UKRAINIAN THEMES ACROSS A VARIETY OF CEU PRESS PUBLICATIONS
This compilation features books of the Central European University Press, published since its establishment in 1993, that have some relevance to Ukraine, its history and culture. After the latest release, titles in the backlist are arranged by content: contemporary topics are on top, older themes below. For more substantial information about the content and availability, please click on the covers of the book, or on the links inserted into the citations.
“For the ‘Banderites,’ the Soviet heritage is the root of all ills not only in the past but in the present as well. For the ‘Sovki,’ the cause of misery is precisely the rejection of the Soviet heritage.”—Memory Crash.
“The key figures of the populist pantheon adapted by Soviet authorities, Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, and Ivan Franko, all successfully returned to the national/nationalist narrative of the past from the wax museum of the Soviet era or the Cossack myth that flourished under Soviet rule.”
“The first twenty years of the twenty-first century in Ukraine witnessed four attempts to align school history curricula with the changing political situation.”
“In April 2015, a new law completely transformed the memory narrative about World War II. It removed Soviet formulas from commemorations of the war; the ‘Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945’ mutated into the ‘Victory over Nazism in World War II.’”
“There is little evidence to support a desire for Russian occupation; but local residents support more autonomy and control over resources. They prefer to do business with Russia rather than the European Union or the West.”—The War in Ukraine's Donbas.
“Russia sent a combination of intelligence and mercenary forces into eastern Ukraine to foment rebellion and overthrow local governments. The attempt failed.”
“Weak international response and successful implementation of the ‘Kerch operation’ as well as pressuring Ukraine in the Sea of Azov may be assessed as a large tactical regional success for the Kremlin.”
“We are not Donetsk bandits, we are not zombies, and we know Europe not from Soviet textbooks. We have our own view of the world, our own truth.”
“The Donetsk People’s Republic created almost all state attributes modeled after Russia. It only lacks a constitutional court and board of audit, which makes its reintegration into Ukraine even more unrealistic.”
Books with a Ukrainian focus on CEU back list, contemporary topics on top, historical themes below:
“Most scholars acknowledge regionalism as a key factor in Ukrainian culture. However, there is neither a coherent understanding of the roots, character and implications of regionalism nor a consensus over the number of regions in Ukraine.”—from the collective volume of an interdisciplinary empirical research on regional specificities in Ukraine.
“The simplified view of Ukraine as a country split into two clearly demarcated parts—the democratic, pro-European and mentally familiar west, and the totalitarian, pro-Russian and mentally foreign east—has been common among a number of domestic and foreign observers.”
“The process of post-Soviet nationalization is reflected in the fact that an increasing number of people have identified with Ukrainian citizenship and accepted Ukrainian as the state language. At the same time, there has been a process of regionalized historical imagination.”
“Many residents of east Ukraine have nurtured a distinctive regional identity, which is now decisive for Ukraine’s next steps as a country. The expression this identity finds at the intersection of literature and memory.”
The monograph addresses the literature that has been created by what the author calls “the doubletake generation”, which was entering adulthood when the Soviet Union fell apart. While some of authors discussed have been the object of considerable critical attention (especially Zhadan), others (Krasniashchikh, Tsaplin, Kotsarev etc.) have not, and will in all likelihood be discoveries for many readers of this book.
The study models a way of writing about the Ukrainian and Russian components of cultural experience in Ukraine’s East that sees them as elements of a continuum, not as antagonistic parts of cultural entities whose centres are elsewhere.
The politics of state formation in Ukraine in the 1990s. "Two highly convincing points on the national question and on state building. First, the national question was the most important obstacle in adopting the constitution. Second, the process of adopting the constitution was very different from the process in established postcommunist and western states. Constitutionalism was a central element of state building in post-Soviet Ukraine."—Slavic Review.
The state-building process in Ukraine, compared to Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia. "The timely creation of solid political institutions without the interference of mafia and oligarchic groups leads to better and more effective state-building policies is compelling and persuasive."—Comparative Political Studies.
In August 2002 two little girls from a village in Transcarpathia “saw the most beautiful white Lady. She was standing on a cloud, embellished with wonderful blossoms that did not touch the ground.”
