Introduction

Július Koller, U.F.O.-NAUT J.K. (U.F.O.), 1987, color photograph on paper. 24 × 18 cm. Courtesy of the artist and gb agency, Paris.

Two years after central Kyiv exploded in protest, leading to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies, the situation in Ukraine remains in flux. Russia is visibly decreasing its presence in the rebel-occupied east, but whether Donetsk and Luhansk will be reintegrated into Ukraine or remain “frozen” between two countries as Transnistria and South Ossetia have is unknown. Meanwhile, Western creditors and nationalist forces present their own menacing demands.

The following symposium does not pretend to be definitive about a difficult and in many ways tragic situation. But it does hope to shed light on some aspects of post-Maidan Ukraine that are less often discussed in the West. Anastasiya Osipova reflects on the emotional pressure of life in Kyiv; Tony Wood asks where neoliberal reforms are going to take Ukraine; Sophie Pinkham describes the logic of decommunization; Keith Gessen looks at Western media depictions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict over the past two years; and Nina Potarskaya recalls the trials and tribulations of the Ukrainian left since the protests began on Maidan in November 2013.

More from Issue 24

Issue 24 New Age
Stars—They're Just Like Us!
Issue 24 New Age

All the problems of the world dissolve in a warm open-source bath! Capitalism loses on the playing fields of Valve Software.

Issue 24 New Age
Race and the American Creed
Issue 24 New Age

Any debt to the living takes precedence over any debt to the dead.

Issue 24 New Age

If the objection was that porn was tasteless, profane, distorting, or exploitative, then porn was just really honest TV.

Issue 24 New Age
Weirdos
Issue 24 New Age
H.
Issue 24 New Age

The roadside advertisements all pulsate with the same messages: corruption, desperation, money laundering, patriotism.

Issue 24 New Age

Are there alternative paths Ukraine could follow?

Issue 24 New Age

Had all those bombs meant nothing?

Issue 24 New Age

The question needs to become, which truth are they telling, and for whom?

Issue 24 New Age

There was food in the stores, and currency in the ATMs, and the men with guns were, on the whole, much less likely to detain you.

Issue 24 New Age

It’s never entirely clear whether the crime is Meursault’s murder or Camus’s book.

Issue 24 New Age

Maybe it’s best to be good at many things but great only at convincing people you’re great at everything.

Issue 24 New Age

Sometimes when freedom is yours for the taking, you still want permission to take it.

Issue 24 New Age

“Really? It seems glib, that’s all.” —Eileen Myles

More by this Author

Issue 24 New Age

The question needs to become, which truth are they telling, and for whom?

May 23, 2011

At once too densely civilized and not civil enough, the city fared little better at the hands of an emerging pragmatism.

October 5, 2007

If the Rangers can get their lines clicking, that’s the team to beat. Solid defense, and three offensive lines.

March 25, 2013

If you were shaking down a vegetable stand in 1990, you are probably not in the State Duma in 2013.

Issue 7 Correction

I’ve never seen the financial system as a whole more distressed.

May 24, 2012

But I do read a hockey theorist. Translation is arduous and must simply be done. Hockey can be theorized. I read Brooks.