Ukraine 1989: The Blessing of Ignorance

Tr@nsit Online

What Ukraine badly needs is a compromise of strategic character around identity issues but against the background of ambivalence that has characterized the public mood since the late 1980s, Yaroslav Hrytsak wonders whether any attempts “to make things clear” would not only destabilize the Ukrainian situation even further.

In terms of scope and sophistication, this paper is very modest. That is partly explained by my personal limitations as a historian: even though I am familiar with most of the texts written by political scientists, sociologists and anthropologist on public opinion in late- and post-Soviet Ukraine, I can hardly pretend to be an expert on this subject. It also partly the result of the state of the art. Soviet rule was notorious for its reluctance to hold public opinion polls. The first professional surveys were made only after its collapse, in the early 1990s. As a result, any attempt to discuss public opinion before then is bound to be fragmentary, speculative, and to some extent subjective.

Since my paper is bound to be subjective (but not, I believe, biased), I would like to start with a personal story. Twenty years ago I was a junior research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences in Lviv, Western Ukraine. It was a strange kind of institution. On one hand, it hosted humanities scholars not sufficiently trusted to teach at the university; on the other hand, it functioned under auspices of the regional communist party committee, as a kind of a think-tank supposed to write analytical reports on various social issues. By the end of 1988, the fellows were granted permission to go abroad for the first time in their lives. After long labours to get a foreign passport, we boarded the bus and in six hours reached our destination… the neighbouring town Przemysl, across the Polish-Ukrainian border.

This story serves as a reminder that in 1989 there was not only the Berlin Wall but another Iron Curtain separating the Soviet Union from the rest of the communist bloc. Judging from the itineraries that communist citizens were allowed to follow, the Soviet republics and the communist satellites of Central Europe were two worlds apart. A telling example is the trajectory of academic contacts. In his article on the impact of the Annales School in Eastern Europe, Krzysztof Pomian provided statistics on fellowships granted to Polish historians in the 1960-1970s: several hundred went to Paris, while only a handful chose Moscow. Until the late 1980s, even the most loyal Soviet Ukrainian historians – who, on average, were very loyal — could barely get permission to go Poland, Hungary or the GDR, and a fellowship to Moscow was considered a hard-won privilege.

The Soviet Ukraine was extremely isolated. It was a kind of Albania the size of France. The isolation affected everyone, including the oppositional camp. Texts of Soviet Ukrainian dissidents were read as if they were written by “intellectual Robinson Crusoes” – without the slightest awareness that the topics they were discussing had generated mountains of scholarly literature in the West. To be sure, isolation from the outside world was a general Soviet tendency. Still, it seems like it was applied differently in different republics, and that Ukraine represented an extreme caseOne might risk the generalization that, if the 1989 was “an uneventful revolution”, than it was a non-event in Ukraine. The fall of the Berlin Wall went largely unnoticed, since it had little relevance for Soviet Ukrainians. Within the Soviet Union, in terms of the political ferment brought by perestroika , Ukraine lagged behind Moscow, Leningrad, the Caucasus and the Baltic republics.

Until the autumn of 1989, the local communist party was headed by the hardliner Volodymyr Shcherbytsky. He was the last member of the Brezhnev Politburo to be kept in power by Gorbachev. With Chernobyl (1986) probably the only exception, major Ukrainian issues were conspicuously absent from the official discourses of perestroika. It seemed as though Gorbachev was willingly scarifying perestroika in Ukraine for the sake of political stability in the Soviet Union. In the minds of the Kremlin leaders, Ukraine, the second largest Soviet republic, was prone to deviations, and so it was wiser to keep it at bay.

Their concerns were well founded. The 1989 revolution is sometimes seen as a continuation of 1968. Taking this point as a clue, one has to look into the political developments of 1968. The decision of the Kremlin to repress the Prague Spring had an explicit Ukrainian dimension: it was Soviet Ukrainian leaders who were the most aggressive proponents of military intervention in Czechoslovakia. They were deeply concerned with the “pernicious effects” that the Prague Spring might have on Ukraine. The “nationalist and revisionist elements” that were seen as most responsive to the impact of Czechoslovak basically consisted of two large groups: the Greek Catholics (Uniates) close to the Czechoslovak border in the West, and the Donbass workers in Eastern Ukraine. The developments two decades later confirmed these fears. In 1988-90, Western Ukraine witnessed mass rallies, the emergence of civic organizations, and eventually the rise to power of the anti-communist opposition after the spring 1990 elections. Donbass became the home turf of an independent workers movement. It made its début with mass strikes in July 1989, and by 1990 had completely removed the communists from the management of local mines and factories.