The research about this Marian apparition provided a scholarly opportunity to explore its impact on the community, the stages of the erection of the pilgrimage site, the state of affairs in the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, pros and cons of the Ruthenian/Rusyn movement, struggles for Ukrainian statehood and national unity and, more generally, the significance of the idea of “unity” (iednist’) among the local population.
“There were some priests who fully realized the possible dangers of my work for the church, but embraced it anyway. I am very grateful to them for sharing with me their conviction that transparency should also apply to the church as an organization.”
The role of various armed groups fighting on the Ukrainian fronts during WWII. Who were heroes, who were villains? "Nation-building in Ukraine is far from complete, and it seems unlikely that the population from the southern and eastern regions of the country will ever fully internalise the Ukrainian national idea, as it is ingrained in Western Ukraine. An interesting case study of what happens to the discipline of history when it is suddenly set the formidable task of rewriting history and becomes inseparable from political intrigue."—Europe-Asia Studies.
A multidimensional history of cultures, religious denominations, languages, ethical norms, and historical experience leading up to today's Ukraine. "As the editors point out in their introduction, Ukraine's history lends itself particularly well to the transnational approach since it was not a strong nation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The accidental outcome of this book is the provision of an alternative reader of Ukrainian history, a welcome development for a new nation with a troubled and complex past."—Slavic Review.
The Ukrainian question is analyzed as handled by the Empire in the 19th century. "Without doubt this is the most thorough analysis to date of the emergence of an Imperial policy toward the Ukrainian movement and the process of defining 'Russianness' as coterminous with Great Russian language and culture."—Russian Review.
“While Kievan Rus’ has great significance for developments in eastern Europe, the origins of Carpathian Rus’ are to be found first and foremost in Carpathian Rus’ itself” – establishes the encyclopedic volume on the Carpatho-Rusyns.
“Being a stateless people, it is difficult to determine with any precision the number of Carpatho-Rusyns. According to the most recent official governmental census data, there are 104,000 Carpatho-Rusyns worldwide. Other informed sources suggest that the number could be as high as 1.7 million.”
“After 1989, local Ukrainian-oriented organizations and spokespeople rejected what they branded as ‘Rusyn separatism’ and ‘political Rusynism.’ There was, however, a positive side to such criticism, based on the principle that new movements are able to focus better on specific goals when they are criticized from without.”
Part regional cultural geography, and part history, sociology, and travelogue, this book follows the Dnipro from its source in western Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea. Also in time, from the exquisite beauty of Scythian gold; the achievements of Kyivan Rus; the Mongol destruction of Kyiv; the Cossack dominion; the colonization of Ukraine; the epic battles for the river’s bridges in World War II, the building of dams and huge reservoirs by the Soviet Union, and the crisis of Chornobyl (Chernobyl).
The reader is taken also to Shevchenko’s burial place – Щоб лани широкополі / І Дніпро, і кручі / Було видно, -- було чути, / Як реве ревучий!
“Ukraine has a lot of work ahead before it can become truly ‘European.’ It cannot succeed without investment in its central river; without such investment, it will continue to thrash about uncertainly, causing money and talent to leave the country, and continue being victim to a much stronger neighbour that keeps chewing at its edges. Ukraine’s future is tied closely to the future of Ukraine’s River.”
“The increasing affirmation of Polishness among Lviv’s Jews led to a change in many families who, once assimilated to German culture and language, now switched to Polish.”—about Lviv and Wroclaw.
“After the flow of peasants to Brazil and Argentina slowed, industry in the U.S. and the prairies of Canada began to attract laborers. Between 1890 and 1910, Galicia lost almost 800,000 people to migration.”
“In 1939, Arkhitektura Radians’koi Ukrainy repeated slogans about a ‘new, happy and free life’ for the ‘old Ukrainian city of Lviv’.”
“The legend of coffee from Lviv as the ‘best’, is carefully nourished in marketing communications today, despite ironic comments by coffee drinkers.”
“Multiculturalism is a ‘safe’ concept only when it applies to nations that do not participate in the dispute over to whom Lviv belongs in the national sense—this is the case of Lvovian Jews, also Armenians; and when it can be reduced to general decorative ‘Lvivness’ that one can interpret as one pleases.”
“Ukrainian preachers were not prone to present the Devil or the lesser demons as comic figures, but approached them quite seriously, recognizing them as dangerous creatures.”—from a book on witchcraft.
