This issue of OZ looks at the current state of affairs in Ukraine from the standpointofthe Russian-Ukrainian relationship which, the editors believe, will in many ways determine the future course of Russia, Ukraine, and Europe as a whole. The relationship between the two countries is often complicated by the fact that public consciousness, as well as the minds of politicians, tend to be obscured by deep-seated negative mythologemes/cognitive constructs that make it difficult to embrace new realities. The current issue seeks to identify and deconstruct some of these myths.
Alexander Goryanin, The Unheeded Message of Leonid Kuchma.
The article looks at the recent book by Ukraine's former President and sees it as a message to the Russian leadership offering a "cultural pact" that would transcend mutual claims to the cultural heritage dating to the period when the two countries cohabited under the same state roof. In the book, Kuchma made it quite clear that given Russia's recognition of several key premises (namely, that Russians and Ukrainians are separate, though related, nations; that reunification is out of the question; that no side makes territorial claims on the other; and that Ukraine is not Russia), the two countries could have the widest possible extent of an amicable, partner, fraternal or even "special" relationship — along the US-Canada lines. Kuchma's message went unnoticed — mainly due to an "information asymmetry" which usually means that, as the article puts it, "Ukraine is traditionally attentive to everything Russia has to say... while it is fairly difficult for Ukraine to get its point across to Russian public opinion". This "information asymmetry" is not lost on Kiev, contributing to anti-Russian sentiments in Ukraine and doing little to ease tension between the two countries.
What Shall We Do about Russia: A Roundtable.
A discussion, held on 2 February 2007 at the offices of the Kiev-based Kritika journal, brought together Russian and Ukrainian intellectuals Alexander Bogomolov, Evgeny Golovakha, Lev Gudkov, Boris Dubin, Andrei Mokrousov, Miroslav Popovich, Mykola Ryabchuk, Maxim Strikha, Les Tanyuk, and Dmitry Furman, who debate prospects for future relationship between Ukraine and Russia, examine factors impeding a speedy resolution of mutual differences, and assess the extent to which the two countries have pursued diverging political paths in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution.
Mykola Ryabchuk, The Culture of Memory and the Policy of Oblivion.
Tracing the official historical memory policy since the time Ukraine gained independence, the article maintains that this policy has been highly inconsistent — like all other Ukrainian government policy, both domestic and foreign. This inconsistency, the article contends, stems from the hybrid nature of a regime which has been an outgrowth of a situational compromise between the country's two ideological foes — nationalist democrats and sovereign communists.
Arkady Moshes, Beyond the Crossroads: Has Ukraine Made its Political Choice?
Has the choice that Ukraine made during the Orange Revolution been final and, more importantly, has it been feasible? The article tentatively answers that question in the affirmative. Even the recent return to power of forces who had been opposed by the demonstrating Maidan is presented not as the revolution's defeat, but rather as a logical consequence of a political pluralism taking hold in the country.
Andrei Malgin, UFO over the Dnieper River.
The article considers the concept of a federal makeup for Ukraine and assesses prospects for Ukrainian federalism, contending that the latter, in contrast to a unitary state, would be much more in line with historical traditions of the country's politics and would better suit the economic and social development interests of the country's territories in a bid to integrate into the united Europe.
Alexei Miller, Identity Dualism in Ukraine.
The article provides an analysis of processes that have helped shape national identities in Ukraine since the 19th century, when these processes were first set in motion. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the two major opposing self-identification strategies were those of Ukrainian identity confronting the «Pan-Russian» strategy. However, events of the first half of the 20th century precipitated the emergence of two opposing brands of the same Ukrainian identity. These two rival types of the Ukrainian identity have had distinctly regional roots, and are therefore categorized in the article as Western- and Eastern Ukrainian identities.
Oksana Mikheeva, Insights into Eastern Ukraine.