With the sudden shift in the power balance, the communist Ukrainian leadership in the capital Kyiv also swayed towards opposition. The crucial moment was September 1989, when Kyiv witnessed the founding congress of the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Rukh), the first mass opposition organization. A few weeks later Shcherbytsky was removed from power. The new communist leaders opted for a new tactic towards both central power in Moscow and the local opposition: they used the latter to threaten the former and vice versa, thus making themselves indispensable to both. As soon the disintegration of the centre evolved into its collapse (in the summer and autumn of 1991), the Ukrainian communist leadership reached a compromise with the nationalist movement in the West and the workers movement in the East, proclaiming Ukrainian independence in December 1991 – the event that sealed the fate of the Soviet Union. The former Ukrainian communists secured their dominant position. This was reflected, among other thing, by victory of Leonid Kravchuk, the former communist secretary of ideology, in the 1991 presidential elections.

Kravchuk’s interviews and memoirs help trace the mental changes of turncoat communists. As late as the beginning of 1989, they were still performing a modest role as an administrative outpost of the central organization. Their status can be illustrated by a protracted discussion held among members of the local central committee about whether it “pursued” or “implemented” its politics. “Pursue” implied a certain level of independence – which smacked of a disloyalty to the centre – so finally they chose “implement”. Another symbolic expression was the consistent use of Russian by Shcherbytsky. Ironically, Leonid Kravchuk owed his rise to power largely to the fact that, as a native of Western Ukraine, he was the only member of the central committee who could speak Ukrainian. For that reason, he was chosen to lead a public discussion with a group of Ukrainian writers who were striving for an official permission to create the Rukh . Kravchuk entered the discussion with the firm conviction that the communist monopoly should not be challenged at any cost. During the talk, he reportedly told his opponents, extending them his hand, that sooner his palm would get hairy than the Rukh would come into existence. Like other Ukrainian communist leaders, Kravchuk did not believe that perestroika was “serious or for long”. They remembered Khrushchev’s failed de-Stalinization, and were sure that sooner or later the Gorbachev “thaw” would also be reversed. Only after the Rukh, despite all odds, was founded, did the communists come to the conclusion that the status quo was no longer tenable.

If the Ukrainian communist authorities were slow in accommodating to the new reality, then the Rukh leaders on their part were cautious in formulating their agenda. Given the large number of Russians (20% in 1989) and Russian speakers (40-45%) in Ukraine, and the close intertwining of Russian and Ukrainian culture and history, national identity was a much weaker mobilizing force in Ukraine than, say, in the Baltic republics. Besides, any independent activities were viewed by the local communists with great suspicion. The first attempts to create a mass organization modelled after the Lithuanian Sajudis were made in summer 1988. They were, however, ruthlessly suppressed. The Rukh leaders therefore persuaded their opponents that the Rukh was conceived not as an alternative to, but as a support for the Communist Party, so as to deepen perestroika in the Soviet Ukraine. In the same vein, the Rukh leaders distanced themselves from the Baltic model, with its emphasis on national issues. Instead, they focused – at least initially – on social and economic demands. These were primarily ecological issues. Such tactics found a large support among the population, with its recent memory of the Chernobyl disaster (1986). Ecology served, however, as a disguise for national demands, a phenomenon that was later called “eco-nationalism”.

The only issue that had an explicit national dimension was the language question. Together with other public organizations, the Rukh demanded official status for the Ukrainian language – to stop, they claimed, further Russification of Ukraine. Then again, this demand was coated in ecological terms (“to stop a cultural Chernobyl”); moreover, the Rukh made clear that the official status of the Ukrainian language should not be obtained at the cost of other languages spoken in Ukraine.

