Streetwise Professor

December 18, 2010

The Kazcynski Crash Report Crashes

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:38 am

The Polish government has rejected Russia’s report on the air crash that killed Polish President Kaczynski and 96 others (h/t R):

“In the form it was sent, the report is indisputably unacceptable,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters Friday on the sidelines of the European Union summit in Brussels. “In the view of negligence, errors and a lack of positive reaction to Polish suggestions, we’re able to say that some conclusions in the report are baseless.”

The findings haven’t been made public, and Mr. Tusk didn’t offer any specifics about what conclusions he found objectionable. The government said earlier that the report would be made public but didn’t say when.

It is interesting to note that Tusk is not hardline, or reflexively anti-Russian, as Kazcynski was.  Indeed, he has been engaged in something of a rapprochement with Russia, much to the chagrin of many Poles.

UPI reports that the Russians failed to take measures that are routine in any air crash investigation in the US or Europe–even those not involving heads of state of visiting countries:

Meanwhile, Warsaw prosecutors are investigating suspicions vital evidence was destroyed by the Russians, Poland Radio said.

Rafal Rogalski, a lawyer representing some the 96 victims’ families, told prosecutors the wreckage is being destroyed, citing a television report showing Russians cutting it into smaller pieces.

Poland has repeatedly asked Russia to protect the evidence, but it was only in October that the plane was fenced off and covered with tarpaulin.

Tusk noted that the Russians did not follow the Chicago Convention on air crash investigations.  (Aside: whenever I see “Chicago” and “convention” in the same sentence, I have visions of riots.  Vivid childhood memory.)

Let’s consider some possible explanations for Russian behavior: (a) coverup, (b) incompetence, (c) they just don’t give a damn.  Hardly an appealing menu.  Any other suggestions?

Poland and Russia have made some tentative steps towards improved relations.  The sloppy handling–under the most charitable interpretation–of a matter of great sensitivity to Poland is hardly evidence for any genuine respect for that country in Russia.  It will be interesting to see whether this disabuses Tusk and others of any illusions they might have about the possibility that Russia seriously contemplates anything remotely resembling a relationship between equals.

In any event, the way this was handled from the first reveals yet again, as if further evidence was needed, of Russia’s consummate skill at undermining its own interests.

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95 Comments »

  1. I don’t see how incompetence translates into lack of respect.

    Comment by Andrew #2 — December 18, 2010 @ 10:53 am

  2. That’s simple, I’ll put it into Russian context: When I got into a small accident in Moscow, I had to go to a normal public hospital in the Krasnye Vorota area of central Moscow. The initial viewing by the doctor on duty was alarming, he smelled of vodka, slurred his words, and did not exercise any modern concepts of hygiene in his inspection of my injury. Having lived in Moscow for some time, I knew what to do next: I threatened, sneered, and mostly screamed, and got the head doctor for the hospital to take over – result injury fixed cleanly, quickly, with a lot of pampering and respect from the hospital staff.

    Therefore, once they understood that I was to be respected, the atmosphere of competence changed drastically. Too bad the Polish gov forgot how to deal correctly with the Russian mind-set.

    Comment by Kavkazwatcher — December 19, 2010 @ 5:41 am

  3. What’s the Polish government doing to further research the issue of the up to 70,000 Red Army personnel who died in Polish prison camps?

    The onus is hypocritically directed at Russia. Such is the arrogant and ignorant anti-Russian mind-set.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 19, 2010 @ 6:01 am

  4. John McCain also standing tall on Russia, putting Obama’s craven feet to the fire:

    http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/editorial-resurgent-mccain-blasts-neo-soviet-russia/

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 19, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  5. McCain was one of the original targets of Putin’s comment “The dogs bark. The caravan passes.”

    The Russian government know better than to expect anything other than a lot of snarling from McCain, under any circumstances.

    And they are fully prepared to continue advancing Russia’s interests in the face of McCains hostility.

    Comment by rkka — December 19, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  6. At russophile tosser “Andrew #3″ whose inane comment What’s the Polish government doing to further research the issue of the up to 70,000 Red Army personnel who died in Polish prison camps? shows the typical Russian bs approach to history, a lesson for you:

    One of the most controversial issues that surfaced in the 1990s, was the situation of Soviet prisoners of war in Poland. During this war between two countries experiencing great socioeconomic difficulties, and often unable to care for their own populations, the treatment of prisoners of war was far from adequate,with tens of thousands on both sides, in Russian and Polish camps, dying of communicable diseases. Between 16,000 to 20,000 of Soviet POWs – out of 80,000 – died in Polish camps;[4] and a similar number of Polish POWs – out of about 51,000 – died in Soviet and Lithuanian camps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_of_the_Polish-Soviet_War

    The difference was the Poles were attempting to free their bretheren still under Russian occupation, while the Russians were attempting to extend their enslavement of the Polish people.

    Comment by Andrew — December 19, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  7. Yes; nothing like Wikipedia for a source, where anyone can input their version of history.

    Comment by Mark — December 19, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  8. An at times very stupid one at that.

    Moreover, the Poles before, during and after Pilsuidski weren’t free of a repressive imperialism of their own doing.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 19, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  9. RKKA:

    Maybe you missed it (not surprising if you did), but McCain’s party has just roared back into power.

    But then, the Soviet stooges made similar jackass-like braying sounds about Ronald Reagan, didn’t they? Did you also miss what happened next?

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 20, 2010 @ 6:38 am

  10. Now Mark, just because you are reliant on rubbish like RT.

    The deaths of Polish POW’s through starvation, disease, and of course the ever present Russian war crimes, were quite well documented.

    Both sides lost about the same number of POW’s died while under enemy control, the difference being the Russian tendency to mass executions.

    Of course one cannot expect an amoral person such as yourself to be honest.

    Comment by Andrew — December 20, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  11. You cannot compare Poland of the 1920’s and 1930’s – basically a somewhat milder version of a Latin American-style military junta ruled by marshal Pilsudski and after his death by his colonels (not even as brutal as Pinochet or the Argentine generals) – with totalitarian mass-murdering Stalinist Russia or Hitlerite Germany. Lumping all three together or Poland with either of those two as all imperialists is rather obscene.

    Comment by AP — December 20, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  12. Show me one example where I cited RT as a reference. You, on the other hand, probably have your own chair at Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia relies on users to post information, does not research it in depth, and disavows liability for anything posted as content. There have even been complaints – from German politicians, not hysterical liberals – that the site has Nazi leanings.

    http://techcrunch.com/2007/12/06/wikipedia-sued-for-nazi-sympathies/

    That shouldn’t suggest all the data at the site is corrupt, because it isn’t, and sometimes it’s a good reference. I’ve used it before when I couldn’t find the information anywhere else, or when it’s presented in a better fashion at Wikipedia, such as the difference between a living wage in Russia and Georgia, for example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

    I still avoid using it if I can find the information elsewhere. You cannot compare that, however, with authoritative accounts of military actions that took place 60-70 years ago, accounts which are based on observer testimonials in situations in which the only thing that is certain is who ended up controlling the territory after it was over. I don’t think anyone knows what really happened, because the ability to record events wasn’t anywhere near what it is now, and many beliefs are based on extrapolations of what a witness saw in an action that was a tiny part of the overall conflict. Unfortunately, people like you who know everything were in short supply then.

    Comment by Mark — December 20, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  13. @ La Russophobe – maybe you missed it (not surprising if you did), but although the Republicans hold 242 to 193 Democratic seats in the House of Representatives, the Democrats still hold 57 to 41 seats in the Senate (the upper house in the U.S. bicameral legislature), and the President is a Democrat. “John McCain’s party” has only “roared back into power” in your dreams.

    Comment by Mark — December 20, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  14. Some evidence that Polish POWs from the Soviet-Polish War died en masse like the Red Army ones under Polish captivity?

    AP, following Pilsudski’s death, Poland showed signs of becoming more (not less) dictatorial and disrespectful towards non-Poles. Before, World War I, Poland was weaker than the major European powers. When capable, Poland showed itself to be quite aggressive.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 20, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  15. @14 – Sure, it showed signs of being more dictatorial. For example, it opened an internment camp holding a few hundred people, a dozen or so of whom died. Its Catholic, military-junta ruled society would have fit into the South Amrican scene in the 1970’s and would have been among the more moderate of the governments down there. Who knows, maybe eventually with continued escalation Poland would have become as bad as Pinochet’s Chile, though it never came very close to that. It was just nowhere near the same league as Germany or the USSR at that time.

    Comment by AP — December 20, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  16. It was getting worse and might’ve very well became such.

    Then there’s bullshit about Pilsudski saving Europe from Communism. His imperialist mindset prevented an alliance in 1919, which quite possibly would’ve defeated the Bolsheviks altogether.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 20, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  17. @ 16 By “getting worse” at the time of its disappearence form the map in 1939 Poland was approaching a figure of people killed by the government for political reasons that was around 100 (another 200 perhaps if you include people killed by Polish nationalist mobs while the police looked the other way). Probably a few thousand more were beaten by police. As I said, Poland had a military authoritarian state similar to the ones that existed in Latin America in the 1970’s. And yet it was still a far cry from, for example, Pinochet’s Chile where around 3,000 people were killed by the government. At worst, with ongoing battles against IRA-like Ukrainian nationalists, the situation in Poland could have eventually escalated to reach Pinochet-like proportions. This would have been nowhere near the millions killed by Soviets and Nazis. Poland had no state mechanism (not even an emryonic version of the gestapo or NKVD) and neither concrete plans nor ideological motive to transform itself into any sort of mass terror totalitarian regime.

    As for Pilsudski/1919, if you mean an alliance with Denikin it was the latter guy who stubbornly refused to recognize Polish independence, which was a dealbreaker for the Poles.

    Comment by AP — December 20, 2010 @ 11:41 pm

  18. Very wrong on the last point. Whites were clear on recognizing a Polish state in accordance with Versailles – meaning a recognition of a Polish state with yet (at the time) to be determined boundaries. The Whites were for a Polish state on land where Poles were the majority. Pilsudski had other ideas. Denikin was especially supportive of a White alliance with Poland.

    On the other matter, the situation in Poland after Pilsudski’s death and before Molotov-Ribbentrop wasn’t getting better. How that situation might’ve played out is open. It could verty well have peaked to what you suggest. Agree that negative Polish action against non-Poles didn’t excuse the excesses of the UPA/OUN. On a similar issue, some Croats exhibit whataboutism when the subject of the Ustasha comes up.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 1:56 am

  19. If anything, Pilsudski was more stubborn than Denikin.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 2:30 am

  20. Rubbish Andrew#3, Denikin and the whites were pretty much as bad as the Reds when it came to the status of ethnic minorities. The same thing happened in the Caucasus. The whites refused to recognise the Georgian and Armenian republics until it was far too late.

    “Denikin and the Whites

    If Georgia’s relations with her southern neighbour, Armenia, were unsatisfactory, those with the forces now vying to the north for control of Russia were equally so. The main threat from the Russian side appeared at first to derive less from Lenin and Trotsky’s Red Army than from the White Russian Volunteer Army of Alekseev and Denikin. General Denikin was a bigoted blockhead of the most reactionary kind, whose myopic policies wrecked all hope of overthrowing the Bolsheviks. Denikin refused to admit any less comprehensive aim than the restoration of Russia’s frontiers as they were in 1914 under Tsar Nicholas II.

    ‘Instead, therefore, of making common cause with the other enemies of Bolshevism, with Rumania, Poland, the Baltic and Caucasian States, Makhno, Petlura and the rest, he not only rejected the help but definitely provoked the enmity of these valuable, indeed indispensable, potential allies. Had he possessed the most rudimentary political acumen he would have made friends with Rumania and left the Bessarabian question to be settled after the Bolsheviks were beaten; he would have acted similarly, mutatis mutandis, with regard to Poland, the Baltic Republics, the Caucasians, the Transcaucasians and the other Russian ‘Succession States’ instead of antagonizing them and in some cases actually engaging in hostilities against them.’ 102

    In his relations with the Georgian Republic, Denikin’s fatuity was matched only by the intransigent volubility of Foreign Minister Gegechkori, who spent months arguing with the White Russians about some insignificant strips of remote territory in the region ofSochi and Gagra along the Black Sea coast. Armed clashes between Denikin and the Georgians had to be quelled by the British military representatives. In November 1919 Denikin launched an economic blockade of independent Georgia and Azerbaijan. He declared: ‘I cannot permit the self-styled formations of Georgia and Azerbaijan, which have sprung up to the detriment of Russian state interests and which are clearly hostile to the idea of the Russian State, to receive food supplies at the expense of the areas of Russia which are being liberated from the Bolsheviks.’ Denikin further noted with satisfaction that Georgia was specially vulnerable to an economic blockade, since the harvest of 1919 had failed, which aggravated the chronic shortage of grain.103 Not until February 1920, when the Whites were being rolled back in disorder by the Red Army, did Denikin deign to acknowledge de facto the governments of Russia’s border areas which were hostile to Bolshevism. By now it was too late to salvage anything from the wreck of the counter revolution.”

    David Marshall Lang (excerpt from the book”A Modern History of Georgia”/NY/1962)

    The only way the “Whites were clear on recognizing a Polish state in accordance with Versailles” was that they refused to do so while they were winning, and by the time they realised their mistake it was too late.

    Comment by Andrew — December 21, 2010 @ 3:36 am

  21. Interestingly Denikin had no problem recognizing an independent Ukrainian state on territories that had once been part of Austria (Galicia). The Galician-Ukrainian military forces balked at fighting against Denikin and even briefly joined him when Petliura made his alliance with Poland. In those pre-Soviet times Galicians viewed Russian whites as a lesser evil than Poles.

    My impression was that in 1919, at the time when a Pilsudski-Denikin alliance would have meant something and Denikin was advancing northward, he refused to recognize an independent Poland but only made some statements about autonomy or restoration of the autonomous Congress Poland under Russia. This was not enough for Pilsudski and understandably so.

    Comment by AP — December 21, 2010 @ 7:22 am

  22. You once again repeat a fallacy of the White position AP. Its position on Polish independence is a matter of record if you care to research.

    On your other point, Pilsudski was willing to recognize an anti-Russian “independent” (as in pro-Polish puppet) state of Ukraine which didn’t include eastern Galicia. Petliura agreed to recognze eastern Galicia as part of Poland in exchange for Polish support. On the other hand, the Galician Ukrainians agreed to come under the command of the Whites (following Petliura’s alliance with Pilsudski) without a string attached to their status.

    On some other points, the Whites had their own multi-ethnic makeup which included people of Polish, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian and German backgrounds. The Whites were on record for supporting Polish and Finnish independence and came around to recognizing Estonian independence. Under Wrangel’s command, the Whites are credited with having better relations with the predominately non-Russian areas of the former Russian Empire.

