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Lecture 16

SLAVC 90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Euromaidan, Sacred Language, Viktor Yanukovych

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Roman Koropeckyj

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Slavic 90
Lecture 16: Euromaidan
- Ukraine encompasses issues of all other Slav nations
- historical claim vs ethnic claims to land that makes up Ukraine (ethnic Ukrainian vs
historical Russian and Pole, Poles no longer in contention)
- Poland vs Russia
- Poles never had cultural problem with Russians, viewed as distinctly foreign power
- since end of eighteenth and early part of nineteenth centuries, small group of Poles
argued that they should become part of Russia
- Polish and Russian culture worlds apart in language, religion, etc; very foreign;
languages not intelligible
- Ukraine vs Russia
- both Orthodox (same liturgical language and practices; for a long time, religion was
basis of identity and during time as part of Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, this
religious difference separated Ukraine from Poland and Lithuania and drew it closer
to Russia)
- languages very similar (can have a mix of two languages ie. Spanglish, and is very
- for a lot of Ukrainians, movement between Ukrainian and Russian language is not
an issue, often interspersed
- Ukraine contains two eastern Christian sects and Catholics (converted by Poles during
Reformation, widespread in western Ukraine)
- national consciousness as function of national revival (intellectuals gathered folk songs,
began to write literature in Ukrainian, standardized language-- same process of nation
building that happened in other Slavic countries)
- not as successful as others, esp. Czech
- Poland has Mickiewicz, Ukraine has Taras Shevchenko (every single Ukrainian
home has icon of image)
- Shevchenko impacted Ukrainian worldview with creation of myth of golden age
(age of Cossacks) and collapse (treaty with Russians, decision on part of Russian
Slavs to join with Orthodox brethren in order to free Ukraine from Poles, viewed as
original sin that led to decline of Ukraine)
- Belarusians and Ukrainians very similar, but Ukraine had Cossacks, unlike
- social drama: 2014 Euromaidan, Revolution of Dignity
- breach: Yanukovych (won presidency in 2004 fraudulently but was ousted, won
presidency in 2010 fairly, generally corrupt) intended to sign trade agreement that
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