Ukraine blog update

by Maria on October 13, 2006

Just a reminder that there are quite a few interesting posts on the Ukraine study tour blog. You may remember that I blogged a couple of weeks ago about taking part in a study tour of Ukraine organised by two UK trusts and stuffed with meetings with policy makers, NGOs and media people in Kiev and the Crimea. Well, now the study-tourers are all back in our respective homes, digesting what we’ve learnt and writing it up.

So far, there’s a great piece by anthropologistDaniel Washburn about faith and politics in Ukraine. It gives a potted history of orthodoxy in Ukraine and how those religious and political cleavages interact today.

Our friend in Kiev, by tour director John Lotherington, describes how the conflict and enduring civility of Ukrainian poltics are united in the person of Professor Valentin Yakushik (our ‘indefatigable mentor, guide and political matchmaker’).

Alastair Nicolson grappled with the many greys of the Ukrainian economy, using proxy indicators and eyeball evidence to get a feel for Ukraine’s prospects for economic development.

John Edward got a surprising amount of mileage out of Scottish-Ukrainian cultural links before turning to Ukraine’s recent politics and its prospects for EU entry. (Hard luck to the Tartan Army whose team lost 2-0 in Kiev this week.)

And Katie Allen wondered how politics could be cleaned up when corruption and seat-buying is cheerfully acknowledged but many journalists are still afraid to do their jobs.

There’s lots to read, and the comments are pretty much virgin territory. Plus, there’ll be several new pieces next week, including one from me on our meeting with Ukraine’s most famous living novelist, Andrei Kurkov.

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10.14.06 at 2:59 am



dearieme 10.13.06 at 2:59 pm

I grew up in rural Scotland but we had some of “Ukes” living nearby. Alas, those were days before multiculturism and diversity , so we mistakenly thought they were just people.


Matt 10.13.06 at 6:37 pm

You know, dearieme, that since it’s mostly Ukranians who want to be acknowledged as such, not doing so is treating them with less respect then a human should have.


dearieme 10.14.06 at 8:29 am

Matt, after their treatment by Stalin and then Hitler, they were delighted to be treated as just people. But they were known as “Ukes”, not “Russians” or anything else. In a world of real woes, decadent, self-congratulatory notions of “respect” had not been invented.


Matt 10.14.06 at 8:44 am

Dearieme, as is often the case with your remarks, I really don’t know what you’re talking about, and I strongly suspect you don’t, either. (You obviously know little about Ukranian nationalism, but then, you seem to know little about anything.)

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