A sociologist's look at the way political affiliations influence self-identity in different parts of Ukraine, notably in Donbass region. The author notes that Donbass residents tend to display a healthy degree of skepticism and aloofness, which keeps them from rushing into joining rival political camps, while exhibiting tolerance for other people's opinions and behaviors. Unlike the population of Western Ukraine who tend to identify themselves along ethnic lines, Donbass region's citizens can be characterized as generally exhibiting a regional, territory-based type of identity; they tend to favor an authoritarian style of government associating it with stability, display a relatively low level of protest behavior and shy away from radical politicians unwilling to compromise.
Natalia Yakovenko, One Clio — Two Histories.
The article looks at the current state of Ukrainian historiography, maintaining that in today's Ukraine no clear line is being drawn between history as an objective scholarly discipline and history as a tool of the «cultural memory* policy, i.e. as a certain cultural convention designed to unite Ukrainians by way of a common set of concepts about themselves and their past. Today, most Ukrainian historians prefer to ignore the fact that «didactic» and scientific history have fundamentally different purposes and should not mix. It is understandable that having declared an ardent desire to integrate into the «true Europe*, Ukrainians now feel obliged to rely on historians to construct an Ukrainian identity that they would like to posit on the map of European multiculturalism. In academic history, however, there is a need to eliminate an asymmetry existing between Ukrainian and Western historiography discourses, something that will only be possible if Ukrainian historians adopt the kind of standards that have been established in the international scientific community during Ukraine's forced intellectual isolation.
Igor Kurukin. Hetman Mazepa: A Portrait in Different Techniques.
A fresh look at conflicting images of Ivan Mazepa that have dominated both Russian and Ukrainian fictional and scientific literature — images that tend to concentrate mainly on psychological motives for Mazepa's actions. In contrast, the article seeks to reveal the social forces that were at work behind the tragic fate of the hapless hetman.
Yaroslav Shimov. The Habsburg Legacy in Western Ukraine.
A moderate national policy practiced by the Habsburgs in Galicia, coupled with their skillful use of the divide and rule policy, notably manifested in supporting the Ukrainophile party and allowing Ruthenian leaders to participate in the political life of Austro-Hungary (as high as at the Reichstag level) — all this led to a situation whereby in the late 19th and early 20th century it was the Habsburg Empire that provided the right conditions for the rise of a Ukrainian national movement and the emergence of an independent Ukrainian identity. As a result, the Ukrainian national project gained ascendancy over alternative nation-building options, namely the «Little Rus» regional identity within the Russian national state identity; a Ukrainian identity within Polish national identity; a Russian identity for the Ruthenians of Galicia, Bukovina and the Sub-Carpathian region; and a separate Ruthenian identity.
Andrea Graziosi. Soviet Famines and the Ukrainian Holodomor.
The Italian historian discusses one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century — the Ukrainian Holodomor — a man-induced famine that claimed millions of lives. He points out that the use of the term Holodomor (Genocide Famine) is in fact legitimate since it helps to set the Ukrainian famine of 1932 apart from other famines that swept through the Soviet Union in 1931#1932. Graziosi maintains that there is no doubt that the famine involved a genocide of the Ukrainian nation.
Yuri Shapoval, Underground Resistance Movement in Western Ukraine.
The Ukrainian historian looks at the clandestine nationalist resistance in Western Ukraine during the period between 1944 and the mid-1950s. Drawing on archive documents, he offers a comprehensive picture of a struggle between the authorities and the OUN/UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army), revealing a wealth of unique facts and statistics.
Vladimir Lapkin, Sizing Each Other Up.
How do the people of Russia and Ukraine perceive the other's country? The key difference between the two countries, the author believes, lies in the fact they have completely different agendas. Russia seeks to create around itself a specific centralized sociopolitical and economic zone, displaying a willingness to challenge other world powers. Ukraine, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with building a national state along European lines, but is being pulled in different directions by the polarizing and destabilizing pressures emanating from two world power centers — the European Union and Russia. These agenda differences are reflected in public perceptions in the two countries, and impact their citizens' mutual attitudes and relationships.
