Issue 5-6, 2015 of Krytyka opens with “Seven Deadly Sins: or Seven Reasons why Europe Gets the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Wrong,” the journal version of Andrew Wilson’s speech at the second V.clav Havel European Dialogues Conference in Prague, on May 29, 2015. Andrew Wilson examines the seven underlying reasons why Europe so misperceives the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and challenges the basic policies and approaches of the Eastern Partnership.
Andreas Umland, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv and Adjunct Associate Professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, gives a broad overview of the possible repercussion of the so called “Ukraine Crisis” (a term he believes is doubly misleading) in his article “The Global Impact of the ‘Ukraine Crisis’.” The crisis, as he sees it, undermines worldwide efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; it has an increasingly evident negative impact on Russia’s economy and its position in the world, and, as such, it will inflict lasting damage on an important actor in international affairs. Professor Umland also has serious doubts regarding the currently popular idea that Moscow would be able to replace its partnership with the West by a Sino-Russian alliance.
In his “Mapping the Maidan,” Mykola Riabchuk, a Ukrainian critic and columnist, the chair of Ukrainian PEN, reviews Ukraine’s Euromaidan. Analyses of a Civil Revolution, a volume of essays edited by David R. Marples and Frederick V. Mills. Riabchuk points out the competence gap between several texts included in this mosaic of a book, from almost a monograph to poor judgements, but he is generally positive about the picture of the Maidan that the book provides for the global audience.
In May 2015 the Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen delivered a speech at a conference “Between Truth and Power: The Role of Authors in Building and Changing Europe” in Riga, Latvia. Entitled “A Caged Lion,” it addresses the concept of “Finlandization,” whereby a stronger power constructs a collective memory and rhetorical practices for its weaker neighbors — which is something the author experienced herself.
The Ukrainian art critic Kateryna Botanova challenges the policies of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture in her “The Dilemmas of Ukrainian Cultural Policy: Between a Circus and a Mausoleum.” She explains how the pattern of perception of Ukrainian culture had been set in the early 1990s, and how the recent developments in Ukraine undermine that.
Krzysztof Czyżewski, the founder and director of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny (Poland), shares the memories of his acquaintance with recently deceased Polish poet, literary critic, scholar, and translator Stanisław Barańczak. In his essay “Barańczak’s Expanding Horizons” Czyżewski also recounts the 1970s Polish underground intellectual scene and Barańczak’s prominent role in it.
The issue concludes with the second part of “The Last Chapter” by Enda O’Doherty, Irish critic and editor (see Krytyka, #3–4 for the first part of the article). She reviews A History of The Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad in a rich and compact essay on the history of literacy, reading practices, publishing, and books as everyday objects.