    Consider that point in time in history as well. Back then, the French and Brits had a different attitude on much of what they respectively ruled over. The politically incorrect age of empire was still quite influential.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  23. Denikin did a good deal of writing and lecturing in exile. He came across as someone considerably less chauvinistic than Pilsudski. The latter sugar coated Poland’s imperial past. If not already done, try getting a hold of Dziewanowski’s book on Pilsudski and Lehovich’s book on Denikin.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  24. If you read the text of the Pilsudski=Petliura agreement you see that Ukraine was to be less independent of Poland than the NATO allies were of Washington but more independent than were the various Warsaw pact countries of Moscow (not to emntion the Soviet republics!). Poland was given favorable trade terms, the rights of Poles in Ukraine were guaranteed (for example, large landholding by Russian nobles were given to the peasants while those owned by Polish nobles were kept by them) and two Ukrainan-born ethnic Poles were in the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers. Characterizing this as a puppet government is going a bit too far…and clearly this government was more independent than was the Ukrainian SSR.

    Comment by AP — December 21, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  25. Interesting from wikipedia (the information is referenced)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ukrainian_People%27s_Republic#Exile_and_Diplomacy

    Relations between the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (ZUNR) and the Kiev-based Ukrainian People’s Republic were somewhat strained. The leadership of the former tended to be more conservative in orientation. [6] Well-versed in the culture of the Austrian parliamentary system and an orderly approach to government, they looked upon the socialist revolutionary attitude of their Kiev-based peers with some dismay and with the concern that the social unrest in the East should not spread to Galicia. [7] Likewise, the West Ukrainian troops were more disciplined while those of the Kiev-based Ukrainian People’s Republic were more chaotic and prone to committing pogroms, [8] something actively opposed by the western Ukrainians.[9] The poor discipline and insubordination by military leaders of the Kiev-based government shocked representatives from Galicia to Kiev.[7]

    In July 1919 the West Ukrainian People’s Republic established a government-in-exile in the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi. [10] Relations between the exiled Western Ukrainian government and that of Kiev-based government continued to deteriorate, in part because the Western Ukrainians saw the Poles as the main enemy (with the Russians a a potential ally) while the Kiev-based Ukrainian government considered the Poles a potential ally against their Russian enemies. In response to Kiev’s diplomatic talks with Poland, the Western Ukrainian government sent a delegation to the Soviet 12th army but ultimately rejected Soviet conditions for an alliance. In August 1919, Kost Levytsky, head of the Western Ukrainian state secretariat, proposed an alliance with Anton Denikin’s White Russians which would involve guaranteed autonomy within a Russian state. Western Ukrainian diplomats in Paris sought contact with Russian counterparts in that city. In November 1919 the Ukrainian Galician Army, without authorization from their government, signed a ceasefire with the White Russians and placed their army under White Russian authority. In talks with the Kiev-based Ukrainian government, Western Ukrainian president Petrushevych argued that the Whites would be defeated anyways but that the alliance with them would strengthen relations with the Western powers, who supported the Whites, and would help the Ukrainian military forces for their later struggle against the victorious Soviets. Such arguments were condemned by the Kiev-based government. Petrushevych recognized that the West Ukrainian government could no longer work with the Kiev-based Ukrainian government and on November 15th the government of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic left for exile in Vienna. [

    Comment by AP — December 21, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  26. Some spin. A true Ukrainian patriot wouldn’t be willing to cede eastern Galicia over to Poland in exchange for Polish propping. Among others, Subtelny (a Polish born Ukrainian) attributes Petliura’s relationship with Pilsudski as one of desperation on the part of the former – thereby explaining the willingness to let east Galician territory become part of Poland.

    Sugar coated spin aside, Pilsudski’s imperial intentions are clear. It’s bullshit to say that he saved Europe from Communism. His imperial mindset likely gave Communism the chance to grow.

    Some of the Wiki material is suspect. From what’s posted, no mention of the Galicain Ukrainian disgust with Petliura willing to support their territory going over to Poland. Curious to see a stated Galician Ukrainian altruism about the manner of Petliura’s troops towards Jews.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  27. The same article, from the link, states: In April 1920 Poland and the Kiev-based Ukrainian People’s Republic agreed in the Treaty of Warsaw to a border on the river Zbruch, officially recognizing Polish control over the disputed territory of Eastern Galicia, which brought great discontent among the Galician Ukrainians who felt betrayed by the Kiev-based government. The exiled Western Ukrainian government did not agree to this treaty and continued pressing for its interests during the negotiations following World War I at the Paris Peace Conference.

    Galicia had a little 3-way rivalry between Jews, Ukrainians and Poles with the former two feeling persecuted by the latter. Poles massacred both Ukrainians and Jews during the war (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lwow_pogrom ) and there was an all-Jewish unit within the Ukrainian Galician Army. There was folk antisemitism among Ukrainian peasants but politically Ukrainians and Jews were allied against the mutual enemy. Incidentally both Jews and Ukranophile Ukrainians were loyal to the Habsburgs and both groups were repressed by the Russian authorities when Russia had annexed Galicia in 1914.

    Comment by AP — December 21, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  28. Among others, Subtelny notes a historic animosity between Ukrainians and Jews. This animosity is attributed to the perception of Jews being more inclined to identity with either Poland or Russia over Ukraine.

    UPA/OUN propaganda claims Jews within their ranks. That claim is trivial in relation to the massacres against Jews, Poles and some Ukrainians committed by UPA/OUN personnel. Pro-Petliura propaganda notes how some Jews supported Petliura. Others reasonably believe this was done in part for PR, given the record of Petliura’s forces against Jews. Petliura was assassinated by a Jew with revenge being the prime motive. The claim that the act was carried out under Soviet orders is pure conjecture.

    As for suppression, the Habsburgs did their suppressing of elements deemed (reasonably) as pro-Russian. That issue isn’t as PC as some others.

    This excerpt from comment#24 is revealing:

    “Poland was given favorable trade terms, the rights of Poles in Ukraine were guaranteed (for example, large landholding by Russian nobles were given to the peasants while those owned by Polish nobles were kept by them) and two Ukrainan-born ethnic Poles were in the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers. Characterizing this as a puppet government is going a bit too far…and clearly this government was more independent than was the Ukrainian SSR.”

    – Soviet power (unlike the Nazi and Polish variants) resulted in a great acquisition of Ukrainian territory.

    – The Polish szlachta (nobility) don’t have a particularly benevolent legacy – especially on what’s now contemporary Ukrainian territory.

    – Across the Ukrainian political spectrum, Russia is far more popular than Ukraine. There’re exceptions, like the kind of Ukrainians/people of Ukrainian background preferred by Russia unfriendly sources.

    Some Poles appear to use Ukraine as a geopolitical piece in their issues with Russia. This includes some rather absurd suggestions that appear in works like Dziewanowski’s. Likewise, a Polish nationalist academic came up with flimsy evidence suggesting that Gogol was a suppressed Ukrainian separatist. Gogol viewed himself as Russian in a national sense, while also exhibiting a great regional pride – not so different from what’s evident among many Texans.

    Ukraine as a independent state is a process that developed over time, as opposed to having existed from the get go. As leaders of a Ukrainian state, the Galician Ukrainians have limited appeal. Petliura saw his support in former Russian Empire Ukraine melt.

    Wiki contributors periodically come across as hacks who aren’t always so well versed in what they’re writing about.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 21, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  29. @28 – Why do you bring up UPA/OUN here? We are discussing the scene in Galicia in 1918-1920, a generation earlier. As I had noted, there were tensions between Jews and Ukrainians in Galicia but both saw Austria as their protectors and both saw Poles and Russians as mutual enemies. I will be like that Andrew guy and quote wiki extensively:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ukrainian_People%27s_Republic#Policies_towards_national_minorities

    The Ukrainian nationalism that developed before the first world war in Austria, whiel anti-Polish, was not very xenophobic and not antisemitic.[14] and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic sought to guarantee the rights of its national minorities. In November 1918 a decision was made to include cabinet-level state secretaries of Polish, Jewish and German affairs.[4] During the entire time of its existence, there were no cases of mass repressions against national minorities in territories held by the West Ukrainian People’s Republic. This differentiated the Ukrainian government from that of Poland.[1]

    On February 15, 1919, a law was passed that made the state language Ukrainian. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv.[15] Approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament, an amount roughly equal to the share of the population, were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Jews were also able to create their own police units [16] and fielded their own battalion in the army of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic.[17] The government fought antisemitic acts by punishing robbery with execution, and respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort.[9]

    All of those statements have references; they are not made up.

    Re: Gogol this is an interesting topic that deserves its own conversation. It appears his attitude towards Russia was ambivalent and depending on what one wants to quote he can be presented as either a Russian nationalist or a repressed Ukrainian. Both seem to be true, depending on Gogol’s mood.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 12:01 am

  30. Have fun with Wiki then. Reference by default means little. A case in point being whatever references wrongly claim that the Whites didn’t recognize an independent Polish state.

    Before WW I and thereafter, Subtelny and others note tensions between Jews and Ukrainians. In either of these instances, it was for the reason given in #28.

    People of Jewish origin from Galicia typically knew either Polish and/or German (on the latter, more with the older generation from the Habsburg days) over Ukrainian.

    At one time, “Ukrainians” were more typically known as Rusyns or Ruthenians. Among this group, the Habsburgs initiated a repression based on not liking the pro-Russian sentiment that was evident.

    Gogol never showed any sign of being a suppressed Ukrainian separatist. Sheer fantasy.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  31. A common sense follow-up notes the anti-Jewish manner within OUN/UPA ranks as evidence to what Subtelny and others plausibly suggest. This animosity didn’t just suddenly happen.

    Of the Jews from Galicia, who came to the US right after WW II and beforehand, none that I have known (quite a few) speak Ukrainian, while fluent in Polish and/or German and identifying more with Poland and/or Austria than Ukraine.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 12:39 am

  32. The passage I cited from wiki was referenced and the references include links to the book the infromation is taken from. I don’t know what the whites recognizing Poland issue has to do with this. Those seemt o be 2 different articles and the latter migth not even have been referenced.

    Whatever tensions existed between Ukrainians and Jews in Galicia prior to and during World War I were mostly of the folk antisemitism of the peasants kind. It was expressed in for example Ukrainians shopping from Ukrainian cooperatives rather than Jewish stores or, during the temperence drives, boycotting tavrens whose keepers were mostly Jews. OTOH political cooperation was strong. There was an all-Jewish unit within the Ukrainian Galician Army, Jews did particpate within the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian government did provide funding for Yiddish schools and even gave money to victims of anti-Jewish pogroms committed by Poles, and there were no instances of anti-Jewish violence by Galician military units during and after World War I. Feel free to try to find anything contradicting what is written above.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  33. On the matter of Jewish relations with Russians, Ukrainians and Poles, I already did this in Orest Sebtelny. He’s not alone in his view.

    Your cited Wiki work comes across as partisan. There have been instances of Wiki going back on earlier statements at its site.

    References alone are suspect if the referenced material is flawed. To rely on an extreme example: the Nazis were in power in Germany at one time as a popular movement. Does that occurrence suddenly make the Nazis a credible source on German and some other issues?

    Is the over-reliance on Wiki due to your providing research and/or contributions to that venue? Wiki is a convenient approach to history. Nothing beats a critical review of different historical impressions. Minus Wiki, can you directly refer to academic material on the topics under discussion? Concerning the discussed subject matters, what has been your non-Wiki research experience?

    Among Jews and without meaning to collectively label: if anything, Ukrainians come across as being more anti-Jewish than Poles. Once again, what happened during WW II with the Galician based OUN/UPA isn’t something that suddenly developed.

    You bring up a number of claims about Galician Ukrainian positions on Jews during the Russian Civil War period. You also said that one reason for the Galician Ukrainians to consider an alliance with the Whites was to gain Western support. (As indicated, the Galician Ukrainians had other more major motives, having to do with their disgust with Poland and Petliura seeing Galicia as part of Poland.) If anything, the logic of seeking Western support appears more in line with paper statements supporting Jewish issues.

    Back to an earlier absurdity by someone else:

    “The only way the ‘Whites were clear on recognizing a Polish state in accordance with Versailles’ was that they refused to do so while they were winning, and by the time they realised their mistake it was too late.”

    A crock of a supposition that’s not in line with reality. Before the initial White-Polish talks on an alliance (when the Whites were winning), the White position on Polish independence was made clear by Kolchak, with Denikin’s and Wrangel’s support.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  34. Here’s an interesting take on Gogol. Hopefully you can address the substance of the argument rather than attack the origin of the writing (is Edyta Bojanowska, the Polish scholar from Harvard who wrote the book being reviewed a “Polish nationalist” and if so – does it matter? Should all interpretations written by Russians who can be labelled as Rusian nationalists also be excluded?):

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3763/is_200709/ai_n21280110/

    From the review:

    Chapter 3 is titled “The Politics of Writing History,” a focus on “the nationalism of Gogol’s historical writings” and how he “opposed the notions of official Russian historiography” (p. 89). The chapter has 80 pages (the second longest in the book) and contains nine sections, among diem: “Gogol the Professional Historian,” “Teaching Universal History in the Spirit of Official Nationality,” “Ancient Rome: Parallels to the Russian Empire and the Cossack Ukraine,” “The Origin of the Ukrainian Nation.” Overall, this is an excellent survey of Gogol’s historical writings. Of particular interest is the section titled “From Ostranitsa to Mazepa: Abandoned Literary Projects,” which begins with this telling statement: “While Russian history did not inspire Gogol to compose a single scholarly or fictional text, the writer’s engagement with Ukrainian history produced a variety of works of both kinds” (p. 155). Here Bojanowska focuses on the unfinished novel “The Hetman” and an unpublished fragment, “Mazepa’s Meditations,” which I have not seen analyzed this carefully anywhere. Bojanowska characterizes the “Meditations” as “the most curious specimen in Gogol’s miscellanea on Ukrainian history” (p. 161), a “piece of fiction that grew out of Gogol’s historical research, rather than a scholarly note” (p. 161) as previous editors of his work believed. Bojanowska calls this one of Gogol’s nationalistic “indiscretions” (p. 161) in that it “radically departs from the denunciations and personal vilification that were the staple of Mazepa’s Russian image” (p. 163). Gogol’ “portrays Mazepa as a statesman and a prudent politician, motivated not by greed, treachery, or revenge but by thoughts of his people’s welfare. Far from a Machiavellian schemer, Gogol’s Mazepa is a national leader” (p. 163). “While ‘A Glance at the Making of Little Russia’ was tentative and evasive on the issue of Ukrainian statehood, ‘Mazepa’s Meditations’ unequivocally affirms it” (p. 163), says Bojanowska.”

    Here are Gogol’s own words about Mazepa: “This power, this gigantic might, plunged the independent state [samobytnoe gosudarstvo] remaining merely under the protection of Russia, into despondency. The people that belonged to Peter as private property, demeaned by slavery and despotism, submitted, though with grumbling. It was not only necessity but need, as we shall see later, that led them to submit. Their extraordinary ruler strove to elevate them, but his medicine was too strong. But what could be expected of a people so different from the Russians, who breathed freedom and robust Cossackdom [in the original: dyshavshemu volnostiu i likhim kozachestvom] and wished to live their own way of life? They were threatened by a loss of nationality [Gogol’s word: natsionalnost] and by having their rights made to a greater or lesser extent equal with the people who were personally owned by the Russian autrocrat. Without it, Peter would have no impact on them. All this preoccupied the delinquent hetman.”