Elena Shmeleva, Us and Them through the Prism of Jokes.
When telling jokes about Ukrainians, the Russians jokingly imitate the Ukrainian language, rather than imitating the accent as is generally the
case with other Russian ethnic jokes. Parodying Ukrainian speech, making fun of funny-sounding Ukrainian words and names, as well as an outsider's POV of Ukrainians' day-to-day habits and ethnic characteristics — these are all unmistakable signs that jokes about Ukrainians are produced in the Russian language environment. The article reveals links between character speech portrayals/typical joke plots and the relevant ethnic stereotypes.
Veronika Movchan, Between the EU and the Russian Markets.
Economically, Ukraine has been gradually drifting away from Russia despite a significant dependence on the latter's energy supplies, and has been increasingly orienting itself toward the West. Imports from the EU have grown and now equal imports from Russia which have been steadily declining. The article quotes numbers indicating that this trend is likely to continue and that future business relationship with Russia will mostly revolve around Ukraine's transit potential.
Vladimir Milov, Energy Speculations.
Is there any truth to the commonly held belief about Russia "subsidizing" the Ukrainian economy through lower fuel prices and about Ukraine being totally dependent on Russian energy supplies? The article rejects these misconceptions out of hand, but cautions that tensions in the energy sphere are bound to persist as long as the governments of both countries feel compelled to lobby the interests of state monopolies and refuse to open the energy sector to free market competition.
At the Source of the Church Discords. A publication by Alexander Kravetsky.
The text of the 1918 report by Archbishop Platon (Rozhdestvensky) to the Russian Orthodox Council provides an insight into the events at the All-Ukrainian Church Council meeting which had been convened by proponents of Ukrainian Church autocephaly.
Victor Elensky, Religion and the Shaping of the Modern Ukrainian Nation.
Despite all its unification policies, the Russian Orthodox Church has, for a number of reasons, played a major role in the shaping of the Ukrainian nation. The article examines those reasons and discusses the religious situation in present-day Ukraine, predicting that the Kiev Patriarchy, which had broken away from the
Russian Orthodox Church, will soon be declared a fully fledged independent Church playing an even greater role in solidifying Ukrainian national identity.
Oksana Zhironkina, Observations on the Language Situation in Ukraine.
The article discusses language dichotomy in Ukraine, observing that the country's contradictory language policy, coupled with ambivalent language legislation, provides Ukrainian speakers with enough of a legal framework to defend their cultural and language rights, while allowing Russian speakers to use Russian in numerous communicative situations if they so wish. The fact that the Ukrainian language is somewhat functionally underdeveloped leads to a situation whereby Ukrainians display a contradictory language behavior, use mixed language forms and stick to dual self-identification.
Volodymyr Kulyk, Language Ideologies in Ukrainian Political and Intellectual Discourses.
The article investigates the language situation in Ukraine, providing a critical analysis of the country's three language-related discourses — the «center-ground» discourse (which predominated during former President Leonid Kuchma's term of office and which is still prevalent today), the Ukrainian language-oriented discourse, and the Russian language-focused discourse, with the authorities seeking to marginalize the latter two.
THE COUNTRY OF OZ
Lev Khurges, Radio Amateur Remembers
In the current installment of the memoir the author offers an account of how in 1936 he traveled to fight on the side of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. A surprise call from the Intelligence Department of the Red Army General Staff, a brief instruction session, two days to pack — and he found himself on a perilous sea journey aboard a ship laden with five thousand tons of munitions bound for Spain.
Tatiana Avdeenko, Lilia Zhuravleva, A Border Across People's Lives: a Tale of the Russian-Ukrainian village of Uspenka.
A research article by tenth grade high school students from a small town in Rostov Region tells how in 1995 a wall was erected in a peaceful border village in order to divide the Ukranian section of the village from its Russian part.