It is hard to identify whether these statements were made out of sincerity or for tactical considerations: most probably, it was both. The Rukh was an umbrella organization that covered a wide range of opposition, from left to right, from nationalists to liberals. Most of the Rukh‘s leaders identified themselves as national democrats: in their understanding, national and democratic goals were compatible. There were discussions on what was more important for Ukraine: independency or democracy. However these discussions were held privately, never in public. The common understanding was that the more radical the demands, the less chance of rallying mass support. Even a more hard-line organization that emerged at that time from former Ukrainian political prisoners – the Ukrainian Helsinki Association (UHS) – restrained from proclaiming Ukrainian independence as its ultimate political goal. Instead, it proposed the transformation of the USSR into a confederation of republics.

Such a cautious approach reflected the general mood in Ukraine. A survey made in autumn 1989 revealed that, on one hand, Ukrainians were more sensitive to national issues than Russians; on other hand, however, that this sensitivity was a far cry from the central role these issues featured in the Baltic republics or Armenia. Ukrainians preferred economic independence over political independence, and their support for preservation of the USSR was fairly strong (see table). The only exception was Western Ukraine, where, very much like in Baltics, national issues were considered the most salient, and support for political independence was rising.

Table: “Those who wish their own people well should first of all…”

  Armenia Baltics Russia Ukraine
…care about the unity and integrity of the Soviet Union 10.6% 10.2% 63.4% 30.9%
…demand both a strong centre and strong republics 4.8% 9.6% 19.5% 17.2%
…focus all their efforts on the preservation of the native language and culture 52.9% 25.6% 8.8% 20.6%
…demand the economic independence of their republic 26.0% 43.5% 14.8% 32.4%
…demand the political independence of their republic, up to the point of its separation from the USSR 17.0% 47.0% 9.9% 20.6%
…hard to tell 1.9% 2.9% 7.5% 4.3%

Source: ??????, 1989, N 43.

With the further polarization of the political landscape, the Rukh became more outspoken, and during its second congress (October 1990) proclaimed the political independence of Ukraine as its main goal. Before that – and, to a large extent, afterwards – it was an amorphous organization with an ambivalent programme. As one of its heads, Ivan Drach, admitted in 1989, one half of the Rukh programme was copied from the Communist Party, the other from the Ukrainian Helsinki Association. A political analyst identified the Rukh’s stance as “half-support/half-opposition”; an “eternal lack of determination and notorious multi-vector politics that left no room for an intelligible answer to the questions: what are we fighting for and what do we really want?

Donbass workers — the third major actor in the Ukrainian 1989 political scene – did not demonstrate much resoluteness, either. Their leaders participated in the founding congress of the Rukh – but their speeches acted as a dampener on the heated enthusiasm of the gathering: they claimed the Rukh did not cover the problems that were of real concern in Donbass, and that this would alienate workers from the national opposition. While the worker leaders knew what they did not want – and this was the Rukh ’s focus on the national issue – they were less sure what they did want. During the mass strike in summer 1989, they came up with a package of demands that, in the words of one of them, “would be ridiculous to discuss in a civilized society, demands about providing more soap… [T]he only point necessary and worth anything was a paragraph demanding full autonomy for enterprises.” When asked about models of social and economic development, workers cited both Japan and Sweden, as if they were comparable. A year after the strike of summer 1989, the demands of the workers movement evolved from the strictly economic to the political. The latter included the sovereignty of Ukraine. Yet this demand had social rather national underpinnings: worker leaders understood that in a state as big as the USSR, it was impossible to administer all regions from one place; hence it would make more sense to fix Soviet Ukraine’s economy – and everything else – to its territory.

The statements and revelations of the major actors of 1989 – defected communists and oppositional Rukh and worker leaders – represented, in accentuated forms, the ways thinking of large segments of the Ukrainian population. It would be dangerous, however, to generalize from them in order to reconstruct public opinion at that time. The only sound generalization that can be made is that the high degree of ambivalence characteristic of the political actors of 1989 represented, mutatis mutandis, a general mood, as was confirmed by surveys in early 1990s. As a Ukrainian social scientist put it: in Ukraine, “someone in an ambivalent state of mind, while mentally sound, may simultaneously opt for a multi-party system over ‘newly-baked’ parties, for both freedom of movement and border restrictions, for a larger market economy and state regulation of prices, […] for the independence of his or her nation and the restoration of the Soviet Union. There is a rule of thumb in Ukrainian politics that the more articulated a political position, the less popular support it is likely to get; and, conversely, that ambivalence pays with political success. Since this pattern of public opinion proved very persistent until the end of 1990s, it can with relative certainty be projected back to 1989.

