Ukraine’s Secessionist War: a Reappraisal

If you had asked me three years ago to assess Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region, I would have argued that the conflict had triggered a right-wing shift in the nation’s politics.  If anything, military hostilities seemed to have eclipsed or overshadowed radical social change as called […]

Ukraine: Reflections on Secessionist War, Gender Equality, Rightwing Battalions and Kyiv’s “G.I. Jane”

Could Ukraine’s secessionist war actually encourage more gender equality?  Following my first trip to Kyiv almost three years ago, I would have been skeptical of such views.  During interviews, political activists on Ukraine’s independent left circuit expressed dismay over sexism during the Maidan revolution which toppled the unpopular, pro-Kremlin government […]

Maidan Year Three: Welcome to Ukraine’s Revolutionary Cafe

         A few blocks from Kyiv’s bleak and imposing Stalinist-style Maidan square lies a nondescript alleyway. Passing through a gate, one arrives at Ukraine’s revolutionary café, Bar Baraban, which played a key role in protests resulting in the eventual toppling of the unpopular government of Viktor Yanukovych. Three years ago, as […]

A History of Vandalism: Welcome to Ukraine’s Historic Holocaust Site

            While many Ukrainian politicians and political activists alike have embraced pointed views on their country’s thorny and controversial World War II past, relatively few may claim direct personal experience of the Holocaust. Abraham Kristein, however, is the rare exception of someone who not only witnessed horrific wartime atrocities in […]

Maidan One Year Later: What Happened to the Social Component?

Amid increasing hostilities in Ukraine, many of the social aims of the Maidan revolution could be lost or simply forgotten. That, at least, is the impression I got from speaking to activists on the independent left circuit, not to be confused with the old Soviet and authoritarian left. During my […]

In Midst of War, Ukrainian Political Left Ponders Next Moves

  To the extent that the mainstream media cover Ukraine at all, they tend to frame Kiev’s conflict with Kremlin-backed Russian separatists as a zero-sum game pitting Vladimir Putin against the U.S. and its Western allies. Yet beneath all the wonky geopolitical chatter, Ukraine’s independent left — which must be […]