“As dedicated servants of Satan, witches receive attention from the preachers. In the sermons and treatises, witches are most frequently mentioned among grave sinners, similarly to their representation in Orthodox art.”
“It examines the phenomenon of witchcraft from a thoroughly Ukrainian perspective. It is the first attempt to provide the English-speaking reader, scholar and non-scholar alike, with a view of this phenomenon separate and distinct from its manifestations in Poland and Russia. To be sure, the author situates Ukrainian witchcraft and the trials that accompanied it within the broader European (and even African) context.”— Russ Zguta, University of Missouri
“Very few—only 7 out of the 198 investigated Ukrainian trials involved the application of torture.”
Other titles from the backlist, with relevance to Ukraine. Contemporary topics on top, historical themes below::
“There is a Left that fights imperialism, aggression and war crimes, while remaining silent on Russian aggression in Ukraine and Assad’s war crimes in Syria.” —from the most stirring responses to the inquiry of the Eurozine online magazine about the current state of East-West relations.
“There is a growing Ukraine fatigue, with many in favor of pressuring the Ukrainian government to make compromises with Russia. This would amount to a triumph of appeasement, paving the road to the further destabilization of Europe.”
“Nowadays, Ukraine is the most hated country in Russia, largely because Ukrainian independence has profoundly challenged the Russian concept of empire.”
“Leon Trotsky is still the most famous person to have been born in what is now the independent state of Ukraine, something that is seldom discussed and certainly not celebrated therein.”
“The criminal underworld was one of the most important sources of cadres for Ukrainian clans. Thus, we can speak not only about ethnicity but also criminality-based clans.”—from the momentous endeavor of analyzing post-communist regimes.
“The Donetsk regional group (together with some minor clans from Crimea, Vinnytsia and other regions) established the Party of Regions. This party was successful at liaising between established clans and groups of local elites from southeastern Ukraine.”
“Running the state as a criminal organization, the chief patron risks persecution and going into prison if he loses. In the post-communist region, we may mention three notable examples: Nikola Gruevski in Macedonia, Vladimir Plahotniuc in Moldova, and Viktor Yanukovich, who was overthrown in the Euromaidan revolution and has been in exile in Russia since, while a Ukrainian court sentenced him in absentia to thirteen years’ imprisonment for high treason. “
“Kaczyński has two different visions of international relations, one for the West and one for the East. In relations with the West, Poland is the subject of economic and political subordination that limits its sovereignty. With regard to the East, the approach is characterized by a liberal or even an idealistic attitude, with the central role played by legal and ethical norms. The West, according to the general logic of PiS, is ‘using’ Poland, but Poland wants to ‘democratize’ Ukraine.”
From a collection of essays on current Polish politics.
“In an example of what has been termed ‘conservative post-modernism’—relativizing truth—PiS historians have tackled the Wołyn (Volhynia) massacres of July 1943. It is argued that while Poles could not possibly have committed a massacre such as Jedwabne because they were neighbours, Ukrainian neighbours committed violence that was much worse.”
“73 percent of Poles considered the influx of Middle Eastern refugees to Europe a ‘major threat’ to their country, even more so than Vladimir Putin‘s Russia, which started a war in neighboring Ukraine.”
“The director of the Russian World Foundation’s European programs envisions the ‘Russian world’ as consisting of concentric circles, formed around the nucleus of ‘Russia and other postSoviet Slavic countries,’ namely Belarus and Ukraine.”—from a book on how Russia is being constructed as a supranational entity.
“The book offers a deeper insight into the processes of identity formation that took place in Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.”
“A rhymed headline in the popular tabloid Komsomol’skaya Pravda represented Ukraine’s alternative of choosing between Eurasian and European integrations respectively as the choice between a ‘common home’ and ‘the EuroSodom’.”
“The Ukraine crisis—despite some of the official rhetoric about Russia’s ‘national interest’—was much more than a clash of rationally calculated and rationally understood interests. It was a more fundamental clash of different realities whose growing discrepancy had apparently been overlooked.”
“The Euromaidan was a post-colonial revolution aimed at overcoming the Soviet past, self-liberation from Russia’s imperial claims, and reclamation of the ‘kidnapped West.’ However, it also confronted neoliberal rationality and suggested an ideological alternative to the current Western social and political system.”—from the collection of essays on the afterlife of 1989.
