Where to now, Ukraine?Historians in the News
tags: historians, Ukraine, revolutions
This interview with historian Stanislav Kulchytsky was published in the 19 November issue of The Ukrainian Week. It has been edited for clarity and style.
The uncertainty around the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU generated significant anxiety in Ukrainian political circles. What would happen if Brussels failed to come to an agreement with Kyiv? Would the door to fruitful cooperation with Ukraine’s western neighbors be closed? Would it open to Russian ambitions, by joining the Customs Union?
UW: Quite a few researchers stand by the view that according to its social structure, as well as the logic of its economic and historic development, Ukraine is an authentic European country. Do you agree?
Stanislav Kulchytsky: Geographically, Ukraine is in Europe. Beginning with Arnold Toynbee and ending with Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky, not one historian has questioned the fact that it has an intermediary position between East and West. Over the centuries, our land has experienced political influence from both sides. Having said that, the eastern influence was caused by Ukraine becoming part of the Russian Empire, which actually emerged in the process of swallowing Ukraine.
The “reunification of Ukraine with Russia,” which was how the process was described at the celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1954, significantly increased the possibility of tsarism in further expansionist policy. But what did Ukraine gain from it? Not only isolation from Europe, a continent with the greatest historic progress in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but also the revival of serfdom. If, in the mid-seventeenth century peasants were freed from the oppression of Polish and Ukrainian landowners and most had become Cossacks, under the Russian Empire, they became serfs once more....
comments powered by Disqus
- Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI
- Debunking Viral Story, Art Historian Says ‘Allah’ Does Not Appear on Ancient Viking Garment
- Will Trump Be Remembered as the Worst President in History? Almost Half Think So
- Thank This Man For Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume
- Letters from young Obama show a man trying to find his way
- Thomas Childers says we’ve got the Nazis wrong in 5 different ways
- National security expert Tom Nichols: “Hey, I’m unstable” is a bad look for the president
- Fake news? It’s nothing new, says Trinity College Dublin historian
- Historian discovers early Reformation writings “hiding in plain sight”
- Victor Davis Hanson says we shouldn’t be rushing to war with North Korea