    Bojanowska notes that in this passage Gogol accepts the Ukrainian interpretation of Pereyaslav in which Ukraine was a Russian protectorate, rather than the Russian nationalist interpretation of Pereyaslav as the eternal reunion of one people.

    Gogol then adopts a fictional tone by describing Mazepa’s thoughts. He writes:

    “All this peoccupied the delinquent hetman. To secede? To announce independence? To oppose the terrible force of despotism with the force of unanimity, to asume the task of a steadfadt repulse [otpor] by ourselves? But the hetman was already very old and brushed aside the thoughts that tempestuous youth wuld always grip. The autocrat was too powerful, and besides it was uncertain whether the entire nation [natriia] would arm itself against him, a nation that was free and not always peaceful, while the autocrat was always able to act without answering to anyone.” Gogol then described the need for Ukraine to have a foreign ally. Mentioning Poland, Gogol’s Mazepa refers to it as “a neighbor and kin [sosedka i edinoplemennitsa”). Finally: “There remained one state that the Cossacks always greatly respected, even thoigh it did not border with Little Russia…This state could be very useful for Little russians by constantly troubling Muscovy’s borders and holding it in check. At the same time, the Swedish armies that amazed all Europe with their exploits could, having torn into Russia, lead the tsar into indecision as to whether he should act in the south against the Cossacks or in the North against the Swedes.”

    ……

    In his work “Glance at the Making of Little Russia” Gogol contrasts southern and northern Slavs (he includes Little Russians aka Ukrainians in the former group). To Gogol, the southern Slavs were “incomparably superior to the northern ones in civilization, gentleness, and a certain sophistication of mores” while Northern Slavs were “more crude…”no conveniences in life. On the lowest level of civilization…fights and quarrels often end in murder, which was unheard of among other Slavs.”

    ……

    Am I suggesting that Gogol was a secret Ukrainian seperatist? No. Although the passages above contrasting Russia and Ukraine could have been written by a Galician Russophobe, Gogol was a complex person whose loyalties shifted throughout his life. The Ukrainian feelings of his youth were replaced by pro-Russian feelings later. But as this, and other, passages, highlight, it is not “sheer fantasy” that Gogol showed *signs* of being a suppressed seperatist. I don’t think he was a seperatist, but neither was he a Russian nationalist as later Russians try to make him out to be.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  35. @ #33: Wikipedia is only as good as its sources. Unsourced statements taken from it are as useless as random internet chatter. I listed a number of pro-Jewish acts by the Western Ukrainian government. Each bit of info is sourced to what wikipedia refers to as a “reliable source” – something published by a university press or a scholarly journal. I also provided the claim that there were no examples of anti-Jewish violence committed by western Ukrainian forces durign those times, also referenced to scholarly work. Can you find any sources contradicting those assertions? Your personal belief that it “comes across as partisan” notwithstanding, do you have any evidence that what was written was partisan? Any evidence of any antisemitic actions by the western Ukrainian government whatsover? Please provide them, or admit that the West Ukrainian government was in no way antisemitic. The fact that a generation later Galician youths, who viewed their elders with disdain and got enamored with radical new ideologies coming from the West, would kill Jews is not evidence for what happened in 1918-1920.

    Rather than finding any proof whatsoever that the Ukrainian politicians or the Ukrainian national movement of the Austrian and immediate post World War I was in any way antisemitic, you bring up events from a generation later and the assertion, with no evidence, that because of crimes in the 1940’s something must have been going on in the 1910’s. This is the equivalent of labelling the Kaiser’s Germany as antisemitic based not on any facts from 1910 but on the emergence of Hitler about 20 years later. With all due repsect, not a very convincing argument. You also bring up Subtelny’s claim that Jews were seen as supportering Poland or Russia. This fact, too, does not contradict the facts concerning the policies of the Western Ukrainian Republic.

    Here are facts about Western Ukraine around the time fo World War I, with references:

    *The Ukrainian nationalism that developed before the first world war in Austria, whiel anti-Polish, was not very xenophobic and not antisemitic. Source: Bandera – Romantic Terrorist, interview with Jaroslaw Hrycak. Gazeta Wyborcza, May 10, 2008. The Hrytsak, history professor at Central European University states: “Before the first world war Ukrainian nationalism under Austrian rule was neither very xenophobic nor aggressive. It was anti-Polish, which was understandable, but not antisemitic.”

    *Ukrainian government respected Jewish nuetrality in Lviv with no anti-Jewish riots in the 2 weeks that Ukrainians controlled that city. Source: Hostages of modernization: studies on modern antisemitism, 1870-1933/39, Volume 2 Herbert A. Strauss editor pg. 1032

    *On February 15, 1919, a law was passed that made the state language Ukrainian. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv. Source: Alexander Victor Prusin.(2005).Nationalizing a borderland: war, ethnicity, and anti-Jewish violence in east Galicia, 1914-1920. University of Alabama Press. pg. 99

    *Approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament, an amount roughly equal to the share of the population, were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Jews were also able to create their own police units. Source: Aharon Weiss. (1990). Jewish-Ukrainian Relations During the Holocaust. In Peter J. Potichnyj, Howard Aster (eds.) Ukrainian-Jewish relations in historical perspective. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, pp.409-420

    *The Ukrainian Galician Army fielded a Jewish battalion (Zhydivs’kyy Kurin’ UHA) recruited from Jewish university and high school students in Ternopil and led by Lieutenant Solomon Leimberg. Formed in June, 1919, it attained a strength of 1,200 men and participated in combat against the Poles in July 1919 and subsequently against the Bolsheviks. The battalion was decimated by a typhus epidemic in late 1919 and its surviving soldiers were subsequently reassigned to other units within the Ukrainian Galician Army. Sources: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95 and Encyclopedia of Ukraine, pblished by the University of Toronto Press.

    *The government fought antisemitic acts by punishing robbery with execution, and respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort. Source: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95

    It should be noted that antisemitism did exist in Western Ukraine, on the village level and often in association with Galician Russophiles (who along with the Russians saw Jews as potential Austrian spies). It wasn’t expressed by the Ukrainian political leaders nor by their government nor by their troops, who were under much more disciplined circumstances than were soldiers from the former Russian Empire who did commit many pogroms.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  36. On your very last point, Habsburg Austria produced its share of anti-Jewish individuals who were the opposite of Russophile. In comparision, it comes across as a crock to suggestively/collectively label Russophile Rusyns as anti-Jewish.

    In present day terms, eastern Galicia is seen as a place where xenophobic views are prominent. This xenophobia ties in with the manner of the UPA/OUN and elements within the contemporary Svoboda political faction in Ukraine. There’s a long standing background to this sentiment.

    You’ve yet to directly address the observation I note from Subtelny – one shared by others.

    Your Kasier era Germany point involves different conditions. Before WW I and Hitler’s rise, Germany was more tolerant than some other places on Jewish issues. The post-WW I conditions in Germany perverted things there. On the other hand, the sentiment of Jews vis-a-vis other identities (Russian, Austrian, Polish, Ukrainian) before WW I appears well established, in the manner already communicated.

    On post #34 –

    How about you taking into greater consideration other views that are more long standing and appear less agendacratic in an overly subjective way? How familiar are you with with Troyat’s and Magarshack’s books on Gogol? Perhaps you carry on in this way as a basis to become better acquainted with the subjects under discussion. An issue with this tact concerns how some slants aren’t as critically second guessed, when in actuality, they’re the more suspect.

    Gogol spent a good deal of time in the West, where he fraternized with his fellow RUSSIAN expats, who viewed themselves as RUSSIANS. In his time in the West, where’s the evidence of him taking a position against his RUSSIAN identity?

    You utilize a review offering the subjective word “excellent” to describe something that appears to be based on dubious opinion. Someone saying something about someone else doesn’t necessarily make it true. We’ve at least one recent primary example at this thread concerning the Russian Whites’ position on an independent Polish state.

    What I can unquestionably say is that your propped source downplays key reasons for Gogol rewriting Taras Bulba. Specifically, to add a greater artistic quality by devoting more space on the background of the Cossacks and the novel’s love story angle.

    Twisting in the form of creative excerpting and omissions of a given work/viewpoint are done to spin a certain imagery. I’ll try to follow-up on some of her stated claims. You’ll have to pardon me for having other particulars to get to.

    Upon quick glance, someone else promptly noted:

    “Unfortunately, I have pressing deadlines… can only say that I would not give a penny for the translation by these sources – the one word I see offhand in paragraph 2 first line is ‘independent state’ [samobytnoe gosudarstvo] with the word samobytnoe meaning, most popularly, ‘off the beaten path’, ‘original’ – as in creative works, ‘distinctive’ as in a folk tradition, usually regional. The actual word for ‘independent state’ is ‘samostoyatelnoye’ literally independent as in samo-self stoyat’-stand, i.e. stand-alone; the other word for independent is ‘nezavisimoye’ – as in ne-not zavisimoye-dependent on/from, stemming from the root words meaning ‘hanging from': za-on, behind, from and visim – from verb viset’ hang .

    Some ‘academics’ twist, pervert and outright falsify.”

    How was Mazepa something different from the following:

    – trusted ally of Peter for many years

    – this point is disconcerting to anti-Russians be they Ukrainian (anti-Russian Ukrainians being in the minority of Ukrainians) or non-Ukrainian – who spin Mazepa as a not so progressive force

    – as conflict between Peter and Sweden and Sweden’s weaker Polish ally appears evident, Mazepa changes his allegiance – in what reasonably appears to be (in retrospect) a miscalculated move to be on the winning side

    – Mazepa’s downfall is partly attributed to many Cossacks preferring Peter over Mazepa’s allies

    – Upon being defeated, Mazepa is said to have attempted to be in Peter’s good graces again.

    FYI, there’s no set Ukrainian position on Pereyaslav. That agreement saw historically linked Rus territory become united under a Moscow based government. Moscow having become the strongest of the Rus cities – a process that showed signs even before the Mongol subjugation.

    From some prior inquiring and research:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Pereyaslav – English version about the Treaty of Pereyaslavl – lacks actual document quotes (since it would invalidate the pseudo-historic diatribe)

    Russian Wiki version of Treaty of Pereyaslavl WITH documentation:

    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%8F%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%BA%D1%82
    Direct quote of the decision of the Russian “Assembly of the Land” (a kind of parliamentary body) in 1653 regarding the reasons for the Zaporozhian Cossacks’ request to the Russian Tsar to take them “under his reign” and their decision to take them in. It cites Polish persecution and destruction of the Orthodox, their churches an people and, after many pleas from the Cossacks listing these persecutions, the Assembly has decided to admit them into the realm of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich of ALL RUS.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  37. to Andrew #3 Re: Eastern Galicia: You have not offered anything refuting the information I have provided concerning the situation in eastern Galicia prior to and immediately after World War I. I have provided evidence with sources describing

    The reason I linked whatever antisemitism that existed in Eastern Galicia to the Russians was that the only evidence I came across of antisemitism in Eastern Galicia prior to the 1920’s involved some (Russophile) peasants hoping that the tsar would come and wipe out the Jews, and the Russophile participation in the Russian adminsitration of eastern Galicia in 1914-1915 which involved the persecution of both Jews and Ukrainianophile Ukrainians and suppression of Jewish and Ukrainian cultures. In contrast, I have not come across any evidence of persecution of Jews or antisemitic acts by Ukrainian nationalist leaders of the Austrian and immediate post-Austrian period. I suppose the late 19th century the temperence movement in Eaatern Galicia whch supported boycotting of taverns (typically owned by Jews) is the closest anything came to antisemitism.

    Have you come across any evidence of antisemitic acts by the West Ukrainian government? It doesn’t seem as if you have, because otherwise you surely would have provided it. Instead you offer a generalized observation by Subtelny that Ukrainians viewed Jews as being allied with Poles and Russians, and refer to totally different time periods, a generation later after several major upheavals as if this is relevant to the period to of the early 1920’s and earlier.

    Speaking of Subtelny, does he directly mention Ukrainian antisemitism in the context of eastern Galicia during the Austrian and World War I periods? I don’t see him doing this. He mentioned anti-Jewish feelings at some length when discussing the Right Bank (a region to the east of Galicia, part of the Russian Empire, site of many pogroms after World War I). In Eastern Galicia he mentioned tension betwen the two communities when the Ukrainians started to boycott alcohol, and to use Ukrainian credit unions and cooperatives which financially hit Jewish tavern keepers and moneylenders hard forcing many of them to emigrate. But nothing about anti-Jewish attitudes. Indeed, looking through Subtleny’s book on googlebooks, I see that he too mentions a 1,000 strong all-Jewish unit fighting within the ranks of the Ukrainian Galician Army and that the Jewish community repsonded positively to the pro-minority policies of the West Ukrainian Republic – in Subtelny’s words “the Jews tended to side with the Ukrainians.” (pg. 369 of his book published by the University of Toronto Press). In other words, Subtelny seems to be supporting my point, not yours.

    I ask again – any evidence of antisemitism by the West Ukrainian government or of antisemitic violence by its police or military or suppression of Jews by its government or of antisemtici acts committed by western Ukrainian nationalists prior to the appearance of the OUN?

    I am aware of the myth of the eternal Ukrainian antisemite popular among many Russians (in my opinion, used as a tool to deflect from their own significant historical antisemitism and as a way of discrediting Ukrainians). The reality is that prior to the OUN, Ukrainian nationalism was not particularly antisemitic and certainly much less so than was its Russian rival with its Black Hundreds and publication of Protocals of Zion etc.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  38. On Gogol:

    In his time in the West Gogol also fraternized with Polish separetists. For example, here is letter by the poet Zaleski who had hung out with Gogol in Paris:

    “About 25 years ago the famous Russian writer Gogol visited Paris. He was very friendly with Mickiewicz and me…we gathered often in the evenings for literary and political discussion. Naturally, we talked about the Russians (moskalach) who were loathsome to us and to him. The question of their Finnish origin was frequently debated. Gogol confirmed this view with all his Little Russian fervor. He had with him a splendid collection of folk songs in different Slavic tongues. He wrote an excellent paper on the Finnish origin of Russians which he read to us. In it he showed on the basis of detailed comparisons between Czech, Serbian and Ukrainian songs with Great Russian songs the glaring differences in the spirit, customs and morals between the Great Russians and other Slavic peoples. He chose a diffeent song to characterize a different human feeling: on the one hand, our Slavic song, delightful and tender, and along with it a morose, wild and almost cannibalistic Russian song, just like a Finnish one. My dear countryman, you must imagine how pleased Mickiewicz and I were with this article.”

    …………

    Here’s part of a letter from Gogol from his friend in Moscow, the fellow Ukrainian Mikhailo Maksymovich, in July 1833, written when Gogol was planning to obtain a post as a historian in Kyiv and urging his friend to join him back in Ukraine:

    “Give up your lousy Russia (referered to in the letter as “katsapiu” – yes, Gogol used a derogatory term for Russians in this letter) and go to the Hetmanate.”

