Buffeted By Political Firestorm, Crimean Minorities Forced to Choose


  As tensions are ratcheted up between Ukraine and the Kremlin, Jews have been forced to choose sides. In the Crimea, two small minority groups, the Karaites and Krymchaks, have been caught in the political crosshairs. Crimean Karaites, a Turkic-speaking ethnic group, have backed Russia’s annexation of Crimea, while the […]

Note to Ukraine: Time to Reconsider Your “Cossack” Pride


Confronted with an existential threat in the form of Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is embracing patriotism and, in some cases, nationalist symbolism. In Ukrainian consciousness, the notion of the “Cossack” looms large, and during recent protests against the unpopular government of Viktor Yanukovych and subsequent drive to war with Russian separatists, […]

Ukraine: Nationalist Flags, Insignia and Curious Symbolism


A year ago, during protests against the unpopular government of Viktor Yanukovych, Kiev’s Maidan square was full of activist encampments and a plethora of diverse political flags. On the Maidan, nationalism was often associated with pro-European Union sentiment, and indeed EU blue and yellow flags could be seen fluttering alongside […]

Ukraine: Still Failing on World War II


  Judging from events, Ukraine has even now failed to come to terms with the legacy of the Second World War. Recently, spectators in Kiev were graced with a divisive sight: outside parliament, protesters clashed with police after legislators failed to support a bill recognizing the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or […]

Ukraine: What’s the Role of Religion in Post-Maidan Milieu?


During a recent trip to Kiev, I was struck by mementos placed in and around Kiev’s Maidan square. The plaques featured individual photo portraits of fallen martyrs — the so-called “Heavenly Hundred” who had sacrificed their lives during violent protests against the unpopular government of Viktor Yanukovych. What particularly got […]

Ukraine, Politics of History and Jewish Identity: A Personal Story


To the extent that Western media focuses on Ukraine at all, it tends to focus primarily on Kiev’s war with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. Yet dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that Ukraine confronts many other significant problems that are frequently neglected or overlooked. […]