PECOB Portal on Central Eastern
and Balkan Europe
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Workshop - Ukraine a Multiregional State under Pressure - Round-table Discussion

Venue: Leipzig, Germany
Period: June 23-25, 2014

Leipzig
Leipzig

Description

For almost half a year Ukraine is now under heavy pressure from within and without: The victory of the Euromaidan movement resulted in the ousting of the authoritarian and kleptocratic president Viktor Yanukovych, followed by a covert intervention, military occupation and ultimately annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea by neighbouring Russia. This flagrant breach of international law has changed world politics in a radical way reminiscent to the Cold War. In addition, the Russian Federation in recent months has encouraged armed separatist and criminal groups (including GRU specialists and Chechen mercenaries) in the south-eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, thereby pouring oil in the flames of low intensity warfare between well-armoured insurgents and weak Ukrainian security forces. While the election of Petro Poroshenko as president on 25 May 2014 had a stabilizing effect, the armed conflict in the Southeast is still going on despite international mediation by the EU and the OSCE.

Ukraine, literally translated “At the edge”, being an arena of different nations and belongings and a frontier in Eastern Europe since Danylo Romanovych of Galicia–Volhynia indeed, has again come into focus of conflicting interests between the East and the West. Designed to become an elementary component of Russia’s economic and political Eurasian Union, the Ukraine, with not much more than the European association agreement at hand, turned out to be in a weak position impossible to ignore Moscow’s resolute offer, backed by gas politics and military threat. Media coverage of the escalating conflict in the West started somewhat late romanticizing the Euromaidan process too long while neglecting its rightist forces whereas Russia’s propaganda quickly launched a disinformation campaign portraying the Euromaidan as a fascist rebellion. Many regions of the Ukraine, traditionally under local patronage tutelage of corrupt and at best paternalistic oligarchs, have thus come under control of economic warlords.

The round-table looks at the effects of these processes and recent events in three main regions of East, Central, and Western Ukraine. It is hoped to shed light on some open questions, false assumptions and propaganda falsifications as well as on possible solutions to the international crisis and internal tensions of the Ukraine.
Panellists are three Ukrainian scholars being eyewitnesses to the dramatic developments in different parts of the country since fall last year:

The round-table in Leipzig is chaired by Professor Stefan Troebst, a historian of Eastern Europe at GWZO and Leipzig University:
23 June, 17:30: Specks Hof, Reichsstr. 4-6, 04109 Leipzig
The round-table in Halle is chaired by Professor Dittmar Schorkowitz, a social anthropologist and historian at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology focusing on Eastern Europe and Asia:
25 June, 16:00: MPI, Advokatenweg 36, 06114 Halle/Saale

Organizer

Information & contacts

Dittmar Schorkowitz
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Department: Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia
Advokatenweg 36, D-06114 Halle/Saale
phone: +49 (0) 345-2927 217
fax: +49 (0) 345-2927 202

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