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Crimea—Not “Ours” or “Yours”

Events in Ukraine are moving at a terrifying speed. This statement was prepared by the editors of the OpenLeft in the morning of March 1st, 2014. Today, March 2nd, at 2 pm, Russians in different cities will hold rallies against a possible Russian intervention into Ukraine. The Ukrainian peninsula has had the misfortune of finding […]

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Bringing the class back in(to what?): A response to F. Poenaru

In his recent analysis of events in Ukraine, Florin Poenaru raises several points whose relevance goes well beyond the specific situation in that country. They speak to important problems that concern the (re-)building of the revolutionary Left in post-socialist Eastern Europe more broadly. This piece responds to some of these points in an effort to […]

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A Time to Mourn, a Time to Act: an Open Letter to the Ukrainian Left

Dear Comrades, We write to express our solidarity with you in these trying times. Your country is burying a hundred or so dead, demonstrators and policemen, and hundreds more wounded are still in its hospitals. The specter of a civil war has not yet left Ukraine. While not the defeated party, most of you cannot […]

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Blood and Soil or Communal Power?

The dead of Kiev’s Maidan are not only Ukraine’s dead; they are the dead of “post-communist” Eastern Europe. It hurts everywhere, but differently. An open wound cannot be closed with words, yet one can shout in solidarity that this may be the other end of the post-communist transition, the so-called bad side of the “successful” […]

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An open letter to the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An open letter to the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed by 130 academics and scholars from around the world. A shorter version of the letter appeared on The Guardian.   For more than two decades, the international political community has viewed, interpreted, and acted upon the political landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina almost […]

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Ukrainian protesters must make a decisive break with the far right

by Volodymyr Ishchenko, The Guardian, Feb. 7                   Neo-fascists have become involved in the Euromaidan protest movement and we can’t turn a blind eye to the danger that presents A number of academics have expressed their concern about the international media’s misrepresentation of the protests in Ukraine. They say that the media have over-emphasised the […]

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Is Tiahnybok a Patriot? How the Spread of Banderite Slogans and Symbols Undermines Ukrainian Nation-Building

by Andreas Umland January 1, 2014 Writing about the various implications of Ukraine’s divided historical memory for the conduct of her post-Soviet politics is a thankless task. Ukraine’s nationalist intelligentsia’s response to voicing the most elementary facts on and assessments of the corroding role of the promotion of World War II themes for Ukrainian state-building […]

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Support Ukrainians but do not legitimize the far-right and discredited politicians!

Recently a number of internationally recognized scholars and public intellectuals signed a letter in full support of Euromaidan protests, backing ‘Ukrainian society’ against ‘Ukrainian government’. Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Craig Calhoun, Claus Offe, Saskia Sassen, Charles Taylor, Michel Wieviorka, Slavoj Žižek and many others celebrated the ‘legal’ and ‘peaceful’ protests embodying, as they claimed, ‘the […]

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Zhanaozen: worker organisation and repression

by Gabriel Levy Oil workers in western Kazakhstan in 2011 mounted one of the largest-scale strike movements in post-Soviet history, and then suffered one of the most brutal massacres in post-Soviet history – in Zhanaozen on 16 December 2011, when security forces killed at least 16 people and wounded at least 64. The workers’ revolt […]

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Euromaidan: The play with EU integration

A large group of aggressive young men smash windows and fiercely throw bottles and stones. Behind them there’s a huge crowd shouting ‘We want in the EU’. The picture should apparently frighten people in the EU countries. Some comments in the western media suggest, as a joke, that the picture resembles barbarians amassing near the […]