The Destruction of ‘Colonial Remnants’

David Marples In late November 2016, Radio Svoboda held a programme on Ukraine’s ‘post-colonial status’ that featured comments from supporters and practitioners of Decommunisation. Its most notable feature was the sentiment that in spite of the progress made in 2016, many Ukrainians remain ignorant of their own history and trapped in a colonial mindset imposed […]

Ukraine and Russia: Rewriting Histories

David Marples Introduction The 2016 commemorations of victory in World War II illustrate the growing divide between Russia and Ukraine, one that mirrors their current conflict over Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. Whereas Russia celebrated the traditional May 9 with ceremony and military swagger, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, clashes broke out between pro-Russians and young Ukrainian […]

Poroshenko, Polls, and the Rise of the ‘Gas Princess’

David Marples The past week has seen a veritable media circus around the revelations of the Panama Papers, in which, among many others, the name of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko appears, accused of opening an offshore account while his country suffered its worst defeat in the war against Donbas separatists in August 2014. What is […]

Ukraine’s Quest for Survival: a Review of 2015

David Marples A year that began with the battle of Debaltseve in Ukraine ended with more centrally based conflicts inside the Parliament. The contrast is symbolic: the main problems for Ukraine may now lie within the heart of the country rather than from the Russian-supported separatist regimes in Donetsk and Luhansk. The Debaltseve conflict, which […]

Communist Heroes of Ukraine

David Marples In a recent interview cited in The New York Times, Volodymyr Viatrovych, head of the National Institute of Memory of Ukraine and an author of the “de-Communization” laws approved by President Petro Poroshenko in May, equated Lenin statues with “totalitarian propaganda” and a sign of the presence of “polite people,” by which he […]