“Ukrainians critiqued not just post-communist corruption, but indeed political liberalism itself. Instead, they championed a ‘civic democracy’ that would fulfill the radical promise of nineteen eighty-nine.”
“Existing critiques stress that the Euromaidan not only unified the country, but also produced new ruptures in Ukrainian society by excluding those who did not share its values and visions.”
“When we read accounts of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the story is often told as an echo of 1989 and of the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia in 2000.”—from a monograph on the relevance of the concept of Central Europe.
“Ukraine’s media environment between 1998 and 2004 was a hybrid model, in which there were some media outlets owned by the state, and some privatized; censorship existed, but without ideological goals, only to preserve the consolidation of power by Kuchma and the oligarchs who owned the two largest media companies.”
“As long as there is an eastern border to Europe, there will be a dilemma for those cultural actors who are forced to define themselves as Eastern or Western—for instance, the Ukrainian artists and writers who have been asked to declare their allegiance to either Russia or Europe in the wake of recent violence and separatism.”
Besides smart gambling on the geopolitical position of Belarus, the interests of a variety of energy policy actors in Russia and Belarus have contributed to the successes of the Lukashenka regime. This monograph points at certain resemblance with Ukraine under President Leonid Kuchma (1994–2004). While some observers have referred to Lukashenka’s role in “balancing” between the various “clans”, any similarities with Kuchma’s “balancing” of various important economic-political groups (“clans”) in Ukraine are dwarfed by the reality that Lukashenka played a much more central role there than Kuchma ever did.
Gorbachev: When western Ukraine started talking about independence, Crimea announced that if this happens it would go to Russia. Moreover, Crimea was declared itself autonomous as the result. And residents of the Donets Basin remembered that after the Revolution, a Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic was created there. So they said they may want to restore it. Hungary’s claims to Ukrainian territories also came up. The question is: what will be left of Ukraine? July 1991
Face to face conversations of superpower leaders on 1000 pages.
Baker: What happens when Ukraine declares independence? Do the Russians say no?
Yakovlev: It will be a mess. There probably will be no civil war in Ukraine.
Baker: Are you talking of the Russians in Ukraine?
Yakovlev: There are 12 million of them, many in mixed marriages. There are 25-30 million mixed marriages. What sort of war could it be?
Baker: A normal war. What happens when Russia starts charging Ukraine the world market price for oil?
Yakovlev: This is “rope pushing” now. Yeltsin learned that Ukraine was selling oil for dollars. So Yeltsin cut oil production.
[Yakovlev and the President look at a map]
Yakovlev: Ukraine will be very small. November 1991
An earlier analysis of the impact of cold war broadcasting, Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America also cites Shelest, who on numerous occasions complained to Brezhnev that events in Czechoslovakia were "causing unsavory phenomena here in Ukraine as well." See more Ukraine-related quotations at bottom from the seminal CEU Press title on the collapse of Soviet domination.
In defiance to the rigid Soviet postal censorship, the targets of the huge book distribution program of the CIA included Ukraine also. The action reached hundreds of thousand East-Europeans and involved a broad network of institutional and private supporters in the west. Party first secretary Petro Shelest denounced efforts by "malevolent foreign intelligence services" to smuggle in "subversive, anti-Soviet literature and leaflets." Still, the delivery of 40,000 copies of Ukrainian journals was reported in 1982.
“National claims were considered legitimate at a certain level of development, and it became necessary for revolutionaries to provide an answer to them, as proven by Lenin’s philo-Ukrainianism in 1914.”
This book is an attempt to keep the attention of contemporary analysts focused on the social and cultural legacies of totalitarian experience in the space between Prague and Pyongyang.
“Stalin’s answer was to assign Ukrainian-majority territories to the Russian Republic, and to compel the more determined national communist leaders to resign.”
“National culture had to be kept within the bounds of folklore and traditional customs. Especially in Ukraine—which was governed by the Russian Khrushchev—these limits were even stricter.”
“Brezhnev himself—who started to declare himself a Russian in the 1960s—was of Ukrainian descent, and was a product of the slow but certain process of Russification.”
“The protests on Maidan and the national-democratic rebellion against the corrupt regime of Viktor Yanukovich became a grave threat to the Putin regime. Moscow launched a total and aggressive anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign to counter this threat.”