    …………

    Again, I am not suggesting that Gogol was some sort of a Ukrainian nationalist or separetist. The quotes such as the one above tell only a small part of Gogol’s story. But they contradict the myth contructed by later Russian nationalists that he was nothing more than a Russian patriot. Taken collecively, the evidence seems to suggest that Gogol was ambivalent about his loyalty, feeling differently depending on the time in his life and perhaps the people with whom he kept company. His anti-Russian moods seem to have been much less evident or frequent than were his pro-Russian pronouncements but nevertheless he was conflicted about this issue.

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  39. You haven’t provided anything to refute what I said about eastern Galicia. Paper laws for a given period don’t always tell the whole story. The Soviet constitution is a prime example. In the USSR, Jews were per capita well represented in the CPSU, had a comparatively better socioeconomic status and more advanced education level. At the same time, they faced other problems. Right!?

    The seemingly intentional mis-translation of region into an independent state hasn’t been addressed. Ditto the poor example of what English Wiki offers versus Russian Wiki on the 1654 treaty you brought up.

    The over-played (from reality) Finnish influence on Russia seems like a periodically mentioned distortion, designed to try to further an otherwise more limited differential between the peoples who pre-demoninated in north and south Rus.

    Good reason to conclude that the latest you bring up on on Gogol is misleading. Some Texans and people from the American deep south periodically say some not so nice things about “Yanks” and the American northeast, in a way that doesn’t mean breaking completely away from them. At the World Series, I saw more Texas flags in the Texas Rangers’ ball park unlike US ones.

    Cossack identity shouldn’t be automatically equated with Ukraine. Cossacks make up other parts of the former Russian Empire/former USSR. Among Cossacks in Ukraine and elsewhere, the Russocentric outlook and limited Cossack separate nation positions appear more popular than those associated with anti-Russian/Ukrainian nationalism.

    As you might know, Pugachev sought to make himself a replacement to the existing Czar. He didn’t seek a breakup of the imperial territory in question.

    Pavlo Skoropadsky was a prominent Russian Civil War era Ukrainian Cossack leader. His 1918 edict for an All-Russian Federation advocated Russia and Ukraine as one with different charasteristics. This edict of his had nothing negative to say of the Russian Empire, while being pointedly anti-Bolshevik. Skoropadsky had a raher famous (among Cossacks) family relation who opposed Mazepa by siding with Russia.

    The historiography on the WW II period Nazi allied Cosacks under Peter Krasnov reveal that many if not most of them joined up with Vlasov’s Russian anti-Soviet army and not Bandera’s OUN/UPA.

    In the present, the Cossack population of Ukraine tends to be among the most pro-Russian of elements in that former Soviet republic.

    I got other things to do. Might check back later.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  40. Andrew #3,

    Setting aside your diversions into multiple other topics (Pereyaslav, Gogol, Cossacks, UPA, etc.) you have failed to come up with a single example of repression against Jews committed by eastern Galicians prior to, during and after World War I. The West Ukrainian Republic controlled a territory of over 3 million people for nine months. During that time there was not a single pogrom, not a single repressive act against Jews committed by the Ukrainian forces there.

    You dismiss the pro-Jewish efforts of the West Ukrainian government as “paper laws.” Please highligt which of these are “paper laws:”

    *On February 15, 1919, a law was passed that made the state language Ukrainian. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv. Source: Alexander Victor Prusin.(2005).Nationalizing a borderland: war, ethnicity, and anti-Jewish violence in east Galicia, 1914-1920. University of Alabama Press. pg. 99

    Yiddish-language textbooks are concrete things as was the monetary support given to Jewish victims fo Polish pogroms.

    *Approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament, an amount roughly equal to the share of the population, were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Jews were also able to create their own police units. Source: Aharon Weiss. (1990). Jewish-Ukrainian Relations During the Holocaust. In Peter J. Potichnyj, Howard Aster (eds.) Ukrainian-Jewish relations in historical perspective. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, pp.409-420

    Jewish police units are concrete. The national parliament did exist, there were actual members in it.

    *The Ukrainian Galician Army fielded a Jewish battalion (Zhydivs’kyy Kurin’ UHA) recruited from Jewish university and high school students in Ternopil and led by Lieutenant Solomon Leimberg. Formed in June, 1919, it attained a strength of 1,200 men and participated in combat against the Poles in July 1919 and subsequently against the Bolsheviks. The battalion was decimated by a typhus epidemic in late 1919 and its surviving soldiers were subsequently reassigned to other units within the Ukrainian Galician Army. Sources: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95 and Encyclopedia of Ukraine, pblished by the University of Toronto Press.

    1,200 Jewish soldiers in an all-Jewish unit of the Ukrainian Galician Army fighting and dying alongside their Ukrainian brothers is hardly a “paper law.”

    As the referenced examples show, in addition to declaring protection for Jews the West Ukrainian government actually helped them in concrete ways. The only thing “paper” here is your factless assertions to the contrary.

    I hope, before leaving this conversation, that wou will at least retract your false claims that there was anything particularly antisemitic about the Austrian-based western Ukrainian national movement – an in particular its government of 1918-1920 – prior to the emergence of the OUN.

    Actually the evidence shows that

    Comment by AP — December 22, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  41. Your diversions aside, the dubious claims made on the Whites and Gogol, have been authoritatively addressed.

    In addition, NOTHING refutes what I said about Jews relative to Poland, Ukraine, Austria and Russia.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 22, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

  42. The former Russian Empire experienced the devasatation of WW I and civil war, whereas the former Austria-Hungary wasn’t in such dire straits – thanks in part of Germany coming to its aid in WW I and a limited Bolshevik threat to its territory. The more chaotic situation in the former Russian Empire made it a greater breeding ground for the mayhem which ocurred there.

    Nowhere, did I ever say that Petliura’s forces were less guilty of pogroms than the Galician Ukrainians of that period. I correctly noted that Petliura had some support among Jews (for his recognition of Israel and relationship with some Jews). I also noted the basis for his getting assassinated.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 12:01 am

  43. Andrew #3,

    You wrote: “Among others, Subtelny notes a historic animosity between Ukrainians and Jews. This animosity is attributed to the perception of Jews being more inclined to identity with either Poland or Russia over Ukraine.”

    I pointed out that Subtelny wrote a lot on that in a section devoted to the feelings of Ukrainians in the Russian Empire (when Russia annexed that part of Ukrane it allowed the Polish landlords and Jews to live as they had lived before vis a vis the Ukrainian peasants).

    With respect to Eastern Galicia specifically, Subtelny mentions tension betwen the two communities when the Ukrainians started to boycott alcohol, and to use Ukrainian credit unions and cooperatives for financial services rather than their traditional source, Jwish moneylenders, which financially hit Jewish tavern keepers and the moneylenders. Nothing there about nothing about anti-Jewish attitudes. Subtelny also mentions a 1,000 strong all-Jewish unit fighting within the ranks of the Ukrainian Galician Army and that the Jewish community repsonded positively to the pro-minority policies of the West Ukrainian Republic – in Subtelny’s words “the Jews tended to side with the Ukrainians.” (pg. 369). So if you’re trying to use Subtelny to show that East Galicians were antisemitic or that its government was, you are clearly wrong.

    With respect to post-war chaos in the Russian Empire and pogroms, that’s an interesting approach. I’m assuming that by going in this direction you concede that west Ukrainans did not repress Jews whatsoever at that time? Galicia experienced quite a bit of devastation during World War I – have you read Babel’s accounts of his travels through that region? During World War I the front passed through there several times (the Russians captured the place during the Galicia offensive, were driven back, took parts of it back during the Brusilov offensive, were driven out again) and then there was the Polish-Ukrainian war and the Polish-Soviet war (thus Babel’s observations). During all that time there weren’t any pogroms done by West Ukrainian forces. There were a couple done by the Poles – the most infamous was the Lwow pogrom in which the city’s Jewish quarter was looted and burned, resulting in 80 or so Jewish deaths and seperately many more Ukrainian deaths in similar actions. But no evidence of any anti-Jewish actions by Ukrainian forces there. So one can not attribute the lack of anti-Jewish actions by western Ukrainians at that time as due to the lack of chaos. Indeed, the most likely reason is, in the words of Hrycak, history of professor at Central European University states: “Before the first world war Ukrainian nationalism under Austrian rule was neither very xenophobic nor aggressive. It was anti-Polish, which was understandable, but not antisemitic.”

    Comment by AP — December 23, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  44. @ Andrew #3,

    The whites were notoriously anti-semitic, they refused to recognise the non Russian republics, including Finland, Poland, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Baltic republics.

    They in fact went to war with several of them in an attempt to bring them back under Russian control, rather than allying with the anti-Bolshevik forces in those republics, that would have given the whites at least some chance of victory.

    Denikin in particular was noted for his racism at the time, and his great Russian chauvinism.

    The main threat from the Russian side appeared at first to derive less from Lenin and Trotsky’s Red Army than from the White Russian Volunteer Army of Alekseev and Denikin. General Denikin was a bigoted blockhead of the most reactionary kind, whose myopic policies wrecked all hope of overthrowing the Bolsheviks. Denikin refused to admit any less comprehensive aim than the restoration of Russia’s frontiers as they were in 1914 under Tsar Nicholas II.

    ‘Instead, therefore, of making common cause with the other enemies of Bolshevism, with Rumania, Poland, the Baltic and Caucasian States, Makhno, Petlura and the rest, he not only rejected the help but definitely provoked the enmity of these valuable, indeed indispensable, potential allies. Had he possessed the most rudimentary political acumen he would have made friends with Rumania and left the Bessarabian question to be settled after the Bolsheviks were beaten; he would have acted similarly, mutatis mutandis, with regard to Poland, the Baltic Republics, the Caucasians, the Transcaucasians and the other Russian ‘Succession States’ instead of antagonizing them and in some cases actually engaging in hostilities against them.

    http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Georgia/Lang_9a.htm

    The Volunteer Army began with Cossack formations under General Alexei M. Kaledin (1861-1918). However, Kaledin was defeated by the Bolsheviks and committed suicide. The Volunteer Army was then led by General Mikhail V. Alexeyev (1857-1918), and later by General Anton I. Denikin (1872-1947). Denikin obtained some military supplies from France and Britain, and managed to march as far north as Orel, 250 miles south of Moscow (which the Soviet government made their capital), but was stopped and defeated by the Red Army in October 1919. In the meanwhile, he had alienated the peasants by restoring the landed estates. He alienated the Ukrainians by refusing to recognize their independence, and the Poles by insisting on the restoration of the western borders of Imperial Russia, which included old eastern Poland (western Belarus and Volhynia)

    http://web.ku.edu/~eceurope/communistnationssince1917/ch2.html

    Unfortunately for the White armies, operational proficiency did not translate into clear political or strategic vision. This shortcoming was especially pronounced in Denikin. Not only did he fail to link up with Kolchak, but he did not institute a viable government in territories under his control. He also resisted accepting aid from the nationalities of the Russian Empire and from powerful foreign allies–a failing in which he was not alone. Only Wrangel eventually showed the willingness to establish an anti-Bolshevik alliance, with the Poles, but in 1920, when it was too late and the Whites held just the Crimea. Denikin and the other White generals stubbornly held to the position that they were fighting for the restoration of Imperial Russian territory.

    http://library.by/portalus/modules/english_russia/readme.php?subaction=showfull&id=1188914618&archive=&start_from=&ucat=9&

    As Lynch has pointed out, ‘The sheer size of Russia meant that local and regional considerations predominated over larger ideological issues’. By 1918, there were 33 sovereign governments in Russia, and both Reds and Whites realised that the battle for the hearts and minds of national minorities was of paramount importance. However, the only way to win this propaganda war was to promise them independence – and neither side was prepared to fulfil this promise. The Whites made their slogan ‘Russia, one and indivisible’

    http://www.csimpson80.com/new_page_660.htm

    Comment by Andrew — December 23, 2010 @ 1:19 am

  45. Subtelny’s “Ukraine: A History” confirms what I said of his views on Jews vis-a-vis Russia, Poland and Ukraine. This is especially true of the more elderly of Jews (as earlier defined in this thread). Among younger Jews from the Ukrainian SSR and thereafter, there’s greater identity with Ukraine as a language and cultural kinship.

    Immediately after WW I, Galicia wasn’t in the dire straits of good portions of the former Russian Empire – the Ukrainian part especially.

    I don’t see the need to confirm a point that I didn’t say differently. I’m also wary about isolating a brief period in a way that might lead some to present as a prevailing trend. Among Jews from that part of the world (I know many), Ukrainians don’t top the chart as the most tolerant of Jews. This is said without meaning to stereotype.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 5:31 am

  46. On Gogol, here’s what smeone well versed on him said in private:

    One issue with many outside “scholars” and “analysts”, (even those who strive to be balanced), is a non-native command of language and lack of instinctive comprehension of the cultural components of any situation or argument, which is almost genetic with those that share the ethnic-cultural heritage (such as yourself). Of course, there are exceptions, such as Suzanne Massie, but these are rare.

    On Gogol, I would not rely on any hearsay, especially by nationalist Poles harboring anti-Russian views, as well as other anti-Russian elements. I am extremely skeptical of the quoted material (presumably Gogol “wrote an excellent paper on the Finnish origin of Russians which he read to us “a morose, wild and almost cannibalistic Russian song, just like a Finnish one),” and not having seen any originals would not give this any credence whatsoever. In addition, things said in jest (Gogol was an actor and prankster) can be twisted and passed off as serious fact – per your example of “Yanks” in the South (there were legends during the Civil War that “bluebellies” – Union soldiers – had tails), and Polish tales that “Muscovites eat their children,” ridiculed by Russian writers…

    The famous, often recited, monologue in Gogol’s “Dead Souls” about Rus-Russia, its symbol the Troika (definitely non-Ukrainian, but a northern regional creation) speaks volumes about the inner feelings of this patriotic Russian creative genius, and together with his brilliant, artistic tribute to the Dnieper river in “A Terrible Vengeance”, set in Little Russia-Ukraine, is very indicative of his soul, which was not divided between a Russian and Little-Russian consciousness, but saw them as part of one single larger entity.

    Oh, you troika, you bird of a troika, who invented you? ….Is it not like that that you, too, Russia, are speeding along like a spirited troika that nothing can overtake? The road is like a cloud of smoke under you, the bridges thunder, and everything falls back and is left far behind. The spectator stops dead, struck dumb by the divine miracle: is it not a flash of lighting thrown down by heaven? What is the meaning of this terrifying motion? And what mysterious force is hidden in these horses the like of which the world has never seen? ….. Russia, where are you flying to? Answer! She gives no answer….

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  47. Was given clearance to note that the “well versed in Gogol” person’s ancestor was a colleague and friend of Gogol and was with him in Europe (an Italian-Russian ancestor).

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  48. Your number #44 repeats what can now be clearly called LIES (since you repeat them after the falsehoods were presented – on matter like the Whites’ policy of recognizing Finnish, Polish and Estonian independence and the Whites’ multiethnic makeup – points which are clearly documented). Some other issue you bring up are distorted.

    You earlier gave uncritical credence to the notion that the Galician Ukrainians opposed Petliura because of pogroms committed by his forces. If that was really the case, why did they agree to come under the Whites’ command?

