Finlandisation and Non-Bloc Status vs Tymoshenko’s NATO

Photo: Petro Poroshenko. Illustration for Taras Kuzio's "Poroshenko’s Finlandisation and Non-Bloc Status vs Tymoshenko’s NATO."
Petro Poroshenko. Source: tsn.ua

Taras Kuzio 

Support for NATO membership is at an all-time high of 44% – the highest it has ever been was in the late 1990s (before the emergence of the anti-NATO and anti-American Party of Regions) when it was a third in favour. What polls also show is a decline of the number of Ukrainians who are against NATO membership from a very high figure under President Viktor Yanukovych to figures even lower than in the late 1990s when a third opposed. Read more

Orobets is the European Choice for Kyiv – not Klitschko

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Taras Kuzio

The re-registration of Lesya Orobets as a candidate for Kyiv Mayor was the right and just decision to make. The actions of the UDAR-Solidarity team in attempting to remove her show how little they have in common with democracy and European values (as to fighting corruption they cannot have anything in common when Dmytro Firtash is financing Petro Poroshenko’s election campaign). Read more

History Reversed – History Re-lived

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Bohdan Nahaylo

During the half-a-year since the courageous students in the Maidan dared to declare “enough!” and to sound the clarion call to national revolution, we have witnessed: the heroic resistance to, and overthrow of, a corrupt, cynical, and in essence anti-Ukrainian regime; the immediate back-lash from the ancient regime’s backers in the Kremlin aimed at denying Ukraine’s right as a sovereign nation to self-determination, both internally in terms of its democratic choice, and externally as regards self-identification and alignment with the Euro-Atlantic community of states and their values; and, annexation via brutal force, subterfuge and a pseudo-referendum of Crimea, and the replication of these vile methods, with a similar anti-Ukrainian aim, in the Donbas.

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What Should We do with the Donbas?

ДОНЕЦКАЯ РЕСПУБЛИКА

Taras Kuzio

Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (Donbas) are in the hands of terrorist separatists. Kyiv’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (a better name could have been given for this) is making progress in some cities but because Kyiv (unlike Russia in Chechnya) is unwilling to accept large numbers of civilian casualties progress will be limited. Historians and political experts will spend the next few years analysing how this region was so quickly taken over which can be reduced to five factors:

Firstly, undoubtedly Russian “green men” played an important role in giving professional expertise to hitherto marginal pan-Slavic and pro-Russian groups. Read more

The Putin and Tymoshenko Conundrum

b52aadaed8_126804David Marples

Vladimir Putin has suggested a postponement of the referenda in Donetsk and Luhansk, and offered his support for the Ukrainian presidential elections, scheduled for May 25, as a good first step toward resolving the Ukraine crisis.

His apparent moderation of tone recently prompts me to revisit a scenario that emerged earlier in the Euromaidan upheavals. In reality it is probably at best one of many conceivable options with which the Russia president may be toying with regard to Ukraine.

The scenario may seem so far-fetched as to be unworthy of considering. It stems from an alleged leak of a conversation between Yulia Tymoshenko and Nestor Shufrych of the National Security Council of Ukraine held in March. Tymoshenko appeared to suggest that Ukrainians should kill Russians and assassinate President Putin. According to Moscow Times (cited in The Washington Post), although Shufrych rejected the authenticity of the statement, an entry from Tymoshenko on Twitter appeared to verify the comments as representing her position. Read more

Gas Contracts and Fighting Corruption

Gas Contracts and Fighting Corruption: The Long Link between Lyubi Druzi and Firtash
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Taras Kuzio

Lingering doubt over Yulia Tymoshenko’s signing of the 2009 gas contract with then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has remained. Nevertheless, what is clearly seen in Ukraine’s gas relations with Russia during the last decade are three points. Firstly, it would be mistaken to assume only one Ukrainian gas contract (signed in 2009) was bad when all of them were corrupt. Secondly, there was little to differentiate the 2006, 2009 and 2010 gas contracts in terms of their poor quality. Thirdly, the so-called “pragmatic wing” (Lyubi Druzi) of the national democratic camp have never viewed gas intermediaries with Russia as problematic and some, such as Peto Yushchenko made millions from them. Serhiy  Taruta was reported by a US diplomatic cable as saying  that Viktor ‘Yushchenko never raised gas intermediaries as a problem that required a resolution and was comfortable with RUE.’

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Volodymyr Kravchenko on Putin’s Ukraine Doctrine

Putin’s Ukraine Doctrine: in captivity stereotypes

Volodymyr Kravchenko,
CIUS Director,
University of Alberta, Edmonton

1395224096_krim-russkiy The two heads of the eagle on Russia’s coat of arms, said to face both East and West, seem today to be pulling to the past and to the future, history and geography. In Eastern Europe, geography is in constant battle with history, never more so than today as Russia tests its new/old political doctrine in Ukraine.

President Putin held a telethon on April 17 designed to highlight his Ukraine policy following on his annexation of Crimea. Performing supporting roles at this stage-managed ceremony were representatives of the Russian opposition and Western analysts, members of the Valdai Club. I hope those in attendance won’t take offense, but they were a sorry spectacle.

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Interview with Vadym Khmarsky

Vadym Khmarsky: “Odesa has no problems with Ukrainian patriotism”

Oleksandr Pankieiev, coordinator of the Contemporary Ukraine Research Forum: The Case of Euromaidan, interviewed Vadym Khmarsky, Ukrainian historian, Professor, Head of Department of History of Ukraine and Vice-President of the Odessa National University. Vadym Khmarsky told Oleksandr Pankieiev about the preconditions of the Ukrainian crisis and shared his own feelings.