On War Films and National Unification, or Why Ukraine Deserves a National Epic

Ukraine has been occupied by many countries for years, decades, and even (Russia) nearly two centuries, in some places. Accustomed to being represented in other nations’ epics and stories, the time has come for Ukraine to create a story of its own, to fit its national history.

Thoughts on the partisan attack on Congress, and Euromaidan

In the winter of 2014, protestors filled Independence Square in Kyiv. Upset that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, had refused to open the country further to European trade and commerce, hundreds, then thousands, and ultimately millions of people converged on Kyiv and rose up throughout the country, battling police and military units to have their voicesContinue reading “Thoughts on the partisan attack on Congress, and Euromaidan”

Russia and the “Nazi Collaborator Narrative”

There is an insidious story about WWII that concerns the Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian identities. The story has a few moving pieces, but basically goes like this: (1) the USSR did so badly in when Hitler invaded the USSR because traitors in Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus collaborated with the invading Nazis. (2) Those same anti-Soviet,Continue reading “Russia and the “Nazi Collaborator Narrative””

Ukraine on the eve of the Zelensky election

Mystery and romance are at the heart of Ukraine’s society. While Ukrainians themselves dislike the name “borderlands,” as it sets them down as a referential, defined only in terms of something else (their neighbors), they also own their status to being in-between place, a space where fortunate meetings and collisions occur without scripting.

Ukrainian History, or No Offense, A Bunch of Stuff You Probably Never Thought About

The second in a three-part series about Ukraine When a traveler or journalist from the West arrives in Ukraine, most of them do so at a disadvantage. Mainstream culture has likely furnished little analysis, save for reductive imperialist narratives that define Ukraine vis-à-vis war and its neighbors. When that traveler or journalist spends time there,Continue reading “Ukrainian History, or No Offense, A Bunch of Stuff You Probably Never Thought About”

The journey to Ukraine: an introduction

In August of 2016, I was filling my hands with mattress in an apartment overlooking a position 300 meters to the southwest across an open field. Russian-backed separatists were knocking at it with large caliber mortars. The position, an abandoned industrial building connected I think with grain collection, was, I learned later, the Headquarters ofContinue reading “The journey to Ukraine: an introduction”