    There were some bad apples among the Whites for sure. This was true of others as well. The violence involving the Whites was greatest in territory previously occupied by Petliura’s forces, when the pogroms were already in full swing. The Whites faced a difficult situation of fighting a civil war, while trying to control civilian areas. Wrangel is credited with curtailing the bad apples within the ranks of the Whites and pursuing a progressive policy on civilian matters. In exile, many of the Whites like Wrangel and Denikin lived honorable lives. We see what Russia became like under Soviet rule.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  49. The diatribes you parrot against Denikin are sheer bunk as shown by their lies in terms of what he said and didn’t say and how he carried on.

    Unlike the poor source material you uncritically bring up, Lehovich’s book, uses material which specifically cites the positions of Denikin and the Whites in general.

    If anyone is a “blockhead,” it’s yourself.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  50. On making comments that can be deemed as insultingly crude, the following is more accurate than some of what you’ve been peddling:

    Pilsudski’s pig-headed Polish chauvinism greatly contributed to his country getting screwed, inclusive of Katyn.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  51. @Andrew # 3:

    Please do not confuse me with Andrew, as you did in post #48. The Galicians were shocked and disliked Petliura’s forces lack of discipline, one part of which was its pogroming. You keep mentioning Subtelny, but when speaking historically about anti-Jewish thughts about Ukraiians this is dealt with primarily in his section about Russian-ruled Ukraine, not Galicia. Again, about Galicia, he wrote: “the Jews tended to side with the Ukrainians.”

    I am aware of Jewish memories and opinions towards eastern Galciians. These stem from the events a generation after what he have been discussing. A lot of Jews have bad opinions of Germans/Germany from the 1930’s and 1940’s – this isn’t proof that Wilhelmine Germany was particularly antisemitic. The fact is that until the OUN came along Ukrainian nationalism was differentiated from its Russian rival by its relative lack of antisemitism. In other words, antisemtism wasn’t a component of Ukrainian nationalism generally (as proven by the policies of the West Ukrainian National Republic) but of the OUN specifically (and even here, its extent is somewhat exaggerated, but that’s another topic).

    Your comments and those of your anonymous friend re: Gogol are interesting. Nietschze’s daughter claimed that the philosopher was a proto-Nazi, when he was not. (please forgive me – I do not mean to compare Russian nationalism to Nazism, just saying that descendents sometime inaccurately project their own opinions onto the past). Gogol’s own letters and letters to friends indicate that your friend is wrong when he claims that Gogol can be described simply as a “patriotic Russian creative genius.” Indeed, many of Gogol’s contemporary Russian critics did not see him as “a patriotic Russian creative genius.” Some condemned him as a foreigner satirizing Russia, others used his writings to describe the differences between the Ukrainian (Little Russian) and Russian nations. The canonization of Gogol as a purely Russian writer came considerably later and has a mythological quality, reminiscent of some Ukrainian nationalist stories of old Sviatoslav having a cossack hairstyle and mustache being a Ukrainian king. Indeed, Gogol rather seems like an American southerner, not a secessionist but still one who frequently dislikes Yankees and one who views Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee with sympathy, understanding and respect (as Gogol treated Mazepa).

    Bojanowska, btw, had an interesting interpretation of that passage about the Troika.

    Comment by AP — December 23, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  52. You’re clearly not well versed on much of the subject matter. Mindlessly citing and repeating the half truths and outright distortions of what others say is the tell all sign. In addition, you don’t answer the debunking points to some of what you present.

    My source is quite competent unlike some of the sources you uncritically post.

    Gogol was a Russian writer who wrote in Russian, while also taking pride in the region of the Russian Empire that he was from. Your repeated Mazepa claim was addressed.

    I didn’t misinterpret what Subtelny said in his book.

    You continue to downplay the two major reasons for the Galician Ukrainians dislike of Petliura

    – rural conservative types versus a socialist, who at one time showed an inclination for considering a relationship with the Reds

    – Petliura’s willingness to let eastern Galicia go over to Poland.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  53. Pardon the oversight of Andrew with yourself. He suddenly reappeared. Given some of your source material and side comments, it’s understandable for such an oversight.

    He carries on like a rabid Russia hater with a very limited knowledge and intellect.

    You have more the appearance of someone with greater reasoning, albeit swayed by a definite bias. The slants of what you have posted are nothing so new to me.

    People brought up in the West with an interest in Russia are prone to getting a good deal of dubious anti-Russian positions. Lacking are folks with the knowledge and intuition to see the flaws in such spin.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  54. “Ukrainian nationalism was differentiated from its Russian rival by its relative lack of antisemitism. In other words, antisemtism wasn’t a component of Ukrainian nationalism generally (as proven by the policies of the West Ukrainian National Republic) but of the OUN specifically (and even here, its extent is somewhat exaggerated, but that’s another topic).”

    NOPE! Way too broad and flawed. For accuracy sake, you should be more second guessing of some of the material you uncritically bring up.

    Ukrainians have the greater rap for anti-Jewish tendencies. Others besides Subtelny partly attribute this to way the Jews were perceived as well as (in numerous instances) essentially used when parts of Ukraine came under Polish rule.

    On other points, the Habsburg regime was where the likes of Hitler were nurtured.

    The saying of drowning the Moskals in the blood of the Jews comes from some Ukrainian nationalist circles and appears most evident in contemporary Galicia.

    Isolating one brief historical moment isn’t a good counter-arguement.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  55. Pilsudski is generally not regarded as a chauvinist (at least, his chauvinism is not generally considered to have been extreme nor a defining feature of his policies). It was his bitter rival, Roman Dmowski, who was the chauvinist and whose followers often in opposition to Pilsudski drove Polish chauvinistic policies. A better argument is that Dmowski’s actions resulted in Poland getting screwed.

    Comment by AP — December 23, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  56. No way. Pilsudski prevented an alliance which would’ve likely defeated the Reds and could’ve served as a start point for noticeably better Russo-Polish relations. Pilsudski had a romantic view of Poland’s imperial past in the manner of a chauvinist. Dziewanowski’s pro-Pilsudski book realtes well to this point.

    Concerning #51 and some other comments in support of any suggestion of Gogol being a suppressed Ukrainan separatist: an original quote from Gogol, instead of hearsay and questionable opinions (some of the latter unspecified) remains an issue. Another flaw are instances like the previous highlight of the mis-translation of the meaning of “region” into “independent state.” Presto, Gogol is a Ukrainian separatist.

    You say that Bojanowska had an “interesting” interpretation of the passage about the Troika. Oh really!? Do tell!

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  57. BTW, Dmowski wasn’t/isn’t the only Pole taking a different view from Pilsudski on matters like Poland’s relationship with Russia. It’s wrong and suggestively propagandistic to spin a less critical of Russia line as equalling a more flawed position over the view that’s more negative of Russia.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 23, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  58. Wow – so much to address Andrew #3. I’ll start with Pilsudski vs. Dmowski. Have you read the Yale historian Timothy Snyder? He is pretty nuetral, and devotes considerable attention to the two Polish figures. I recommend his book Reconstruction of Nations, published by Yale University Press – much of it can be read on googlebooks if you don’t have access to it. To summarize, Dmowski was a Polish nationalist of the the 20th century type, while Pilsudski was an internationalist for whom socialism was closer than was ethnic nationalism. Dmowski wanted Poland to be a nationalist state for Poles only. He was paranoid about Jews taking over (Polish nationalism from that time actually believed that the Jews would never return to Israel and would instead take over a European “host country” – Poland) and his party organized all sorts of anti-Jewish actions. Pilsudski meanwhile made one of his Jewish allies, Gabriel Narutowicz, prime minister (the Jewish Narutowicz was also supported by the mainstream Ukrainian political party). Narutowicz was assasinated by an antisemitic Polish Dmowski follower. With respect to Ukrainians within Poland, Dmowski’s followers were responsible for attempts at forced assimilation into the Polish nation by burning down or shutting Orthodox Churches, closing Ukrainian schools, etc. Pilsudski OTOH tried (and failed) to build up a pro-Polish Ukrainian patriotism, hiring Petliurist school teachers, etc. Ironically Polish nationalsit/chauvinist Dmowski and the Ukrainian nationalsits/chauvinists of the OUN fed off each other and each tried to undermine Pilsudski. Among its other crimes the OUN was assassinating moderate Polish followers of Pilsudski such as Tadeusz Holowko.

    I think you believe that Pilsudski is “worse” than Dmowski not because he is more chauvinistic (he certainly was not) but because Pilsudski was less convenient for Russia. Dmowski wanted Poland to have only the lands that he believed could be thoroughly Polonized, Roman Catholicized and purged of non-Polish elements. From this perspective he was friendly towards Russia because Dmowski felt that Poland could only thoroughly Polonize a small area of land between the two countries and thus didn’t want any part of most of Ukraine. Dmowski failed of course – his policies did not assimilate western Ukrainians but instead helped to radicalize them and set the stage for the OUN’s anti-Polish massacres of the 1940’s.

    Pilsudski on the other hand wanted a multicultural Commonwealth – to be sure, one dominated by Poland – but not one where other nationalities were destroyed. Pilsudski’s commonwealth was to include much territory that Russia also claimed. Thus, Pilsudski can be legitimately seen as being much more of an imperialist than was Dmowski. But he was certainly less of a chauvinist.

    Your views of Pilsudski and Dmowski seem to colored by a particular sort of Russian prism. Which is okay, just don’t pretend it is more objective than others’ prisms.

    Comment by AP — December 23, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

  59. @53 – Galicia. Sorry, I provided multiple sources all describing the positive and real (not just on paper) pro-Jewish polcies of the West Ukrainian Republic. I also asked you repeatedly to provide any examples of repressive actions by the West Ukrainian government. You failed to do so. I also showed you that Subtelny’s writings about Ukrainian antisemtism from the 19th century and earliier were directed at events in the Russian Empire, not Galicia. So, do you concede that the Western Ukrainian Republic and its army were not antisemitic and that there were no antisemitic ?

    Your response seems to be that you simply don’t believe it. Any concrete critcisms of the followign facts:

    *The Ukrainian nationalism that developed before the first world war in Austria, whiel anti-Polish, was not very xenophobic and not antisemitic. Source: Bandera – Romantic Terrorist, interview with Jaroslaw Hrycak. Gazeta Wyborcza, May 10, 2008. The Hrytsak, history professor at Central European University states: “Before the first world war Ukrainian nationalism under Austrian rule was neither very xenophobic nor aggressive. It was anti-Polish, which was understandable, but not antisemitic.”

    *Ukrainian government respected Jewish nuetrality in Lviv with no anti-Jewish riots in the 2 weeks that Ukrainians controlled that city. Source: Hostages of modernization: studies on modern antisemitism, 1870-1933/39, Volume 2 Herbert A. Strauss editor pg. 1032

    *On February 15, 1919, a law was passed that made the state language Ukrainian. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv. Source: Alexander Victor Prusin.(2005).Nationalizing a borderland: war, ethnicity, and anti-Jewish violence in east Galicia, 1914-1920. University of Alabama Press. pg. 99

    *Approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament, an amount roughly equal to the share of the population, were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Jews were also able to create their own police units. Source: Aharon Weiss. (1990). Jewish-Ukrainian Relations During the Holocaust. In Peter J. Potichnyj, Howard Aster (eds.) Ukrainian-Jewish relations in historical perspective. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, pp.409-420

    *The Ukrainian Galician Army fielded a Jewish battalion (Zhydivs’kyy Kurin’ UHA) recruited from Jewish university and high school students in Ternopil and led by Lieutenant Solomon Leimberg. Formed in June, 1919, it attained a strength of 1,200 men and participated in combat against the Poles in July 1919 and subsequently against the Bolsheviks. The battalion was decimated by a typhus epidemic in late 1919 and its surviving soldiers were subsequently reassigned to other units within the Ukrainian Galician Army. Sources: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95 and Encyclopedia of Ukraine, pblished by the University of Toronto Press.

    *The government fought antisemitic acts by punishing robbery with execution, and respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort. Source: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95

    ……..

    How can you dismiss all the evidence above, fail to provide even a single concrete counterexample of Galician repression against Jews in the Austrian up to early 1920’s period, and still claim that Ukrainians in those times or their movement was somehow antisemitic?

    ……..

    You claim that the Western Ukrainians turned against Petliura because he was inclined to be pro-Red and because he was willing to give eastern Galicia over to Poland. You are correct on the second point, but utterly wrong on the first. The West Ukrainian government seriously considered allying themselves with the Soviets (by so doing providing a bridge from the Soviets to Bel Kun in Hungary), but didn’t because they didn’t like the Soviets’ terms. In exile Petrushevych, the former leader of the West Ukrainian government, was getting Soviet subsidies for several years. Here’s a very interesting article that describes West Ukrainian/Soviet relations:

    Christopher Gilley, A Simple Question of ‘Pragmatism’? Sovietophilism in the West Ukrainian Emigration in the 1920s, KICES Working Papers, No.4, March 2006

    (You can google the article and download it to read it).

    Of course, culturally the West Ukrainians were more conservative than were the Kieven nationalsits. The Galicians were not more rural, but more civilized, having been used to parliamentrary politics in Austria rather than revolutionary subversion. But like the Finnish conservative Mannerheim who had refused to join the Whites despite his anti-Bolshevism, the West Ukrainian leadership were willing to look at cooperation with the Reds if they deemed it advantageous to the West Ukrainian people. They ultimately did not do so (in part, out of the misplaced hope that the West would support them againtr Poland, and cooperation withthe Reds would eliminate any hope of Western support), but came closer to it than did Petliura.

    Comment by AP — December 23, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

  60. On Gogol (but first an aside)

    The thing to keep in mind with respect to Eastern European history, or culture, is the tendency by people from each nation to construct myths about themselves, which sometimes veer away from reality. One must be wary of adopting a simplistically Polish, or Ukrainian, or Russian, etc. approach. It just isn’t very realistic that historians or culturologists from one of these nations, such as Russians, have a monopoly on the Truth and by some amazing coincidence are more objective than their colleagues from every other nation.

    Anyways, Andrew #3 asked about Bojanowska’s take on Gogol’s dead Souls. He cited this wonderful pasage, one of my favorites, earlier:

    Oh, you troika, you bird of a troika, who invented you? ….Is it not like that that you, too, Russia, are speeding along like a spirited troika that nothing can overtake? The road is like a cloud of smoke under you, the bridges thunder, and everything falls back and is left far behind. The spectator stops dead, struck dumb by the divine miracle: is it not a flash of lighting thrown down by heaven? What is the meaning of this terrifying motion? And what mysterious force is hidden in these horses the like of which the world has never seen? ….. Russia, where are you flying to? Answer! She gives no answer….

    Bojanowska’s interpretation (which I do not agree with, though there is some truth to it):

    “Though it is easy to submit to the rhetorical grandeur of the passage, to let oneself be carried by the seductive sway of itslanguage and imagery, what ahppens if we retrace teh steps that led to it? How does contextualization, so crucial in interpreting the digressions, impact one’s reading of this grand conclusion? The metonymic equation or Russia and the troika ultimately stems from a description of Chichikov’s troika. Just as Chichikov’s revelry in fast driving becomes transformed into a typically Russian characteristic, hisown troika transmogrifies into Russia. This alignment opens up an interpretive can of worms that mars the sublimity of Russia’s final image. For Russi-troika carries theimage of a vehicle that carries a con man escapng tar and feathers. The ethereal troika of the digression, capable of such incredile speed, bodies forth from Chichikov’s decrepit and unreliable carriage…Before they become transformed into fiery steeds drawing a national icon, the horses [three nags] acquire the titles of “Chairman” and “Secretaries” given to them by drunken Selifan…The magnificance of Russia as a dashing troika is sharply diminsished when juxtaposed with the actual carriage that motivated the metaphor…irony deflates nationalistic fervor.” She described Gogol’s playfulness and subversiveness.