It is interesting to observe the wording of the opposite poles of public opinion. At one end of the spectrum there was a “ system”, or, as one Donbass worker leader put it, “the bureaucratic dictatorial system, created by […] the communist party […]. Everyone has long understood that it is dangerous, that it destroys the people and the country.” Judging by the 1989 interviews, for many the “system” had lost its legitimacy. The main reason for this was its failure to provide people with decent living standards – or, even worse, to provide these standards only for “selected” people, i.e. the party elite (nomenklatura). Certainly, in the USSR there were always some segments of population that did not share the basic tenants of the Soviet system. Still, before 1985 they made up a minority. The majority believed that faults in the system were isolated shortcomings that could be amended. This was no longer so in 1989. By then, the defects were so numerous that, in the eyes of many, they constituted an entire “system” that had to be removed. This change of attitudes largely came as an effect of glasnost, with its numerous revelations about the Soviet past and the Soviet present.

The opposite to the “system” was “normalcy”, or “normal civilized society”. More often than not, “normalcy” was conceived as congruent with “the West”, as the embodiment of “normal”, “modern”, “civilized” life. The celebration of the western standards was universal. It is easily discerned from countless statements from a broad range people – Rukh leaders, workers, managers, intellectuals, businesspeople, and communists. Even Shcherbytskyi (who was a chain smoker) reportedly smoked only exquisite US cigarettesNeedless to say, the image of the West was highly idealized. Ironically, it was created to a large extent by Soviet propaganda. The overtly anti-western accounts of the West in the Soviet media provoked a persistent counter-bias. Moreover, as analysts noted, “the sources of most of the information coming from the West complicated the reluctance of Ukrainians to establish a critical perspective on western media. Television, advertisements for western products, pirated videos, religious proselytizers, and Ukrainian emigrants returning for a visit to the homeland – the most visible representatives of America – have tended to crowd out or mute critical voices. This ignorance turned out to be a blessing. Surveys on political culture made in Russia and Ukraine in 1989-1992 revealed a solid commitment to democratic values that was not strikingly different from what could be found in industrial western democracies. One explanation was that majority of (former) Soviet citizens identified western political standards with western standards of living.

Although by the end of 1980s there seemed to be a broad understanding that the “system” had failed, there was no clear understanding on how to attain “normalcy”. The programmes of the Rukh, as well as those of the first political parties in 1990, were conspicuously tacit on that issue; at best, they confined themselves to general and rather vague statements that could be reduced to three points: Ukrainian sovereignty, market economy and social security. Their rhetoric was very much socialist – little wonder given the fact the ideal of “socialism with human face” was very popular at that time. The “system” was treated not as an implementation of Marxism, but rather as its crude “Stalinist” aberration. “Socialism with a human face” was identified either as the “Swedish model” (obviously, the social costs were not mentioned) or the Soviet new economic policies of 1920s. In the latter case, socialism with a human face could be explained as a “return to Leninist norms”. In the same vein, national demands were styled as the “return of Leninist national politics”. Characteristically, a leaflet distributed during the founding congress of the Rukh in 1989 showed Lenin dressed as a Ukrainian Cossack. On the other hand, a survey among readers of the most popular newspapers revealed an evident “drift towards capitalism”, with demands for a free market and a return to private property ownership, including land privatization. While any general balance between supporters and opponents of capitalism was hard to identify, the number of supporters for capitalism tended to be higher among the younger generation than older, among Ukrainian speakers than Russian speakers, and among Western than Eastern Ukrainians. There were, of course, many who were undecided and ambivalent.

