Great Revolution of Minds

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Kate Dremova
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Computer Sciences
Master Program (1st year)
from Kyiv city

Euromaidan was not only a revolution on the street as a sociopolitical phenomenon which caused changes in the Ukrainian government; it has become a great revolution in the minds of Ukrainian people. As a result, they have discarded a lot of prejudices, have become extremely consolidated in their actions, and have deeply realized their Ukrainian identity.

Firstly, there were a lot of people of different nationalities, languages and views of Maidan. The majority of them came to support in spite of fear at heart. Ukrainians showed kindness, sincerity, and open-mindedness. They welcomed everyone with open heart and they were seen as peaceful and intelligent people. Read more

Volunteer’s View of EuroMaidan

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Oleksandra Chubenko
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies
Master Program (2nd year)
from Cherkassy

In 1963, a civil rights activist Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech for thousands of Afro-Americans asking them to stand up from their knees and become free at last. Now, in 2013, millions of Ukrainian citizens united to express their solidarity with the principles proclaimed in Luther’s speech.

Ukrainian struggle for freedom began in November 2013, when the peaceful demonstrations for Euro-integration unexpectedly resulted in violent wrestles between Maidan activists and military forces. The consequences were more than dramatic: almost 100 people perished, more than 300 went missing whereas tens of others are still in hospitals fighting for their lives. That was a turning point in the history of independent Ukraine, as millions of Ukrainian patriots went out into the streets to show their disobedience with the President’s decisions.

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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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Ukrainians Before and After Euromaidan

Andriy Buniak
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Computer Sciences
Master Program in
Information Control Systems and Technologies (1st year)
from Volodymyr-Volynsky town, Volyn’ region

One of the most significant achievements the Euromaidan resulted in was the dramatic change, the evolution of the Ukrainians as a nation. Considering the national spirit’s strength, the feeling of unity and the struggle of democratic changes, the Ukrainians have become one nation in the terms of a few months.

Firstly, the spirit of the Ukrainians have evolved significantly. After the Orange revolution, which definitely brought nothing but disappointment to the major part of its participants, the morale of the nation was heavily damaged. Ukrainians felt cheated and frustrated that resulted in many years of apathy and despair considering political activity. Even the first steps of Euromaidan were met with a bit of skepticism due to the comparisons with the past failures. Nevertheless, long tough months of revolution 2014 have changed the minds even of the strongest critics. The dedication and courage shown on the Independence Square inspired the increase of patriotism throughout the whole country. Today despite all the tough circumstances the victory was get in, the Ukrainians feel optimistic and confident as they have no moral right to fail with their political choice again. Read more

The Wind of Changes vs The Wind of Shame

Yuriy Borodulin,
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Master Program of Chemistry (1st year)
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
From Kyiv region

Maidan as a social phenomenon is like the Wind of Changes; on the contrary, Antimaidan is just like the Wind of Shame for Ukraine.

First of all, Maidan was initiated by people`s will. Ukrainians could not bear anymore the political disorder, lies of the leaders of our country, and the corruptive schemes killing the future of Ukraine. In contrast to Maidan, Antimaidan was created by ruling political forces who had all the power in Ukraine. The people of Antimaidan were gathered for payment, and they had nothing in their minds except money.

Secondly, Maidan took place on the central square of Kyiv, the place which became the symbol of Ukrainian revolution. The number of participants on Maidan reached more than one million, and everyone came here by their own wills. That fact proves high patriotism of Maidan people. As for the number of Antimaidan`s pseudopatriots, they hardly reached a few thousand. Antimaidan took place in Mariinsky park, where the people were organized to be delivered by trains and busses.

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Getting Violent

Viktoriia Biliaieva
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies
Master Program of Political Science (1st year)
from Zaporizhzhia city

EuroMaidan started as a peaceful movement. No one could possibly think it would turn violent. But it did. By chance, I witnessed the first clash between protesters and Special Forces. On the one hand, I was shocked by such developments and terrified as my friends and I stood on the way of protesters in masks who were trying to run away from Berkut. But I have to admit it also appeared to be funny and exciting, and the second filling was dominant. Only the next day, when my friends and me watched videos and photos from the epicentre of the clash, we realised that we were in real danger, which brought doubts about the possibility to justify violence. That attitude changed again as violence proved to be needed in order for the revolution to win. That is why I feel that my attitude to violence as a means of achieving goals by people changed considerably in the course of the revolution from inability to imagine its use to understanding that it may be the only way to change the situation that cannot be changed otherwise. Read more

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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Seminar: “Maidan: The Church in the Public Square”

CIUS Seminar Series: Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Cyril Hovorun’s “Maidan: The Church in the Public Square”


APTOPIX Ukraine Protest
“Maidan: The Church in the Public Square
Speaker: Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Cyril Hovorun
This seminar will focus on the role of the Ukrainian churches in the Maidan, which had a strong religious dimension. As mass protests developed in Kyiv in late 2013, representatives of Ukraine’s many churches were there in the square among the people, providing those in need with material and spiritual assistance. The building of a new Ukraine also entails the active participation of these churches on the “construction site.”
Archimandrite Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Cyril Hovorun, a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is a past chair of its Department of External Church Relations. He has been active in ecumenical dialogue among the churches in Ukraine and abroad. Fr. Hovorun teaches and does research on patristics, church history, ecclesiology, political theology, and the sociology of religion. He holds a candidate degree from the Kyiv Theological Academy and a PhD in theology from the University of Durham. He is the author of Will, Action, and Freedom: Christological Controversies in the Seventh Century (Leiden: Brill, 2008). Fr. Hovorun is currently a research fellow at Yale University, where he is working on a project about the church in the public square, focusing on the patterns of behaviour of the Eastern churches.

Thursday, 15 May 2014, 2:00 p.m.
128 Education Building (South)

with another presentation at:
St. John’s Cultural Centre
10611 – 110 Avenue, at 7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life and the Program on Religion and Culture at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta

For further information, please contact

David Goa at 780-504-5942 / dgoa@ualberta.ca

Heather Coleman at 780-492-3922 / hcoleman@ualberta.ca