„In 1985 in Lviv, Yuri Andrukhovych, with Viktor Neborak and Oleksandr Irvanets, cofounded the performance group Bu-Ba-Bu, whose name stands for burlesque, balagan, and buffoonery, soon seen as a central phenomenoncof youth culture.”—Underground Modernity.
“The group’s success was in part thanks to its way of kitschifying national commonplaces as pop culture, spreading Ukrainian patriotism with an ironic touch.”
“Andrukhovych prefers the vertical model, the voyage to the undercity as a voyage into the depths of the urban soul.”
„The words ’colorless’ and ’pigeyed’ are among the kinder descriptions applied in The Moscoviad to Ukrainians who have willingly mutated into ’Great Russians’”
Parallels highlighted between Ukraine and Belarus: The description of the hardships of Belarusian Jews points out—among others—that while the roughly 150,000 surviving Jews in the BSSR had only two synagogues in 1949, in Ukraine there were seventy for about 840,000 people. Furthermore, the painstaking scrutiny of archival statistics proved that by 1949 the number of Jews in the leadership of Soviet Belarus became lower than even that of persons with Ukrainian ethnic background!
“The abduction of the Russian and Ukrainian émigrés represented a failure of the structures of state and politics of the Czechoslovak Republic, which were without power and unable to defend their sovereign territory from another state’s execution of its rights; nor were they able to protect foreigners to whom the Republic had offered and provided refuge when they were forced to leave their own country.”
The tragic faith of the émigrés is discussed in the study on the diplomatic efforts of Czechoslovakia about the deportations by the Red Army after WWII.
Émigrés were deported not only from Bohemia but also from Moravia and Slovakia. Many of them had settled there after graduating from Czechoslovak universities in the 1930s. They included the director of the Ukrainian Gymnasium, and the chairman of the Museum of the Liberation Struggle of Ukraine.”
Furthermore, 40,000 persons are estimated to have been deported from what used to be the territory of Subcarpathian Rus in Czechoslovakia.
“It was worse in Kharkov, Rostov, and Voronezh. Ten million Ukrainians had no more homes. The inhabitants lived where they could, mostly in cellars, dugouts, and makeshift shelters. They had no water, gas, and electricity.”—Ireland's Helping Hand to Europe.
“In the Displaced Persons camp, Ukrainians appeared to be scared, believing that the Soviet-Occupied Zone was too close for comfort. There was also little evidence of Christian unity between Catholics, Orthodox, and Lutherans except to condemn the Soviet Union as the Antichrist.”
“A culture club was set up and was lauded by a British general as a crucial initiative to lift the spirits of the camp inhabitants. Although it did some good work, soon nationality conflicts emerged with the Balts leaving and the Poles and Ukrainians staying to confront each other.”
“Stalin allowed UNRRA food supplies in Ukraine and Belarus, thoroughly devastated by the war, but refused them for Russia, probably fearing western influence through UNRRA deep inside Soviet territory.”
“In mid-August, the Pasubio Division was the first to take action in the war alongside the Germans, annihilating the Soviet forces remaining between the Dnieper and Bug rivers. Despite the scarcity of means at their disposal, Italian troops were commendable: by the end of October, they had seized the Donbass, and occupied the area of Stalino.”—the story of Italian prisoners of war in the USSR.
“In many parts of western Ukraine and even in Leningrad, there were instances in which German soldiers were hailed as liberators by the local population. Reality would soon disappoint the expectations of many intellectuals convicted as anticommunists.”
“At the war’s outset, in occupied Ukraine, masses held in celebration of the Italian troops had wide participation among local civilians; the chaplains received many requests for children’s baptisms.”
“After several abortive military attempts to establish control in Bessarabia, Moscow changed its tactics in mid 1920s by creating a separate Moldavian autonomous republic (MASSR) on the Ukrainian territory. It comprised some 160,000 Moldavians, (i.e., ethnic Romanians), but their share in the total population of MASSR was only a third.”
“Ukraine, if you look at the history, is the country that between 1933 and 1945 suffered the most losses of deliberate killing, at least 7 million people through famine, Soviet terror, Soviet citizens dying in German prisoner war camps, and the Holocaust. That is, understandably, the dominant story for most Ukrainians. There is an alternative story, which involves resistance to Soviet power by the Organization for Ukrainian Nationalists, because the latter did, in fact, resist with great persistence the Red Army. That nationalist tradition of course records that the Red Army brought back a system that had killed millions of Ukrainians.”