There was a general romantic mood about fast and positive developments. It was believed that it was important to take the first steps, after which changes would follow their own course. This mood was mirrored by widely held expectations about the miracle about to happen. The talk of the town was a “500-day programme of transition to a market economy”, suggested in 1990 in Moscow by Gregorii Iavlinskii and Stanislav Shatalin. The Ukrainian equivalent was the 1990 parliamentary discussions on the Cossack treasure, allegedly clandestinely placed by hetman Polubotko in 1723 in the Bank of England, for the future Ukrainian state. Some Ukrainian MPs claimed – and quite seriously so – that if the treasure were to be found, that every citizen of Ukraine would get 300.000 British Pounds. Ironically, a similar role was played by an analysis by Deutsche Bank (1991) that claimed that among all the Soviet republics, Ukraine had the best chances of self-sufficient economic development. This prediction was disseminated in numerous leaflets before the referendum on Ukrainian independence in 1991, and was partly responsible for the high support for Ukrainian separatism (90%). A naïve trust in such mystifications and miscalculations was the reverse side of the widely held hope that Ukrainian sovereignty would bring miraculous and immediate results. These exaggerated expectations blocked readiness to face the unavoidable economic problems that followed the break up of the Soviet Union.

Naïve economic expectations were accompanied by overwhelming fears that political developments might lead to an explosion of violence. These fears had two sources. The first was a belief that the system would hit back, leading to mass repressions. As a matter of fact, these concerns were not groundless: among the documents revealed in the wake of the August 1991 coup, there was a long list of Ukrainian politicians and civic leaders who were to be arrested. Another source was a premonition of anti-Russian and anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine. In 1990, the Union Ministry of Interior Affairs and official newspapers issued warnings about imminent ethnic violence in large Ukrainian cities (Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv), incited by Rukh. Luckily, these rumours proved false. Still, fears did not fade so easily. There were also fears of civil war breaking out in Yugoslav style (as a matter of fact, comparisons of the rivalry between Western and Eastern Ukrainian with Serbian-Croatian antagonism can be traced back as far as beginning of the twentieth century). At the end of 1993, the CIA came up with a prognosis about a possible break up of Ukraine along ethnic, political and regional lines, that would lead to a civil war between Western and Eastern Ukraine. The 1994 presidential elections came very close to this prediction: political antagonism between the two rival candidates had an explicit ethno-linguistic dimension. The deep split between the “Catholic” West and the “Orthodox” East amounted to what Samuel Huntington called the clash of civilizations. For Huntington, Ukraine served as a classic example of a “cleft country”. This image has dogged Ukraine since then, and is largely corroborated by later political developments, including the 2004 Orange Revolution.

And yet, Ukraine is shaking but not breaking. It has proved to be a relatively stable political community with a low level of inter-ethnic conflict and violence compared to other post-Soviet countries. Moreover, Ukraine is the only country of the former USSR outside the Baltics qualified by the Freedom House as “free”. In the words of one Russian political analyst, “ Ukraine passed an exam on democracy that we [Russians] really failed […]. The fact that Ukraine did so against a backdrop of terrible economic hardships […] only increases Ukrainian merits (the exam was passed on an ’empty stomach’).

This presents an obvious paradox: how did a country with such a potential for conflict manage a relatively smooth transition from communism to democracy? To be sure, there is more than one answer to that question. Still, one of them, I believe, is rooted in a characteristic of expectations in 1989: a peculiar mixture of imposed ignorance, exaggerated hopes, and realistic fears that made elites compromise rather than escalate tension. All three major political actors of 1989 disappeared from the Ukrainian political landscape long ago, displaced by or dissolved in new parties and fractions. Still, the spirit of compromise lingers. The post-communist history of Ukraine could be presented in a nutshell as a long line of deep political and economic crisis, each concluded by a compromise. The real problem is that most of these compromises have been of a strictly tactical character.

What Ukraine badly needs is a compromise of strategic character around identity issues, such as the status of the Russian language, outward orientation and historical memory. But against the background of ambivalence that has characterized the public mood since the late 1980s, one wonders whether any attempts “to make things clear” would not destabilize the Ukrainian situation even further.

There were some attempts to conduct surveys in Ukraine in 1989, e.g. Valentin Sazhin, “ Attitudes towards gypsies in Ukraine (1989), Nationalities Papers , 19 , 3 (Winter 1991), pp. 337-357; see also below. However these were very occasional, politically motivated and amateurish; at best, they were representative of some segments of population. Regular monitoring of public opinion began in 1992; see: ? ???????? ., ? ?????? , ???., ?????????? ??????????? 1992-2008: ????????????? ?????????? (????, 2008).

Krzysztof Pomian, “Impact of the Annales School in Eastern Europe: Review”, Journal of the Ferdinand Braudel Center, 2 (1978), p. 117.