    In essence, Bojanowska desctribes 99% of the novel as a cruel description of nasty aspects of Russian life with small passages – digressions – that themselves are ironic and which seem unambiguosuly “pro-Russian” only when viewed outside their context.

    Bojanowska adds interesting accounts of how Russian critics looked at Dead Souls at the time it was published, before the Russian myths about the man became set in stone. According to the memoirs of Gogol’s friend Sergei Aksakov, count F. I. Tolstoy considered Gogol an enemy of Russia. Gogl’s friend Aleksandra Smirnova, having overheard Tolstoy’s conemnation, told Gogol “Tolstoy remarked that you portrayed all Russians in a negative light, just as you gave all your Little Russians something that inspires sympathy…that even their funny sides have something naively pleasant about them. He said that none of your Ukrainians is as vile as Nozdrev, that Korobochka is not disgusting only because she is Ukrainian [the term used was khakhol, a derogatory word for Ukrainians]. He, Tolstoy, thinks that your lack of brotherly feeling [nebratstvo] involuntarily revealed itself when you said of two conversing muzhiks “two Russian muzhiks”…Tiutchev also observed that Muscovites would never say “two Russian muzhiks…” Smirnova said that one can conclude from these remarks that Gogol harbored “that deeply hidden feeling which reigns in Little Russia” – which Bojanowska says is anti-Russian sentiment.

    The critic Nikolai Grech dismissed Dead Souls in the Northern Bee for its “barbaric” and “non-Russian” language. TheBee’s publisher, Bulgarin, claimed that Dead Souls slandered Russia but did not ascribe malicious intent to him, stating that as a Little Russian he didn’t know any better.

    Bojanowska: “In the eyes of [Russia’s] conservative press, the author’s Ukrainian identity to a large extent explained and magnified his transgression against the Russian people. The “media moguls” snidely stressed the writer’s “Little Russian” origin and persistently “downgraded” him to the status of a Ukrainian writer. The Library’s review of Gogol’s 1842 Collected Works linked the “tons of excess filth” in Gogol’s work to the tradition of “Little Russian poetry.” The term “Ukrainian humorist” resounds in the article like a dismissive incanttion…the reviewer blames Gogol’s Ukrainmian national prejudice for his image of Russia, characterizing his works as “Strained Little Russian satire against Great Russian civil servants.”

    Comment by AP — December 24, 2010 @ 1:04 am

  61. @ Andrew#3, who appears to be a typical pederastic russophile, you claim my sources are The diatribes you parrot against Denikin are sheer bunk as shown by their lies in terms of what he said and didn’t say and how he carried on.

    Well give us some alternative source boyo, because pretty much every period account of the Whites, and pretty much all historical evidence shows what a racist bunch of pigs they were, and Denikin was pretty much the worst.

    His stated intention to restore Russia to its pre 1914 borders, his refusal to recognise the independence of Poland, Finland, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and his attempted invasions of Georgia and Azerbaijan, his racism towards ethnic minorities in the empire, and his crimes against humanity in the form of mass executions are all well documented.

    And the Russian attitude to the independence of far older peoples continues to this day:

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday laid flowers on the Moscow grave of General Anton Denikin, a White Russian leader whose opposition to the aspirations of non-Russian nations in the Russian Empire and unqualified commitment to the “indivisibility” of Russia opened the way for the victory of Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

    Indeed, it was Denikin’s unwillingness to make any concessions to non-Russian groups, combined with Lenin’s false promises of respect for national self-determination that led to the collapse of the anti-Bolshevik cause and allowed the communists to triumph, first at the expense of the Russians and then of the non-Russians among and around them.

    And consequently, as several commentators have already pointed out, Putin’s latest remarks, including in particular his denigration of the separateness of Ukraine, are certain to drive many non-Russians away from Moscow, even if they appeal to Russians as “the [latest] end of the [Russian] civil war” and a reaffirmation of the continuity of Russian history.

    Yesterday, Putin laid flowers on the graves of anti-Bolshevik generals Anton Denikin and Vladimir Kappel, émigré nationalist philosophers Ivan Il’in and Ivan Shmelyev, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at Moscow’s Sretensk Monastery. Accompanying him and relaying some of his words was Archimandrite Tikhon.

    After laying flowers on the leader of the South Russia government, Putin quoted Denikin’s suggestion that “no one must be allowed to interfere in relations between us, big and little Russia, Ukraine. This was always an affair of Russia itself!” And he added that Denikin considered that any movement toward disunity was “impermissible.”

    http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11837&Itemid=1

    Comment by Andrew — December 24, 2010 @ 6:45 am

  62. One issue with many outside “scholars” and “analysts”, (even those who strive to be balanced), is a non-native command of language and lack of instinctive comprehension of the cultural components of any situation or argument, which is almost genetic with those that share the ethnic-cultural heritage (such as yourself)…

    This is ironic being posted by a Long Island Jew who’s hardly ever been to Russia and has no command of the Russian language whatsoever: can’t speak, can’t read, doesn’t understand a word.

    Comment by peter — December 24, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  63. @AP

    Citing Grech and Bulgarin as authorities on Gogol is a no-no of course. If you must pick one quote, I’d go with Nabokov:

    … ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ???-?????? ? ??????, ???? ?? ??????? ??????, ?????? ?????????? ????? ????????? ???? ????, ???? ??? ?????????? “????”, “?????” ? “?????????” – ?? ???????? ??????.

    ????????? ?????? ?? ???????? ???????? ?????, ??????????? ??? ????, ????? ??? ????????, ?? ????????? ????????? ??? ??? ???????. ?? ??????? ???, ?? ???????. ??? ?????? ??? ???????. ?? ????????? ? ???????. ??? ??????? ??????????. ?????? ??????. ?????????, ????????????, ?? ????. ??? ???????? ?? ???????? ????? ?????? ???????? ????????, ???? ? ?????. ???????, ???? ?? ??? ??????????? – ???? ????????? ????????, ???????, ??? ?????? ? ?? ?????????. ?? ? ???? ????? ??? ???????????? ???????? – ??????? ????, ???? ?????????.

    ??? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????????. ??? ?????? ??????. ??? ??? ????. ??????? ??????? ?????? ??????, ????????????, ??????, ?????, ??????? ??????, ?????, ??? ????? ? ????-????. ????? ?????-?????? ??????? ??????? ?????????????. ? ?????? ??? ?????????? ?????? ???????????, ?? ??????? ?????????????? ? ??????.

    ?? ? ?? ???? ??????? ??????? ? ?????? (??, ???????, ? ? ?????? ??????? ???????? ????????). ??? ????????????, ??? ? ?????? ??????? ??????????, – ??? ??????? ?????, ? ?? ????. ??? ???????? ????????? ???? – ??? ??????, ?? ??? ???????? ??? ?????? ???????; ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??????????, ?????? ?? ?????? ??? ?????????? ???, ?, ?? ???? ??????????? ???????? ?? ?????????, ??? ????? ?? ??? ?? ???????? ??????…

    If that’s too purist for you, here’s Rozanov:

    ? ??? ????? ??????? ? ????????? ??????: ? ? 62 ???? ?????: “?? ???????, ??????? ?????”. ???, ?? ?????? ??????? ???????? ? ?? “??????????? ??????????”… ?????? ?????? ?????-?? ???????? ???? ? ?????????, ??????? ???????? “????”; ?????? ?????? ??? ???????? ??????. ?? ????? ??? ???? – ??????, ? ?? ??? ?????????? ?????????? ?????, ???? ? ?????? ? ?????? ????? ????????? ?????…

    Comment by peter — December 24, 2010 @ 7:12 am

  64. Much ado about nothing (at least) in relation to what’s being specifically discussed.

    AP, your stated non-agreement with her take is quite understandable, given how one can opine that Chichikov’s vehicle as a negative criticism, is contrasted with the positive, patriotic, dramatically idealized image of Russia – the country Chichikov inhabits, and is not worthy of… as in: “we leave the Chichikovs of this world behind in the dust, and see a glorious Troika-chariot surging ahead.” Writers have pointed out the weaknesses and foibles of society. This shouldn’t be confused with the agenda of some others.

    One can accuse Gogol of being negative about Little Russia-Ukraine in the “Terrible Vengeance,” since he writes his glorious description of the Dnieper River – the great cradle and pride of Rus (and Ukraine), just as the hero embarks on a river journey that is filled with ghouls and other satanic terror Rhetorically put, could this be symbolic of a perceived demonic soul of Ukrainians?”

    The “racist pigs” are the La Russophobe trolls with their crude lies and distortions. This includes how they downplay the bigotry of non-Russian bigots on account of their being anti-Russian. The cited Georgian Daily is known for parroting faulty anti-Russian propaganda. Russia hating trolls and the views of some (stress some) others don’t constitute “everyone” as falsely stated.

    The White position is quite clear as evidenced by Kolchak’s clear on record statement in support of Polish independence – based on Versailles. Denikin and Wrangel agreed, with Denikin expressing great interest in such an alliance. The Whites similarly recognized Finnish and Estonian independence. (Among the sources are Brinkley. Both provide specific citations on what was said. Lehovich especially provides actual quotes and sources citing Kolchak’s and Wrangel’s clear comments on the subject. So much for the lies to the contrary.)

    Once again, consider the period in time when Britain and France had imperial possessions which they weren’t so willing to give up. The White differences with the Finns stemmed on Russian property rights in Finland and what Finland’s borders should constitute. Once again, the Whites were by no means an exclusively ethnic Russian entity.

    A chauvinist more aptly characterizes someone who refuses to acknowledge the past wrongs of his/her country, while seeking borders predominated by other people who don’t want to be part of their romanticized dream world. Pilsudski certainly fits that category. Brinkley (who doesn’t appear partisan in any direction) describes his manner as “imperialistic.” Brinkley also notes Pilsudski’s opposition to the Whites’ support of the Galician Ukrainian position of not being part of Poland – while also noting that the White position made no claim on Galicia – instead treating the Galician Ukrainians as more of a foreign entity.

    Once again, nothing was said to counter my views on Jews. “Advanced” Austria included prejudiced attitudes against others. Hitler and his likes didn’t just suddenly come about overnight. Russian Empire based Ukraine is where Ukraine’s greatest figures have tended to come from, unlike the more rural Galicia – where contemporary political extremism includes use of such chants as drowning the Muscovites in the blood of the Jews.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 24, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  65. Also note Yushchenko’s arbitrary Soviet like declaration of Bandera as a “Hero.” A blend of Red/Brown extremist advocacy, downplayed within neoliberal, neoconservative and sheer Russia hating circles.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 24, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  66. Touching on something else brought up: although a great writer, Nabokov is generally not considered (within reason) to be at the same level as Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Nabokov was known for writing uncomplimentary, if not spiteful commentary about others including Dostoyevsky. Reference to the “dumfoundingly difficult” Russian language relates to what was brought up about the difference in the mistranslation between “region” and “independent nation.”

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 24, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  67. Keeping in mind that the difficulty of the language doesn’t excuse calculated falsifications. In the specfic example given, the words in question don’t seem to present a great “nuance challenge” for a qualitatively high level fluent Russian and English speaking person to differentiate. (Five for five with such a view from individuals fitting that category). The issue remains flimsy attempts at spinning Gogol into a “Ukrainian” separatist, with the hope that no one will catch such deceit.

    Academically, this particular is in stark contrast to the referenced works of Lehovich and Brinkley.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 24, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  68. A note, in her work Bojanowska doesn’t portray Gogol as a separatist; rather she portrays his love of Russia as an act of will that didn’t come naturally to him despite the author’s best effort to try to love Russia. She also highlights Gogol’s non-Russian nationalist view of Ukrainian historical figures such as Ivan Mazepa. I don’t think she can be dismised so easily, her CV is impressive:

    http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~slavic/people/faculty_pages/edyta_bojanowska.htm

    As are the reviews of her work on Gogol:

    A major contribution to the history of Russian literary culture. Bojanowska illuminates Gogol’s works in a new and interesting way, and makes a convincing case for his identification with Ukraine and his frequent inclination to compare Russia unfavorably to it. Her research is extensive, her argument fresh, stimulating, and controversial. The implications for our understanding of Gogol are enormous.
    –Jeffrey P. Brooks, Johns Hopkins University (20070801)

    Edyta Bojanowska confronts head-on a fundamental anomaly: Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian, but he became a great Russian writer. She shows how Gogol, throughout his literary career, was deeply torn between his identity as a Ukrainian and his commitment to be a Russian writer. It was his mission to sear Russian hearts with his message of truth and righteousness and show them the way to purify their souls. But his Ukrainian heart was never really in it; he didn’t like Russia or believe in it. This is an illuminating, impressive, and original work by a very talented scholar.
    –Hugh McLean, University of California, Berkeley (20080101)

    Bojanowska’s study is the most thorough yet attempted of Gogol’s internally contradictory national identity, and it presents a challenging and convincing portrayal of his creativity…For a thorough and insightful study of Gogol’s perpetual preoccupation with national identity…there is no better place to begin thean with Edyta Bojanowska’s book.
    –Geoffrey A. Hosking (Times Literary Supplement )

    Takes full advantage of historical hindsight, producing a well-grounded and elegantly astute consideration of Gogol’s ever-evolving sense of nationalism and offering a valuable contribution to a growing field of postcolonial studies on Russia…Readers of Gogol will want to turn to Bojanowska’s study for a focused and enlightening treatment of the dynamics of nationalism in his life and work.
    –Amy Singleton Adams (Russian Review )

    Comment by AP — December 25, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

  69. Dislike of Jews in Austria stemmed from the lower classes and the same sort of quarters that also hated Slavs and wanted nothing to do with h tem. Of course, this had no impact on Galician Ukrainians, whose influence from Austria came from above rather from the Viennese gutters where Hitler came from. You have again failed to come up with a single represive act against Jews committed by Ukrainians in the Austrian era and immediately afterwards. Not a single one. Despite the fact that Easterrn Galicians maintaiend control over a large area with 4 million peoole for about 9 months, giving t hem plenty of time to engage in repression. The claim that 80 years later people in Western Ukraine say nasty slogans, and your thesis that this “must have come from somewhere” isn’t proof. I am interested in facts. You got any?

