Ukraine: link roundup

Tobias’ post below has some good analysis of what’s happening in Ukraine at the moment, so I’ll restrict myself to a few links.

The situation is being discussed in the European Parliament today – David McDuff has the text of a draft resolution that will be discussed.
Siberian Light discusses the economic effects of the protests. The FT also looks at the measures being taken to stabilise the Ukrainian economy during the crisis.
Via Neeka, who also has other updates, comes news of another new blog – UA Rule Of Law – looking at legal aspects of the crisis.
There are several updates to Notes From Kiev, including links to interesting articles in the Moscow Times – Now Ukraine Has Earned Its Independence and The Guardian, where Nick Paton Walsh looks at some of the family ties in the crisis.
Orange Ukraine has updates, including a call for people to volunteer as election observers.
Meanwhile, millions of people have gone on strike to protest against the government – oh sorry, that’s in Italy.

9 thoughts on “Ukraine: link roundup

  1. Our friend John Laughland weighs in on David Aaronovitch’s fisking of him yesterday (scroll down). He makes further allegations about anti-semitism amongst Yushchenko supporters:

    But I wonder if Aaronovitch’s Googling led him to use as a source an article entitled “Can a lobbyist for dictators work as a journalist?”, a recently posted attack on me which is almost identical to his own. The home page, Ukrainian Archive, which has links to all the western-backed “pro-democracy” groups in Ukraine itself, also carries virulently antisemitic articles about the Jewish proclivity for rape, and about how the gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have existed.

    Someone should look into whether Laughland’s charges of rampant anti-semitism have any substance. It may all be nonsense, but we shouldn’t entirely dismiss the possibility that he’s right about something. The cause of democracy in Ukraine would not be served by ignoring or whitewashing incovenient facts about ‘our’ side.

  2. Le Sabot looks at the anti-semitism issue here (see also the comments to that post for information) as does Jon Edelstein here. I have to say that I’d generally give both of them much more trust than Laughland, and neither of them find too much too complain about, and definitely not the levels of anti-semitism seems to think exist – and note that his attribution of anti-semitism comes from a rather tenuous linkage of ‘someone who criticised me and supports the opposition is an an anti-semite, therefore all the opposition is as well’

  3. Arrgh..preview is your friend – that part in the middle should read ‘and definitely not the levels of anti-semitism Laughland seems to think exist’

  4. Indeed. And, even allowing arguendo that Laughland can proffer some really crass examples of anti-semitism among Ukrainian nationalists, so what? Without doing any research at all, I’d be prepared to bet ?1 that such stuff could be found. But the crowds gathered beneath the orange banner do not in any way seem to be a mass anti-Jewish movement.

    The Solidarnosc movement, and Polish nationalism of that day in general, were deeply informed by Roman Catholicism (though of course that was not the only strain in the movement). Not all of that sentiment was sweetness and light. Are we to think Laughlandianly, then, and wish Poland back under the Soviet thumb because Radio Maryja is deeply unpleasant?

  5. David F., Laughland is correct on the Ukrainian Archive. You can find much anti-semitic idiocy and paranoia here; just one exerpt:

    Simply because it has been documented on the Ukrainian Archive that inciting fear and hatred of Ukrainians is an integral part of Jewish culture. The question becomes germane then of whether this incitement is financed, at least in part, by a hidden Jewish tax upon all Canadians, and thus whether Ukrainian-Canadians are in effect subsidizing Jews to engineer such anti-Ukrainian pageants as the misnamed Desch?nes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, or such anti-Ukrainian spectacles as the current spate of half-century-old immigration-infraction prosecutions being conducted by Canada’s so-called war crimes unit.

    I included this excerpt because it points to the uneasy part about Ukrainian anti-semitism (and further to a reason I dismiss Nick’s ‘authorities’ just because they were on site): its connection to the nationalist take on own history.

    By many nationalists, those Ukrainians who opposed the Soviet Union during WWII are heroised despite fighting alongside the Nazis, and there is boiling conflict with Ukrainian and outside Jews on the subject. What the approach of Yushchenko and the parties behind him could be criticised of is not (necessarily) being anti-semites themselves, but of failing to confront this revisionist historicism and thus stop what it brews. [*]

    While Le Sabot got no anti-semitic fliers, superficial Western observers won’t note at the Orange protests are symbols – songs or flags or slogans originating from or alluding to these nineteen-forties anti-communist times. Yes, such were reported.

    On the other hand, I agree with Mrs T inasmuch that I don’t believe this is the main or even a defining character of the Orangemen.

    But, if you brought up Poland, it gives further reason to caution: in my impression anti-semitism is strongest in the EU in Poland, as politics and top clergy largely failed to confront strongly the nationalist-ultraclerical tendencies (e.g. Radio Maryja etc.) that grew on the right of the Solidarnosc – and Polish nationalists don’t have Nazi collaborators to whitewash as national heroes.

    [*] There was also the story of Yushchenko giving the recommendation to some historian or book on Ukrainian history who/which did some holocaust denial in the process, but I can’t recall the details.

  6. Arrgh… committed what Nick did; two missing parts in the last two paragraphs above:

    …defining character of Orangemen, or even that the majority feels like that.

    …the nationalist-ultraclerical tendencies that also spout virulently anti-semitic propaganda (e.g. Radio Maryja etc.)…

  7. Thanks, DoDo.

    I’d hesitate to use the word Orangeman. In my part of the world, it conjures up images of bowler-hatted fanatics who march around to show who owns the place…

  8. Sadly, in Ukrainian culture, there still is quite a bit of anti-semitism. Usually it is seen in “jokes” or conversations that move to “blame the Jews for everything.” These attitudes are not linked with Yushchenko or Yanukovich politically. And, unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll disappear, regardless of the outcome of the election and protests.

    However, it’s way, way off mark to link Yushchenko with anti-semitism. While these attitudes won’t likely disappear if he’s elected, I can assure you that they won’t be encouraged or fed either.

  9. OK, Tulipgirl 🙂

    David, do you mean the Northern Ireland idiots? Sorry I forgot about that obvious connection… (My first association was with supporters of the Dutch national football team!) I’ll refrain from using ‘Orangemen’ henceforth.

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