See: Ivan L. Rudnytsky, “The Political Thought of Soviet Ukrainian Dissidents”, in his Essays in Modern Ukrainian History ( Edmonton, 1987), p. 486.

This is a conclusion, drawn from a comparative study of historical memory in the post-war Soviet Union: Zvi Gitelman, “Soviet Reactions to the Holocaust, 1945-1991”, in: L.Dobroszycki, J.S. Gurock, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945 (Armonk, N.Y: 1993), p. 3, 9-11.

This could be well illustrated by an example of Moscow-based journal Ogoniok, which stood in the forefront of glasnost. Even though it was edited by Yuri Korotych (Korotich), a Ukrainian poet who in the 1960s participated in the Ukrainian non-conformist movement shestydesiatnyky (sixties), specifically Ukrainian topics (such as the famine of 1932-33, the repressions of Ukrainian intelligentsia in 1920s and 1970s, the liquidation of Ukrainian Greek Catholic church) did not feature in it.

Pavel Palazcehko, My Years with Gorbachev and Shevarnadze. The Memoir of a Soviet Interpreter (University Park, PA,1997), p. 302.

Giovanni Arrighi, Terens K. Hopkins, Immanuel Wallersein, “1989: Continuation of 1968”, in George N. Katsiaficas (Ed.). After the Fall: 1989 and the Future of Freedom (NewYork, London, 2001), pp. 35-51.

Michael Kramer, “ Ukraine and the Soviet-Czechoslovak Crisis of 1968 (Part 1): The Diaries of Petro Shelest”, in Cold War International History Project Bulletin 10 (1998) pp. 234-47; “ Ukraine and the Soviet-Czechoslovak Crisis of 1968 (Part 2): New Evidence from the Ukrainian Archives”, available at,

See .: ?. ?????, ?. ????????, “ ??????? ???????????? (????? ? 1988–1996 ??.) ” , ?. ???????, ?. ???????, ?. ??????, ???. ?????. ????????? ?????? (?????, 1996), pp . 543 – 611; D . Zlepko ,” Aufbruch unter Blau – Gelb . Der Wandel von sowjetischen zum ukrainischen Lemberg“, in P . F äß ler , T . Held , D . Sawitzki , eds., Lemberg – Lw ó w – L’viv . Eine Stadt im Schnittpunkt europ ä ischer Kulturen ( K ö ln – Weimar – Wien , 1993), p p . 167 – 206.

?.??????????, “ ?????????? ??? ? ??????????? ????????? 1989–1991 ??. ” , ? ??..: ?. ???????, ?. ??????, ???.. ?????? ??????????? ??????? ???????????. ?????, 22– 28 ?????? 1993. ???????? ? ????????????. ??????? . ?. ??. (?????, 1994), pp . 149 – 154.

???????? ???????, ?????????. ?????-???. ????: ??????????? ?? «??????», 1994, pp . 129-130, 140, 145, 156, 159.

For statistics that reflected hierarchy of demands see : ?.?. ?????????????, ?.?. ?????????, ?.?. ?????, “????? ??????? ???????????? ???????? ? ????????????? ????????”, ??????????? ? ???????????? ?????, 1992, nr. 1, p. 10. On importance of the Chernobyl issue for mass mobilization see: ?.????????, ” ???? ??????????? ????? ?? ???????????? ???????. ??????????????? ?? ???????????? ??????? ” , ??????????, 1992, nr. 8, p . 149; Jane I . Dawson , Eco – Nationalism : Anti – Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia , Lithuania , and Ukraine ( Durham, NC, 1996).

????? ????? , “ ????????-?????????? ??????????? ?????????“, ???? ????? ?????? 4 ?????? 2009 ?.,

Arthur H. Miller, Thomas F. Klobucar, William M.Reisinger, and Vicki L.Hesli, “Social Identities in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania”, Post-Soviet Affairs 14, 3 (1998) , pp. 248-286.

Quoted from : ?.?.??????, ????? ???????. ? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??????? (????, 1993), pp. 55.