    Chauvinism and imperialism are two different things; there are empires that can be characterized as chauvinistic (Hitler’s Germany) and also mulitnational Empires (pre-Stalin USSR). And there can also be very chauvinistic non-Empires which are content to seek ethnic purity within their own borders. In the Polish context, Pilsudski was no chauvinist although he can be characterized as an imperialist. He had a romantic dream of recreating 17th century multinational, multiethnic Poland stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea which would be big enough to stand against Germany or Russia. If you recall, Poland of the 17th century had the largest Jewish population in Europe because it had served as a refuge for the Jews who were being persecuted elsewhere. Pilsudski’s feelings for the Jews were reflected in his Jewish friend becoming Poland’s president. Dmowski, Pilsudski’s rival, wanted a smaller ethnically pure Poland. For Pilsudski, as long as one was loyal to the Polish state all one’s national expression was acceptable. Dmowski, on the other hand, wanted a pure Polish state. He was opposed to Polish expansion because he did not want the Polish share of the population to be diluted; he wanted Poland to be just big enough that the minorities could be thoroughly assimilated and disappear. Dmowski was outraged that due to Pilsudski a Jew became Poland’s president, and one of Dmowski’s followers murdered the Jewish President. Dmowski tried, but failed, to pass a law that would confiscate property from Jews and distribute it to Poles, but succeeded in establishing quotas on the maximum numbers of Jews allowed in Polish universities. An interesting fact: when Dmowski tried to ban kosher preperation of food in Poland the Ukrainian parties stood alongside the Jews in opposing this law. Their reasoning was, first the Jews, then us.

    Comment by AP — December 26, 2010 @ 12:26 am

  70. … although a great writer, Nabokov is generally not considered (within reason) to be at the same level as Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.

    That’s a lot of opinion for someone whose familiarity with the Russian classical literature is limited to “Taras Bulba the Movie”.

    Reference to the “dumfoundingly difficult” Russian language…

    What reference? Nabokov didn’t say any such thing.

    Keeping in mind that the difficulty of the language doesn’t excuse calculated falsifications. In the specfic example given, the words in question don’t seem to present a great “nuance challenge” for a qualitatively high level fluent Russian and English speaking person to differentiate. (Five for five with such a view from individuals fitting that category).

    ? ????? ?? ?????. Can you please repeat it in smaller words for the less “qualitatively high level fluent” of us?

    Comment by peter — December 26, 2010 @ 4:37 am

  71. On how enlightened the Habsburgs were, some links on the Talerhof concentration camp:

    http://www.carpatho-rusyn.org/kr/taler.htm

    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Talerhof

    The second link use Ukrainian while omitting Rusyn. The historical occurrence at issue doesn’t get as much attention as some others with one major reason liklley having to do with a predominating agenda to deal with other matters.

    AP, David Irving has academic credentials as well. I sense you wouldn’t be so willing to embrace him and quite understandably so. You show me something specific (directly from Gogol – the name of his work and link) that lauds Mazepa. On another particular you raise, keep in mind that among literary peers there can exist some antagonism in a way that is arguably not in line with reality.

    Your points on Pilsudski don’t address his chauvinistic tendencies that were raised. Some supporters of his mindset can be quite anti-Jewish, whereas his opponents aren’t all by default anti-Jewish.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 26, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  72. Touching on the last thought, some other matters come to mind.

    Under Ceaucescu, Romania was the only Warsaw Pact Pact country which recognized Israel, while having the worst human rights conditions in that Soviet bloc organization.

    Ottoman Turkey’s comparatively good treatment of Jews doesn’t excuse the abuses it committed against others like the Armenians.

    For accuracy sake, one shouldn’t underestimate the politics behind the historical and political spin on a number of issues. Among others, Benny Morris suddenly has a motive to discuss some unfortunate aspects of Turkey’s past. The motivating factor being the decline in Turkish-Israeli relations.

    In some circles, the Austro-Hungarian suppression of eastern Slavs reasonably deemed as pro-Russian isn’t as politically a sexy issue to research and follow-up on as some other issues.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 26, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

  73. Maybe the Poles should be busy looking inside on why the entire leadership of a nation: political,economic and military, was on one single plane? Well, all except or Tusk, who is now top dog.

    As for criminal past activity: funny, how Hitler’s former allies, the Poles, who were his best friends from 1937-1938, till they got a chunk of Czeckoslavakia, which they failed to conquer in 1924, are not called out on this. Only when Hitler called on them (by the way, Poland was the 2nd fascist dictatorship of Europe in 1926, Italy in 1923) to prepare for war with Russia, did they suddenly turn neutral.

    How about investigations into Poland’s concentration camps for Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Belarus and southern Poland, who refused to convert to Catholicism? They ran those camps from 1930 to 1939. How about the mass murder of Jews by Poles, before the Germans even arrived, in 1938-1939? How about the mass murder of Ukrainian and then Red Army prisoners in Poland in 1922, 1923-1924? How about the mass murder of German civilians by nationalis Poles in concentration camps in 1945-1946?

    Poland sells her victimhood like an expert. Jesse Jackson has much to learn.

    Comment by Stanislav Mishin — December 26, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

  74. Oh and we won’t even go into 500 years of Polish occupation of Rus land, occupation brought by torch and sword and marked by mass murder and theft.

    Comment by Stanislav Mishin — December 26, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  75. Andrew#6, you are a twit. Polish “brohers” did not live in western Belarus and western Ukraine, but since you are such an expert, why don’t you grow a pair of balls (if some western feminazi hasn’t cut the off) and go to those areas and tell those who suffered Polish brutality for almost 500 years, how the Poles were trying to free them.

    Was Poland also doing that in 1922 when it invaded independent Ukraine? Or Lithuania? Or Czeckoslavakia? Or do you not know any history and are just mouthing off typical Western propaganda?

    Comment by Stanislav Mishin — December 26, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  76. La Russophobe, wrong as usual, McCain’s party did not, the conservatives did. McCaine is a leftist trash, who was called the songbird in Vietnam because he told everyone so many secrets. He’s your type, a dimwitted, sell out, open to the highest bidder, like Mexico. Small, corrupt and evil.

    Comment by Stanislav Mishin — December 26, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  77. Self correction on #72:

    “Under Ceaucescu, Romania was the only Warsaw Pact Pact country which recognized Israel, while having the worst human rights conditions in that Soviet bloc organization.”

    ****

    Should read as: “Uunder Ceaucescu, Romania was the only Warsaw Pact Pact country which didn’t break diplomatic relations with Israel….”

    Breaking diplomatic relations with a country doesn’t necessarily mean not recognizing the given country’s right to exist. Concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Soviet bloc favored a two state solution (of Israeli and Palestinian states).

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 27, 2010 @ 12:08 am

  78. … keep in mind that among literary peers there can exist some antagonism in a way that is arguably not in line with reality.

    ??. Are you trying to say that there existed “some antagonism” between Gogol and Nabokov “in a way that is arguably not in line with reality”? That’s even sillier than those funny “dumfoundingly difficult” and “qualitatively high level fluent” of yours.

    Comment by peter — December 27, 2010 @ 11:34 am

  79. What are you smoking, Stanislav?

    > Was Poland also doing that in 1922 when it invaded independent Ukraine

    In 1922 there was no independent Ukraine – Ukraine was mostly under Russian occupation by that time, with the western part occupied by Poland.

    Comment by Ivan — December 27, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  80. @70: Hilarious! Thank you for the laugh.

    @Andrew #3: I am quite familiar with Talerhof; my own great-grandfather was held there. It was an internment camp where for about 2.5 years people suspected of being spies for Russia with whom Austria was at war were interred. The first winter was awful because the Austrians, perhaps not thinking about h ow long the war would drag on, faield to provife any decent shelter for the peop;e being held there. About 3,000 people died at Talerhof until the Austrians themselves, disgusted by its persistently poor conditions, shut it down. When you compare Talerhof with the camps set up by the British for Boers (where over 20,000 peopole, mostly women and children) died, or the centuries-long systemic system of exiling people to Siberia or to Arctic monastaries as was done by Russia (not to mention the exponentially more brutal “improvement” on the tsarist system by the Soviets) then yes, Austria comes across as quite civilized, relatively speaking.

    …………..

    Gogol’s direct words about Mazepa, from his Mazepa’s meditations:

    “But what could be expected of a people so different from the Russians, who breathed freedom and robust Cossackdom [in the original: dyshavshemu volnostiu i likhim kozachestvom] and wished to live their own way of life? They were threatened by a loss of nationality [Gogol’s word: natsionalnost] and by having their rights made to a greater or lesser extent equal with the people who were personally owned by the Russian autrocrat. Without it, Peter would have no impact on them. All this preoccupied the delinquent hetman.”

    As can be seen, Gogol by hs own words viewed Mazepa as someone who cared about his people and who was motivated, not by personal greed or treachery, but by wanting to prevent his free people from becoming slaves of Russia. There is of course no statement by Gogol that Mazepa was right or that he, Gogol, agreed with Mazepa’s separatist actions. But Gogol did show sympathy for the man and showed that his opinion of Mazepa was radically different than is the russian nationalist view of him as a self-interested traitor.

    The comparison you made of Bojanowska to David Irving, in addition to probably violating Godwin’s Law, is rather silly. So your rebuttal of her Harvard position , her publication, and good reviews of the same work that you and your friends don’t like by other respected and qualified academics is that David Irving (who has no connections to her whatsoever) is also an acadamic? Really?

    ………

    You wrote: “Your points on Pilsudski don’t address his chauvinistic tendencies that were raised. Some supporters of his mindset can be quite anti-Jewish, whereas his opponents aren’t all by default anti-Jewish.”

    If what you call is his “chauvinsitic tendencies” is his desire for a large Polish-led federation dominated by Poland but which respects minority cultural and religious rights, so long as the mionorities respect the Polish state, no argument. “Supporters of his [Pilsudski’s] mindset can be quite anti-Jewish” is meaningless. Who? How many? “whereas his opponents aren’t all by default anti-Jewish” I agree and never claimed otherwise. Although it is a fact that Pilsudski’s opponents are the opponents of a man who was the Jews’ protector, while the supporters, such as you, of Pilsudski’s bitter enemy Dmowski are supporters of a vicious antisemite, one may indeed have reasons to support one and dislike the other that have nothing to do with Jews, although Dmowski’s antisemitism was far from an obscure personal quirk but was a major element of his public policies.

    Comment by AP — December 27, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

  81. AP, your openly stated sense of “humor” is at the flawed level as some of your ongoing comments.

    No, Austria-Hungary wasn’t so enlightened as some of the offspring from that entity were to further reveal. Regarding Talerhof, note the many Austro-Hungarian POWs taken by the Russian army.

    You’re the one uncritically propping suspect work. I aptly show where your basis for doing so is flawed. Kindly give the original language quote from Gogol (as opposed to someone else), specifically referencing the work and where it can be preferably found.

    These works are academically sound:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Volunteer-Allied-Intervention-Russia-1917-1921/dp/1597403911

    http://www.amazon.com/White-Against-General-Anton-Denikin/dp/0393074854

    These books contrast with Dziewanowski’s on Pilsudski, which is a great read on how Polish nationalists like Pilsudski view themselves while side-stepping opposing views.

    The fact of the matter is that the Galician Ukrainians opposed becoming part of Pilsudski’s overly idealized and in reality imperialistic notion of Poland and its near abroad. For good reason, this was the perception of many non-Poles under Polish rule.

    Your constant rehashed imagery of Pilsudski versus Dmowski continuously fail to address how people thinking like Pilsudski on a number of issues weren’t free of bigotry and that those opposed to Pilsudski weren’t all in the bigoted category.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 27, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  82. For whatever eason, my reply was posted as #81, without showing up at the top, which kept listing only 80 comments total. Now that #81 doesn’t show at the bottom at all. Hence this re-submission. A#3

    AP, your openly stated sense of “humor” is at the flawed level as some of your ongoing comments.

    No, Austria-Hungary wasn’t so enlightened as some of the offspring from that entity were to further reveal. Regarding Talerhof, note the many Austro-Hungarian POWs taken by the Russian army.

    You’re the one uncritically propping suspect work. I aptly show where your basis for doing so is flawed. For authenticity sake: if possible, kindly give the original language quote, specifically referencing the work and where it can be preferably found.

    These works are academically sound:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Volunteer-Allied-Intervention-Russia-1917-1921/dp/1597403911

    http://www.amazon.com/White-Against-General-Anton-Denikin/dp/0393074854

    These books contrast with Dziewanowski’s on Pilsudski, which is a great read on how Polish nationalists like Pilsudski view themselves, while side-stepping opposing views.

    The fact of the matter is that the Galician Ukrainians didn’t seek becoming part of Pilsudski’s overly idealized and in reality imperialistic notion of Poland and its near abroad. For good reason, this was the perception of many non-Poles under Polish rule.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 29, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  83. For whatever reason, my reply was posted as #81, without showing up at the top, which kept listing only 80 comments total. Now that #81 doesn’t show at the bottom at all. A second re-submission didn’t go thru. This third one is from another computer. A 3

    AP, your openly stated sense of “humor” is at the flawed level as some of your ongoing comments.

    No, Austria-Hungary wasn’t so enlightened as some of the offspring from that entity were to further reveal. Regarding Talerhof, note the many Austro-Hungarian POWs taken by the Russian army.

    You’re the one uncritically propping suspect work. I aptly show where your basis for doing so is flawed. For authenticity sake: if possible, kindly give the original language quote, specifically referencing the work and where it can be preferably found. Gogol’s authentically expressed views on matter like Mazepa and Poland are well established, unlike what you’re claiminig.

    These works are academically sound:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Volunteer-Allied-Intervention-Russia-1917-1921/dp/1597403911

    http://www.amazon.com/White-Against-General-Anton-Denikin/dp/0393074854

    These books contrast with Dziewanowski’s on Pilsudski, which is a great read on how Polish nationalists like Pilsudski view themselves, while side-stepping opposing views.

    The fact of the matter is that the Galician Ukrainians didn’t seek becoming part of Pilsudski’s overly idealized and in reality imperialistic notion of Poland and its near abroad. For good reason, this was the perception of many non-Poles under Polish rule.

    Comment by Andy_III — December 29, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  84. AP, I see a mild acknowledgement by you on people opposing Pilsudski.

    In a somewhat related particular, you’re frankly being idiotic in saying that because I might agree with someone in one instance – suggests my support of bigotry. On par with saying that vegetarians are Nazis because Hitler was (if I’m not mistaken – which could be). The point is nevertheless clear and bleep Godwin.

    I’m also not keen on the stated support of minority rights, while supporting people with chauvinistic anti-Russian tendencies like Pilsudski, who doesn’t seem to ever acknowledge any Polish wrong doing. In an earlier set of comments, you suggest support of Russian nobles getting their land confisticated in Ukraine unlike Polish nobles.

    FYI, Russia’s treatment of Finland gets comparatively high marks among future Euriopean nations that were part of European empires.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — December 30, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  85. I will take your stooping to personal attacks as an implicit acknowledgment that you’ve lost the argument, Andrew #3. You repeatedly confuse bigotry with imperialism (two totally and not necessarily related things) and, oddly, seem to view one side (Pilsudski) as imperialistic but do not emphasize this of another side (the Whites) as both fought over Ukraine. I am curious – do you believe that Petliura’s semi-puppet Ukraine would be less independent than the White vision for Ukraine (as an integrated part of th Russian Empire)? Complaining about Pilsudski’s imperialism is an interesting position given that you support the Whites; remember Denikin’s hanging of a few dozen Ukrainophile Kuban cossack leaders?

