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Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 10:16

Source: Krytyka Magazine, Print Edition, Year XIX, Issue 5-6 (211-212), pages 20-22

Mapping the Maidan

August 2015

David Marples, a prominent Canadian scholar of modern Ukraine and Belarus, and his younger colleague from the University of Alberta Frederick Mills have published an edited volume of twelve essays dedicated to various aspects of recent events in Ukraine titled Ukraine’s Euromaidan: Analyses of a Civil Revolution.1 The collection lacks the cohesiveness typical of a monograph, suggesting that the themes addressed in each chapter were respectively chosen by their individual authors rather than the editors. It is not an attempt to provide a synthetic understanding of events surrounding the Euromaidan. That said, certain chapters have the distinct potential to be expanded into book-length works, in particular Taras Kuzio’s “Vigilantes, Organized Crime, and Russian and Eurasian Nationalisms: The Case of Ukraine,” and Marta Dyczok’s detailed outline of the media situation during the Euromaidan, “Mass Media Framing, Representations, and Impact on Public Opinion.” It is perhaps a shame if these complex and fascinating topics only receive brief treatment in this kind of edited volume format. Here, Kuzio focuses on how a criminal group from Donetsk usurped power, without devoting much attention to the “nationalist” question, while Dyczok never gets to the deeper analysis of the media’s influence upon public opinion that the second part of her title promises.

The book’s mosaic format works best in short case studies that focus on specific topics, such as “Digital Civil Society: Euromaidan, the Ukrainian Diaspora, and Social Media,” in which Svitlana Krasynska describes three media initiatives by Ukrainians abroad, who tried to deliver objective information about the Maidan to foreign audiences. In “Belarus and Maidan: Lukashenka’s Response,” Uladzimir Padhol and David Marples provide a great analysis of the Belarusian President’s ambivalent and openly opportunistic reaction to Ukrainian events. Frederick Mills’s “Understanding the Euromaidan: The View from the Kremlin” is a useful chapter for English-reading audiences not yet completely bewildered by Russian propaganda, even if it will be familiar material to most Ukrainians already well acquainted with the “view” in question.

Three articles by young Ukrainian scholars — Olesya Khromeychuk’s “Gender and Nationalism on the Maidan,” Natalia Otrishchenko’s “Beyond the Square: The Real and Symbolic Landscapes of the Euromaidan,” and Anna Chebotariova’s “‘Voices of Resistance and Hope’: On the Motivations and Expectations of Euromaidaners” — stand out in particular ...

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