?????? ????????, ??? ? ??????????: ??????? ?????????? ???????, ??????? ??????nr. 36 (257) 11 — 17 ???????? 1999 ( ). Nothing better illustrates this ambivalence than discussion on foreign orientation among the Rukh’s leaders: Ivan Zaiets saw future of Ukraine in NATO and united Europe, while Viktor Stratienko stood for integration with the Soviet republics; Dmytrii Chobit saw a military threat emanating from Poland, Oleksa Hudyma – from the US, Valentyn Protsenko – from China; all the three agreed, however, that Russia represented the main threat (ibid.)

??????, ????? ??????? , c.50-51. Tellingly, their emphasis on social demands found support from Adam Michnik, the only foreign guest at the founding Rukh congress (ibid).

Lewis H.Siegelbaum, Daniel J. Walkowitz, eds, Workers of the Donbass Speak. Survival and Identity in the New Ukraine, 1989-1992 (New York, 1995), p p. 108, 120, 179.

E. I. Golovakha, “Postkommunisticheskoe razvitiye Ukrainy i Rossii (sravnitel’nyi analiz sotsial’no-politiceskikh protsesov),” T. I. Zaslavskaja, ed., Kuda idet Rossia?… Sotsial’naia transformatsiia postsovetskogo prostranstva 3 ( Moscow, 1996), p. 51.

See e.g., Valerii Khmelko,”Ukraina tiazhiie do livoho tsentru. Prynaimni polovyna nashykh spivvitchyznykivvoliie duzhe sotsialnoho kapitalizmu i nezalezhnosti v druzhbi z Rosiieiu”, Den, N 141 (12 serpnia 1997), p. 4 .

Workers of the Donbass Speak , p. 119.

Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted. The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000 ( Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), p p . 68-71

???????, ????????? , pp. 130, 148, 164,169;

Workers of the Donbass Speak , p. 179.

James L. Gibson. “The Resilience of Mass Support for Democratic Institutions and Processes in the Nascent Russian and Ukrainian Democracies”, in Vladimir Tismaneanu (ed.), Political Culture and Civil Society in Russia and the New States of Eurasia(New York, London, 1995), p. 53-111.

?.?. ??????, ???. ??????? ??????????????. ????????? ????????? ????? ?????? (????, 1991).

?.?. ??????, ” ?????? ????? ” ,

See: Karel E. Berkhoff. “Brothers, We Are All of Cossack Stock”: The Cossack Campaign of Ukrainian Newspapers on the Eve of Independence // Harvard Ukrainian Studies. 1997. Vol. XXI. nr. 1-2 , pp. 119-140.; S. Yekelchyk. Cossack gold: History, Myth and the Dream of Prosperity in the Age of Post-soviet Transition // Canadian Slavonic papers. 1998. Sept-Dec. ( )

Corbet, Michael, and Andreas Gummich, The Soviet Union at the Crossroads : Facts and Figures on the Soviet Republics ( Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank, 1991).

?????? ???????, «?????????? ? ???????? ??-????????? (??????? ?? ???????????? ??????? ???????????-???????????? ??????? ? ????????????? ???????)», Ab Imperio. 2007. nr. 3.

??????, ????? ???????, pp. 82-83.

Williams D. and Smith R.J. .”U.S. Intelligence Sees Economic Flight Leading to Break-up of Ukraine”, Washington Post, January 25, 1994.

Samuel P Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order ( New York, 1996 ) , pp. 165 – 168.

Jose Casanova,”Ethno-linguistic and Religious Pluralism and Democratic Construction in Ukraine”, in Bernett R. Robin, Jack L.Snyder, (eds). Post-Soviet Political Order. Conflict and State Building (New York, 1998), 81-103. William Zimmerman, “Is Ukraine a Political Community ? ”, in Communist and Post – Communist Studies , 31 . 1 (1998), pp. 43–55.

“Freedom in the World Comparative and Historical Data”, “Map of Freedom: Central and Eastern Europe/Former Soviet Union”,

?.??????, ” ??????? ? ??. ???????????? ?????????? ? ???????????? ???????? “, ????????? ????? . 1995. nr. 1 , p. 70.

This is the point I tried to develop in my: “Co po Giedrojciu?”, in Jerzy Giedroyc: kultura – polityka – wiek XX (Warsaw, forthcoming).

According to the most recent survey, the number of people in Ukraine who stand for a reconciliation over historical memory dropped from a majority in April 2003 (65%) to a relative minority (46%) in April 2009. The good news is that it still remains the largest group – see: .


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