[Marxism] Fwd: Anton Shekhovtsov's blog: What Can Be Expected from Ukrainian Right in the Midst of Political and Military Crisis?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 4 06:40:30 MDT 2014

Nikolas Kozloff interviews Anton Shekhovtsov.

NK: The western left, such as it is, hasn't exactly rallied to the 
Ukrainian cause. Perhaps, this has something to do with the fact that 
Vladimir Putin is on the opposing side, and he is countering the 
bogeyman of U.S. imperialism. Sometimes, such rigid ideological 
positions can look an awful lot like apologetics for Russian 
expansionism, and you had a rather testy exchange with Russian scholar 
Stephen Cohen on Democracy Now! not too long ago. How do you think the 
recent air disaster, coupled with suspicions that Russia may have 
assisted the Ukrainian rebels, will affect this debate and do you think 
leftist commentators in the U.S. and Britain will now reconsider their 

AS: So far, I haven't seen any indication that they will reconsider 
their positions. Some people simply parrot what the Kremlin says, and 
accuse Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysian airliner. I expect that 
Die Linke, a leftist party in Germany, will probably hew to the Kremlin 
political line because it is anti-American. Nevertheless, I don't 
believe all western groups share this pro-Russian position.

NK: If you think the progressive media in the U.S. or Britain has fallen 
short in its coverage of Ukraine, how do you think such outlets should 
cover your country?

AS: Western media, just like Russian outlets, tends to deprive 
Ukrainians of any agency of their own. There's always a lot of talk 
about conflicting interests between the west and Russia, geopolitics, 
expansionist interests on both sides, etc. All of these issues are 
certainly legitimate, but somehow Ukrainians themselves get left out of 
the discussion.

NK: How should Ukrainian society come to terms with anti-Semitism and 
what are the hopes for a more multi-ethnic and tolerant society?

AS: First of all, Ukrainian society is already very multi-ethnic. Though 
the EuroMaidan was oftentimes depicted in dark and ultra-nationalist 
colors, the movement has spurred the growth of a civic nation. The myth 
of the "heavenly hundred" has helped to contribute and consolidate such 
civic-mindedness and constitutional patriotism. I'm referring to the 100 
or so martyrs at the Maidan who were shot and killed by riot police. 
Ukrainians died there, but also Russians, Poles, Georgians, an Armenian 
and a few Jews. To be sure, xenophobic nationalists have sought to erase 
such memories, and they may even find fertile ground in some pockets of 
the population. But I'm not sure they will ever be successful in 
electoral terms, and I'm skeptical that Ukrainians would ever rally to a 
program aimed at "ethnic cleansing" or the like.


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