“There have been a couple of unusual bright moments. One was the Polish-Ukrainian discussions about ethnic cleansing in the 1990s, where a historian from each side had to give a paper under the same title.”
“Ukrainian ‘national communism’ as a discernable intellectual and ideological trend can be traced from 1917 to 1933, with a minor rebirth in the 1960s and some marginal appearances among Ukrainian emigres writing in Europe and North America.”—One Hundred Years of Communist Experiments.
“To modernize a largely illiterate village, Bolsheviks needed commitment of local intelligentsia. During the civil war, they cooperated opportunistically with Ukrainian leftists in so much as the latter considered Bolsheviks a lesser evil than the staunchly anti-Ukrainian Denikin’s White Guard.”
“Perhaps the most remarkable and long-lasting legacy of Ukrainian Marxism was its unrelenting exposure and deconstruction of Russian Bolshevism as an imperialism ‘painted red’ and disguised under quasi-proletarian, ‘internationalist’ rhetoric.”
“The habit of calling people who are not Nazis, ‘Nazis’ is one that survived the Soviet Union’s collapse and is evident in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.“
“The Polish-Lithuanian nobility in Galicia was successfully pressed to allow for opening (Little) Ruthenian (Ukrainian)-medium departments at the Jagiellonian University, and especially at the University of Lwów (Lviv, founded in 1784).”—Words in Space and Time.
“Earlier any publishing in White Russian (Belarusian) and Little Russian (Ukrainian) was banned on the understanding that they were dialects of (Great) Russian. After 1905 books and periodicals published in both languages firmly made them into recognizable and eventually recognized Einzelsprachen (language in their own right).”
“Rusyn is an official language in Serbia’s Vojvodina, an ethnic language in Poland, and a dialect of Ukrainian in Ukraine.”
“In 1996, the internationally unrecognized Transnistria adopted its own constitution, which declared Moldavian, Russian, and Ukrainian as its official languages.”
“The policy of linguistic Russification was pursued vigorously only in the cases of Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Jews”—Ukraine was affected by each of the major modern non-democracies.
“In response to Rosenberg, who preferred a lenient treatment of Ukrainians and other non-Russians, in order to bring them into alliance with Germany against Russia and Bolshevism, Hitler insisted on a more radical approach, saying that ‘the vast area must be pacified as quickly as possible; this will happen best by shooting anyone who even looks sideways at us.’”
“Most of anarchists—whether those in Spain or their contemporaries in Italy, Ukraine, and elsewhere—were hostile to organized religion.”
“Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign manager, had received $12.7 million in cash from Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russian party.”
“In November 1918, Borysław oil wells were occupied by Ukrainian troops led by German and Austrian officers. French oil companies in the region were desperate about the news.” —from the book on big powers’ interfering into middle Europe.
“The Treaty of Saint-Germain envisaged autonomy for Ruthenia within Czechoslovakia. Yet there were many obstacles to achieving such autonomy. In economic affairs, Ruthenia differed significantly from Slovakia or the Czech lands. Its different, East Slavic language and Orthodox confessional attachment made it even more distant.”
“While the independent Ukraine ceased to exist in 1921, the Czechoslovak public still considered the possible resurgence of a Ukrainian state or autonomy to be realistic in the 1920s. The Prague political leadership was still deeply annoyed with the question of Ruthenian autonomy, which is why they wanted to cede the territory eventually to the future Ukraine.”
“The case of Kiev serves as a useful reminder that the Russian Empire’s race to modernity entailed more than democratization, industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of civil society. It reveals the dark underbelly of modernity, showing how these processes could stir up new resentments, generate new conflicts, and militate against the dreams of liberal reformers”. Along with other metropolis in Europe, the birth of modern Kiev is explored. The empire’s first electric tram in 1894 on the one hand, and the most violent pogrom in 1905 on the other, Kiev was rapidly acquiring a reputation as the empire’s capitalist Wild West: in the last years of the old regime, Kiev was one of the most violent and unstable corners of the country.
