Ukraine: Look from abroadWhen Ukraine was subject to Russian aggression, big support came from the United States and Canada, where the governments and ordinary people became sympathetic to the Ukrainians, who lost part of their territory while demanding more freedom and changing the government. The Politicon interviews Marta Dyczok, a Canadian-Ukrainian Associate Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Western Ontario in order to learn how Ukraine still looks from North America.

 

Interviewer: Rusif Huseynov

 

 

Huseynov: How does Ukraine look from abroad, especially North America, where ordinary people are not usually so interested in Eastern European affairs?

Dyczok: In the past year or so Ukraine has really faded from the headlines, and therefore from mainstream public attention in North America. As the war in the Donbas has become a protracted conflict, like the one in Syria, Ukraine only gains interest when a major development occurs. Stories about corruption in Ukraine are not of huge interest to media audiences at a time when the Trump administration in Washington regularly appears in the headlines with new scandals. 

 

Despite high euphoria for Euro-integration and rising patriotism because of Russian intervention, Ukrainian politicians have not brought serious changes as corruption and other problems at the moment do not differ so much from those during Yanukovych regime? Will this situation bring another post-Orange revolution disappointment and increase Russian influence again?

From watching the news headlines coming out of Ukraine, there does not appear to be a revolutionary wave building, although there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the current political leadership. What I see, which is encouraging, is that various sectors of society are engaging in constructive means for reform, whether it’s in the media sector, in education, in local government, developing civil society institutions, and focusing their efforts to act as watchdogs of the government.

 

Petro Poroshenko bid farewell to Russia after Ukraine obtained visa-free regime with the European Union? How far can Ukraine go away from Russia? Is any reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia seeming possible after what has happened? 

I don’t see much room for reconciliation until the war ends. With Ukrainians being killed and wounded every week, shelling continuing in the Donbas, and continued violation of human rights in Russian controlled Crimea, especially but not only of Crimean Tatars, the continued war of words coming out of the Kremlin, it doesn’t seem that Russia is interested in reconciliation. What is needed is peace, followed by normalization of relations. But at the moment, sadly, there appear to be few solutions or prospects for this on the horizon.

 

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