The September–October, 2018 issue of Krytyka opens with an article on “Geopolitics Against Democracy: Ukraine’s Democratization and Russian Great Power Aspirations” by Paul J. D’Anieri, Professor in the Department of Political Science and in the School of Public Policy at University of California Riverside, co-editor in chief of the Journal of Ukrainian Politics and Society, whose scholarly interests focus on Eastern European and post-Soviet politics. In the centre of his article D’Anieri puts the question of how did democracy come to be a source of conflict rather than peace. Answering this question is essential to understanding the roots of the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the prospects for peace – as well as for reconciliation between Russia and the West. The idea of Russia as a great power is still compelling for Russian elites and citizens alike, as is the belief that Ukraine is Russian. On a global scale, the question is whether the world will be unipolar or multipolar.
In his “Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right” Andreas Umland, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv, and editor of the book series Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, reviews four books: Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism by Charles Clover (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016), The Gumilev Mystique: Biopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia by Mark Bassin (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016), Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Europe-Russia Relationship (ed. by Marlene Laruelle; Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), and Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir by Anton Shekhovtsov (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2017), studying the various permutations of Russia’s extreme right. He argues that these four books illustrate that investigations into contemporary far right ideas and actors are no longer a niche activity within political science. Instead, Russian right-wing extremism has become a central topic in the study of post-Soviet domestic politics, international relations, and security affairs.
“You Don’t Have a Right to Believe Whatever You Want To” by Daniel DeNicola, Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and the author of Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know (2017), which received the 2018 PROSE Award in Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers, was first published in the online magazine Aeon in May, 2018. Krytyka offers a Ukrainian translation of this essay on misleading beliefs. If some beliefs are false, or morally repugnant, or irresponsible, some beliefs are also dangerous. People might be ‘true believers,’ but they are not believers in the truth.
Oles Fedoruk, literary scholar, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Manuscripts and Textology at the Taras Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, reviews in his “Ukrainica in the Slavophile Archives” books recently published in Saint Peterburg that contain material important for Ukrainian topics, especially for Taras Shevchenko’s Peterburg circle as well as the correspondence between Vera Aksakova and Maria Kartashevskaya (1853–1856) and research on the Slavophile newspaper Den’ that was edited by Ivan Aksakov.
“A Ukrainian Avant-Gardist’s Adventures in Prague” by Oleh Kotsarev, writer, essayist, journalist and translator, examines some biographical threads from the Prague period of Vasyl Khmelyuk’s work in the 1920s. Poet and artist, a representative of Dadaism, Surrealism and Futurism, Vasyl Khmelyuk (1903–1986) lived and worked in Prague from 1923 to 1928. Kotsarev argues that from today’s perspective it is clear that he was one of the leaders of the Ukrainian avant-garde of the first half of the twentieth century.
Another review, “Futurism – Forever,” is offered by Oleh Sydor-Hibelynda, art critic, Senior Research Fellow in the New Technology Art Department at the Institute of the Modern Arts. Commenting on the new translation into Ukrainian of Myroslava M. Mudrak’s The New Generation and Artistic Modernism in the Ukraine (Kyiv: Rodovid Publishers, 2018) he relates his own memories of the Ukrainian artistic environment of the last decades of the twentieth century and in the process traces the impact of the futurists on contemporary Ukrainian art and art criticism.
Kostiantyn Moskalets, poet, critic and essayist, focuses in his “Applying Plantain” on Ivan Malkovych’s ‘selected and newest poems’ from his book Podorozhnyk – which is part of the Ukrainian Poetic Anthology series founded by Malkovych in 2012 and which to this day remains an important poetry project in Ukraine.