This entry was posted on May 11, 2015 at 3:42 am and is filed under Foreign Affairs, International, War and Peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
One Response to “Russia and Ukraine: sources of information”
This comment from sglover is copied from another post
Not quite relevant to this, but… A while ago you asked your readers to recommend information sources for the sad situation in Ukraine. I’ve found “Irrussianality” — https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/ — just about the best thing out there. It’s by a Canadian academic, a Russian history scholar, named Paul Robinson.
A quick digression: I’ve been to Ukraine four times since 2001; the most recent visit was last November. I’ve had the good fortune to visit Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, and Sevastopol. Unfortunately, I don’t (yet) speak the language, but I communicate with friends there at least monthly. And over the last 15 years or so I’ve been following economic and political news from Ukraine fairly consistently.
I am NOT an expert, nowhere close. But from my acquaintance with the country and its recent past, I think I am competent to tell you this: U.S. media coverage has always been, and still is, a joke, an embarrassment, a travesty. A quick tip-off is the number of “journalist” ignorami who still insist on talking about THE Ukraine — a quarter-century after Ukraine’s independence. So if you don’t waste your time on the NYT or the WaPo or the Economist or any of that lot. (Der Spiegel is very good, however.)
With that out of the way, here’s what makes “Irrussianality” worth a look: Robinson is knowledgeable about the language and the culture, which is central. He doesn’t waste time on cartoon villians, no “Megalomaniac Putin — The Next Genghis Hitler?”. Refreshingly, he also doesn’t fall for the equally inane narrative that I’m sad to see many Lefties falling for, in which Maidan was nothing more than a CIA op, and everything is due to the nefarious Victoria Nuland. These stories give Nuland credit for a helluva lot more competence than she ever demonstrated. Ukraine’s a complex society, with about two centuries of history playing out, right now. Robinson’s the best guide for the country I’ve seen so far.