“Kyiv as the New Jerusalem as juxtaposed to Moscow as the Third Rome is a currently recurring idea, particularly in the light of the recent political and military crisis in the region, but mostly within the post-Soviet reconceptualization of the Russian and Ukrainian past.”—Imagined Empires.
“For the early modern period the most valid ideological (as well as theological and imaginary) confrontation was between Craсow, Kyiv, Vilnius, Zebrzydów, and Raków as competing models in constructing sacral places.”
“There were, however, other claimants in the Slavia Orthodoxa to the fame of ‘God’s city.’ Among others (Tarnovo, later also Belgrade and Moscow), Kyiv declared its right to the Constantinopolitan heritage.”
“For the Kyivan hierarchs Moscow couldn’t be of any concurrence, since both cities were regarded as centers of Orthodox spirituality and revival. But this was true only for the Kyivan side. Muscovite church and state leaders neglected contemporary Kyiv.”
“It was crystal clear that Polish claims to the territory of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Right Bank Ukraine would not disappear if the Kingdom of Poland became independent.”—The Tsar, the Empire, and the Nation.
“Led by the priests of the Pochaev Monastery in Volhynia, the Union of Russian People (SRN) vigorously campaigned against the ‘conspiracy’ of Ukrainian nationalists, Polish landowners, and Jewish merchants, presenting all of them as the main reasons for local social and economic troubles.”
“When Nikolai Ignatiev, the Minister of Internal Affairs, advocated for the separation of the Chełm–Podlasian region from Congress Poland, he proposed that the region must become a part of the Volhynian province, where the predominant nationality was Ukrainian.”
“In 1913, fourteen periodicals were published in Ukrainian in Kiev with an average general print run (srednii obshchii tirazh) of 17,320 copies.”
“It is wrong to treat Ukrainians as a population that evolved from the mixing of two races—the light- and the dark-haired. We should accept as a fact their belonging to one dark-haired race with local blond dashes.” The history of ethnography in imperial Russia and the USSR contains many such statements. One also learns—among others—that what on one bank of the Dnipro was considered part of the national heritage, was a symptom of superstition on the other (namely belief in demons). The analysis of ethnographic historiography spans from an era when “a dark-haired, tall, broad-shouldered Cossack from the glorious past personified the ideal Ukrainian male” up to times when “ethnographers contributed to the invention of Soviet lifestyle and thus to the creation of an identity that would rival national identity for a long time—in some areas of Ukraine, even after independence in 1991”.
The governor-general of Little Russia, Repnin, wrote to Nicholas I: “The Little Russians are really quite Russians. The dialect, the customs and the dress are somewhat different, but the faith, the tsar and Russia are a single untouchable sacred object for them, whereas a hereditary enmity towards the neighboring Catholic Poles makes them the best guardians against Polish thoughtlessness.”
Processes of nation-building within the Romanov Empire – including suppressions of such aspirations – are examined in parallel with related trajectories in other empires in Europe.
“The creation of the Ukrainian and Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republics, along with the vigorous Soviet policy of Ukrainization and Belarusization within the framework of the general drive toward korenizatsia in the 1920s, all were policies deconstructing the very backbone of the Russian nation-building project of the imperial time. All the eastern territories of contemporary Ukraine, which were deeply russified before WWI, were transferred to those Soviet republics, often in spite of the protests of the local population, like in the case of the Vitebsk or Donetsk regions.”
“I only wish to draw the attention of the esteemed House to the cultural needs of the Ruthenians, which have hitherto not received sufficient consideration… That the establishment of a Ruthenian university in Lemberg is necessary I consider to be proven, and more than proven: it is self-evident” – declared bishop Sheptytsky (Szeptycki) in 1911 at the House of Lords in Vienna. His address is commented in the latest volume of the essential CEU Press undertaking, presenting texts that shaped national identities in eastern and south-eastern Europe.
“Dimitrie C. Moruzi (1850– 1914) is one of the rare instances in which Romanian authors seem aware of the importance of the Ukrainian national element as a potentially disrupting force for the unity of the Russian Empire.”
A book on competing Russian and Romanian visions of Bessarabia.
“Young Bessarabian students interacted with activists involved in the Polish and Ukrainian national movements who were rather active in the university centers most accessible to Bessarabians: Iuriev (Dorpat) and Kiev.”
