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Book Notice: Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism

A new publication edited By Boris Kagarlitsk, Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman

This book is a unique contribution to scholarship on the sources of the conflict in Ukraine. The volume brings together writers from Russia, Ukraine, Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, many of whom attended a gathering of scholars and activists from all over Ukraine, held in Yalta, Crimea, just after the conflict in Eastern Ukraine erupted.
Published by Routledge, Feb 7, 2019:

The book arises from a grass roots initiative that took place at the very beginning of the rebellion in Donetsk and Luhansk. A “school” for activists and social organizations from all over Ukraine was held in Belgorod and it issued two statements, an international declaration and a domestic programme designed by Ukrainians for Ukraine.

This programme, which continued to circulate around Ukraine, stressed the need for social transformation, democratization and cultural equality of all languages (not just Russian and Ukrainian) as the only way to overcome the crisis. It refrained from mentioning Novorossia as a state, though it did mention Novorossia as an idea. In doing this, the signatories were indicating that their programme could be realized in any one of a number of possible state frameworks, including a united federal Ukraine or one divided between autonomous states.

The school was followed by a meeting in Yalta, called jointly by Ukrainian and Russian supporters of the declarations, was convened in June 2014. It brought many of these together with activists and scholars from other parts of the world, allowing the latter vital access to discussions among grass-root Ukrainians. This gave them a very different understanding of the way developments were unfolding on the ground in eastern Ukraine, Crimea and other parts of Ukraine than that provided by or via either Western or Russian official sources.

The result was the Yalta Declaration (see Appendix).

The chapters examine various aspects of the Ukraine conflict in its early stages.


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