Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

April 27, 2014

A brief Guide: Ukraine has three primary national identities . Andrew Taylor 27 April 2014

1. The first is Ukrainian, but it’s a contemporary innovation that the people see themselves as 'just' Ukrainian. Ukraine only became an independent state in 1991.

2. The second identity is Soviet, and as polling shows this was a time of greater economic and civic security for the Ukrainian people, so this is a treasured past identity but also an angering, festering memory that the ordinary people were robbed of their better life by politicians.

3. The third Ukrainian identity is Russian. A quarter of Ukrainians are of Russian ancestry, but many millions more have Russian extended family. And the majority of Ukrainians regularly speak and read Russian so the idea of a real cultural divide between Ukraine and Russia is foreign to most Ukrainians, with the exception of those of the western ultra-nationalist right*.

*Note: It is this western Ukrainian,ultra-nationalist rightist section of Ukraine that has overwhelming representation in the new interim coup government.

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