In 1914, “the Constantinople branch of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine envisaged a joint military operation consisting of Ottoman forces and Ukrainian volunteer detachments that would land simultaneously near Odessa and in the Kuban region in hopes of inciting a revolt among the local populations.”
“Relations between the Bessarabian leaders and the Ukrainian Rada were rather tense due to the territorial claims that Kiev made first on the Hotin and Akkerman districts (where Ruthenians were a sizable part of the population) and then on all of Bessarabia.”
International comparative research of verbal magic covered the entire continent from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, and includes the development of the index of the East Slavic charms, magical texts and prayers. “The southern part of the East Slavic territory (primarily the Ukrainian tradition) noticeably differs from Russian and Belarusian traditions by the inclination towards short texts. In one opinion, these brief Ukrainian spells are the most archaic form of charms; they have undergone less Christian influence, there is almost no epic element in them, spatial objects remain nameless, and so on”.
“A letter issued on May 25, 1694 by the authorities of the city of Kovel states that two Vlach Gypsies filed a complaint against Hungarian Gypsies who attacked them in the forest and robbed them of many belongings, including six horses and a considerable sum of money and property.”
The archives of a number of cities in Ukraine provide sources on the presence of the Roma in Polish history. Not all of them reflect the age old clichés. From a letter from 1549 we learn that Andrzej Rotemberg (and the people with him) “while staying for some time at my estate in Radenychi and other estates in the Peremyshl county, behaved virtuously, decently and politely without any complaints from my subjects.”
In the 18th century groups of Roma wandered or were resettled to the left bank of the Dnipro, testified in documents, among other, from the historical archive in Kharkiv.
“In principle, an entire nation belongs to the same circle of civilization—but only in principle, not in reality. Within nations the different religions caused a significant difference between the types of civilizations to which different parts of the same nationality belonged. The Ukrainians are divided into two markedly different camps: the Orthodox East Ukrainians on one side and the Greek Catholic Galician Ukrainians on the other.”—from The Rise of the Comparative History.
“The Ruthenians—the White Russians and Ukrainians of today—always seemed to be less resistant to rapprochements with the Latin West, and definitely appeared to benefit from this interaction during their life together with Poland.”
“In 1738 the imperial government intervened to prevent the population of Sloboda Ukraine from fleeing, seeking to escape their obligation to supply the campaigning armies.”
“After Ukraine gained independence in the 1990s, it became popular among some local intellectuals to define a certain Ukrainian eschatological myth, as a part of the hazily sketched national character.”
From a collection of essays on the apocalypse.
“The architecture of eleventh- and twelfth-century Kyiv reflects the topography of Constantinople, not only in the names of churches and fortifications, but also in the sacral meaning of its artistic implementations.”
“Ukrainian Romanticism presented the national Cossack myth in the universal form of God’s fight against the Enemy. Cossacks and Ukraine in general became symbols of freedom and part of the apocalyptic plan.”
Browsing on from the backlist, several more monographs focus on Ukrainian themes:
- the deeds and vicissitudes of Jesuit communities on the peripheries of the Habsburg empire, including in Uzhhorod and Mukacheve; and their role in the creation of the Uniate (Greek Catholic) Church;
- in the next century the liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church was the order of the day in western Ukraine;
- the first volume to discuss east-central Europe and Russia within the context of European security;
- policies, practices and outcomes of privatisation in six former communist countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine;
- the sovereignty movement of Tatarstan is of interest not just for the few percent of Ukrainians among the inhabitants of that republic;
- just as Ukrainians cannot be indifferent towards Belarusian identity struggle, either;
- together with twenty-eight more post-communist transition countries, the political and economic performance of Ukraine is also examined as part of a search of varieties of transition models.
CEU Press offers a lot more on the past and present of Ukraine in comparative and collective volumes:
- the phenomena of demonology and witchcraft in the era of early modern Ukraine receive portrayal;
- a description of beliefs of magic among Jews of Carpatho-Russia;
- the film Wings by the Ukraine born Larisa Shepitko analyzed in the book on women and war mirrored in the arts;
- an essay on the treatment of the Great Famine in historiography;
- the Orange Revolution receives peculiar treatment in the interpretation of the contexts and consequences of the revolutions of 1989;
- historic revisionism in Ukraine takes up about a fifth of the volume on the political use of history;
- the absence of public service broadcasting in the Ukraine.