    I neither suggested nor stated that you were a bigot. I simply pointed out to you the reality that you are willing to, and do, support a truly vicious bigot (Dmowski) just because his position is “better” for your idea of Russia’s benefit.

    I deal with facts, Andrew #3. I don’t see many presented in your posts. Which of the works below are, in your opinion, “suspect”?:

    *Although relations betwen Poles and the West Ukrainian Republic were antagonistic, those between the Republic and its Jewish citizens was generally nuetral or positive. Deep-seeded rivalries existed between the Jewish and Polish communities, and antisemitism, particularly supported by Dmowski’s Polish National Democratic Party, became a feature of Polish national ideology. As a result, many Jews came to consider Polish independence as the least desirable option following the first world war. Although Jewish political organizations declared their nuetrality in the Polish-Ukrainian struggle, many individual Jews offered their support or sympathized with the West Ukrainian government in its conflict with Poland, particularly after they were recognized as a national minority by the Ukrainian government. Jewish officers of the defunct Austro-Hungarian army helped form the officer corps of the West Ukrainian military, and Jewish judges, lawyers, doctors and railroad employees joined the West Ukrainian civil service. Taken from: Alexander V. Prusin. (2010). ”The Lands Between: Conflict in the East European Borderlands, 1870-1992.” Oxford: Oxford University Press pg. 93

    *The Ukrainian nationalism that developed before the first world war in Austria, whiel anti-Polish, was not very xenophobic and not antisemitic. Source: Bandera – Romantic Terrorist, interview with Jaroslaw Hrycak. Gazeta Wyborcza, May 10, 2008. The Hrytsak, history professor at Central European University states: “Before the first world war Ukrainian nationalism under Austrian rule was neither very xenophobic nor aggressive. It was anti-Polish, which was understandable, but not antisemitic.”

    *Ukrainian government respected Jewish nuetrality in Lviv with no anti-Jewish riots in the 2 weeks that Ukrainians controlled that city. Source: Hostages of modernization: studies on modern antisemitism, 1870-1933/39, Volume 2 Herbert A. Strauss editor pg. 1032

    *On February 15, 1919, a law was passed that made the state language Ukrainian. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv. Source: Alexander Victor Prusin.(2005).Nationalizing a borderland: war, ethnicity, and anti-Jewish violence in east Galicia, 1914-1920. University of Alabama Press. pg. 99

    *Approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament, an amount roughly equal to the share of the population, were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Jews were also able to create their own police units. Source: Aharon Weiss. (1990). Jewish-Ukrainian Relations During the Holocaust. In Peter J. Potichnyj, Howard Aster (eds.) Ukrainian-Jewish relations in historical perspective. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, pp.409-420

    *The Ukrainian Galician Army fielded a Jewish battalion (Zhydivs’kyy Kurin’ UHA) recruited from Jewish university and high school students in Ternopil and led by Lieutenant Solomon Leimberg. Formed in June, 1919, it attained a strength of 1,200 men and participated in combat against the Poles in July 1919 and subsequently against the Bolsheviks. The battalion was decimated by a typhus epidemic in late 1919 and its surviving soldiers were subsequently reassigned to other units within the Ukrainian Galician Army. Sources: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95 and Encyclopedia of Ukraine, pblished by the University of Toronto Press.

    *The West Ukrainian government fought antisemitic acts by punishing robbery with execution, and respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort. Source: Myroslav Shkandrij. (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp.94-95

    Comment by AP — December 31, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  86. Your manner was appropriately dished right back at you AP.

    I didn’t “lose” anything AP.

    On the contrary, it’s false to claim that Gogol supported Mazepa and Poland as a good offset to Russia. Nothing like that exists from Gogol – quite the opposite. To insist otherwise is among other things foolish.

    The same goes for the lie that the Whites didn’t support Poland’s independence. In fact, the Whites looked forward to a White Russian-Polish alliance against the Bolsheviks in 1919. Pilsudski refused out of an anti-Russian bias and imperialist desire on his part.

    The primary source documentation on these points is quite clear and has been accepted by responsible academics familiar with the subject. To overlook this while uncritically lauding a dubiously surmised overview of Gogol is flawed. Likewise, with your ongoing attempt to suggest that I support bigotry. The fact of the matter remains that for good reason many eastern Slavs and other non-Poles didn’t view the Poland between two world wars as a great example of multiethnic harmony.

    On your anti-Russian takes, Russia and Ukraine are linked to Rus unlike Poland. Mazepa is viewed as a Russian and Ukrainian literary figure and not as Polish and Russian or Polish and Ukrainian pairings. Ukrainian Cossack leader Pavlo Skoropdasky supported a Russian and Ukrainian union, with the term “All-Russian” specified. To this day, Russia is far more popular in Ukraine than Poland. Trying to suggest any near comparison between Poland and Ukraine as similar to Russia and Ukraine is historically, culturally, linguistically and religiously absurd.

    Omce again, I never said that there were noticeable pogroms in Galicia during the Russian Civil War period.

    Your claim of Denikin is factually wrong, while downplaying that the defeated Kuban faction you refer to turned against the prior position of the Kuban at the time – instead opting for an anti-White position during a war. Your suggested “morality” doesn’t fault Pilsudski for supporting Petliura. While lauding the Galician Ukrainians, you downplay their opposition to Pilsudski and preference for the Whites over the Polish nationalist leader.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — January 1, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  87. Another fact with a source:

    Relations between Jews and Ukrainians were much more peaceful on the Austrian side of the post-1795 border than they were in the territories east of the Zbruch river controlled by Russia. The multiple pogroms that occured in Russian-ruled Ukraine in the 19th century did not spread across the border into Galicia, where Jews and Ukrainian were enagaged in political cooperation. Whatever anti-Jewish political agitation existed in Galicia, it was limited to Polish political parties operating in areas where not many Ukrainians lived. taken from: Frank Golczewski. (2008) Sheds of Grey: Reflection on Jewish-Ukrainian and German-Ukrainian relations in Galicia. In Ray Brandon, Wendy Lower (Eds.). ”The Shoah in Ukraine: history, testimony, memorialization”. Indiana University Press: pp. 117-129

    You construct a straw man argument. I never suggested that Gogol supported MAzepa and Poland. I stated that he sympathized with Mazepa hand had the view of him that was not the view of Russian nationalists. He considered Mazepa to be a national leader who thought about his own peole’s welfare. Gogol did not state that Mazepa made the right decision. Gogol’s own words:

    “But what could be expected of a people so different from the Russians, who breathed freedom and robust Cossackdom [in the original: dyshavshemu volnostiu i likhim kozachestvom] and wished to live their own way of life? They were threatened by a loss of nationality [Gogol’s word: natsionalnost] and by having their rights made to a greater or lesser extent equal with the people who were personally owned by the Russian autrocrat. Without it, Peter would have no impact on them. All this preoccupied the delinquent hetman.”

    My words:

    As can be seen, Gogol by hs own words viewed Mazepa as someone who cared about his people and who was motivated, not by personal greed or treachery, but by wanting to prevent his free people from becoming slaves of Russia. There is of course no statement by Gogol that Mazepa was right or that he, Gogol, agreed with Mazepa’s separatist actions. But Gogol did show sympathy for the man and showed that his opinion of Mazepa was radically different than is the russian nationalist view of him as a self-interested traitor.

    Yet I wrote: “There is of course no statement by Gogol that Mazepa was right or that he, Gogol, agreed with Mazepa’s separatist actions.” Yet you wrote “it’s false to claim that Gogol supported Mazepa and Poland as a good offset to Russia. Nothing like that exists from Gogol – quite the opposite. To insist otherwise is among other things foolish.” YOu faslely implied that I claimed that Gogol supported Mazepa. Having to resort to misrepresentations of my positions suggests that you have lost the arguments, also.

    Turning to Kuban, The Russian Civil War By Evan Mawdsley writes that Kuban’s leaders attacked Denikin’s “military dictatorship.” The Kuban Rada was demounced as separatists, and Denikin ordered a coup again the Rada. “Under the heavy hands of Wrangel and Pokrovsky the most exrme Kuban ‘Mirabeaus’ were hanged and others were exiled.” So, how many Ukrainian politrical leaders did imprialist Pilsudski hang in 1919, versus those hanged by “non-imperialist” Denikin?

    You mention Skoropadsky’s declaration of a union but failed to mention that he was promptly deposed in a popular uprising right after agreeing to it. Indeed, during the civil war period there was no significant pro-Russian native movement in Ukraine. All the forces there (Petliura’s Ukrainian nationalsits, Makhno’s anarchists, the various warlords) were opposed to Denikin. Indeed, like Petliura or Pilsudski they seem to have considered the Reds to even have been a “lesser evil.” The closest thing to any White-Ukrainian cooperation was Galician flirtation with joining the Whites in exchange for their help vs. Poland, although little came of this.

    Appealing to the memory of a state that ceased to exist in 1241 as somehow making a White invasion of Ukraine “not an invasion” does not seem very realistic.

    As for curent popularity of Russia or Poland in Ukraine, the data is mixed depending on the survey and geographical region. For example, one poll in 2009 showed that Poland was seen as Ukraine’s best friend, Russia was in second place. At any rate, surveys about attitudes today are not relevent to events in 1917. But Shifting the discussion away from uncomfortable facts seems to be a pattern with you.

    Comment by AP — January 2, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  88. Your claim of being misrepresented is faulty given what’s on record at this thread. Among other things, this includes uncritically citing the gross mis-translation of the Russian meaning of “region” that gets presented as “nation.” The “shifting the discussion away from uncomfortable facts seems to be a pattern with you.”

    Where does Gogol sympathize with Mazepa? There has yet to be presented a firmly established reference of Gogol saying so. BTW, a not so distant Ukrainian poll puts Mazepa’s popularity in Ukraine at under 35%. So, its’ not just “Russian nationalists” with such a view of Mazepa.

    The general overview of Mazepa includes reasonable observations that he wasn’t such a great leader prior to his break from Peter and that Mazepa’s move thereafter was sheer opportunism on Mazepa’s part. With this in mind, Peter did Mazepa a favor by supporting the latter, when another person could’ve been supported.

    Your ongoing pro-Austria-Hungary slant ignores numerous variables. As part of the Russian Empire, Finland had the greatest autonomy of any future European nation under a monarchy. In Austria-Hungary, there was support for Russia, which the Habsburgs were wary of. The Russian Empire was also where many prominent Ukrainian historical figures were born and educated.

    Was Galicia free of anti-Jewish activity in 1648? What happened there during WW II is pretty well established, despite some claims (feeble at that) to the contrary. Present day eastern Galcia has its share of extremism as well.

    The pogroms in parts of the Russian Empire were a most unfortunate aspect and by no means an exclusive act of intolerance relative to the treatment of Blacks and Indians in America and what Ottoman Turkey did to many Christians. I’ve no doubt that with or without revolution, the former Russian Empire would’ve achieved a positive development in an arguably greater way than what occurred.

    Was Makhno more of an anarachist than Ukrainian nationalist? Petliura was willing to give up eastern Galicia to Pilsudski. The Galician Ukrainians allied themselves under the command of the Whites. Contrary to the anti-Russian propaganda of some Ukrainian nationalists, the Whites and Reds found considerable support in Ukraine. This greatly explains why Petliura’s support melted.

    Skoropadsky had a conservative anti-left side to him which put him in opposition to some like Petliura. Another issue had to do simply with wanting to be on top. Skoropadsky’s predicament was complex in that he received German support at a time when the Whites were allied with the West. At the same time, Skoropadsky never exhibited anti-Russian biases that are typical among the activist minority of Ukrainians who get disproportionate coverage in the West. One can find attempts to spin Skoropadsky as a positive figure by some Ukrainian nationalists with anti-Rusisan leanings. That take seems somewhat akin to the weak attempt at trying to make Gogol into something that he hasn’t been known for.

    From the perspective of someone who isn’t enthusiastic or unenthusiastic about capital punishment (instead, seeing plausible points on both sides of that issue), I don’t think that American WW II GI Eddie Slovik deserved a death sentence over the referenced Kuban Cossack faction issue. FYI, Wrangel (not Denikin) had the call to decide on how to act against the Kuban faction in question. Upon assuming the full leadership of the Whites, Wrangel is credited with bringing greater discipline to the Whites as well as developing and instituting a progressive socioeconomic reform policy in the civilian sector. In exile, he lived a dignified life.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — January 3, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  89. I took he time to follow-up on the dubious claims of Gogol.

    They reveal the opposite of your uncritically propped source, whose characterization can be gently put as creative and more frankly described as on the falsifying hack side – with a seeming agenda to disparage patriotic Russian views.

    Show me a Harvard promoted work second guessing the nationalism expressed by Poles like Pilsudski and the minority of anti-Russian Ukrainians.

    Comment by Andrew#3 — January 3, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

  90. … the gross mis-translation…

    That’s ironic coming from someone who thinks that “UPA” stands for “Ukrainian Partisan Army”.

    … of the Russian meaning of “region” that gets presented as “nation.”

    You’ve totally misunderstood the ?????????? vs. ??????????????? issue — and there is really no issue in the first place:

    ?????????? ????. 1) ?????. ???????????? ??????????????, ?????????? ?? ??????; ???????????. 2) ???????????? ????????????; ????????????.

    Do ask your “qualitatively high level fluent Russian and English speaking” friends to translate this for you, especially the little word “?????.” at the very beginning.

    Comment by peter — January 4, 2011 @ 5:34 am

  91. Thanks peter for adding some more reality to this conversation. I doubt that Andrew#3 will respond to your points. His friends apparently are better scholars than the Harvard professor specialising in this stuff, and better experts than the Berkley, Johns Hopkins etc. professors who favorably reviewed her work.

    I’m still waiting for Andrew #3 to give some examples of Ukrainians hanged by imperialist Pilsudski, to compare to “non-imperialist” Denikin (or Wrangel). As far as I know Eddie Slovak was not a Ukrainian and he wasn’t hanged by Pilsudski.

    I don’t know about Harvard works and Pilsudski, I based much of what I had written about Pilsudski and Dmowski on the books by an Oxford-trained Yale history professor, Timothy Snyder. I suppose neither Yale nor Harvard, generally considered among the top universities in the world, produce scholars good enough for Andrew #3 and his friends?

    Anyone remotely familiar with Skoropadsky would know that he was involved in paramilitary Ukrainian nationalist activities during his exile (he was much more popular among Galicians, making up most of the Ukrainian diaspora, than among the central Ukrainians who overthrew him). The attempt to present his offer of union with Russia as other than a tactical move, or him as a great Russian patriot and his Ukrainianism as “spin”, is laughable indeed but fits Andrew #3’s pattern. From the University of Toronto-published Encyclopedia of Ukraine:

    “For most of the interwar years Skoropadsky lived in Wannsee, near Berlin, and received German financial support. From there he headed the hetmanite movement, consisting of monarchist émigré organizations, such as the Ukrainian Union of Agrarians-Statists in Europe, the United Hetman Organization in Canada and the United States, and the Ukrainian Hetman Organization of America. He was also honorary president of the Ukrainian Hromada society in Berlin. Because of his links with governing Junker circles, in 1926 he was able to initiate the creation of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Berlin. Skoropadsky never relinquished his claim to Ukraine. During the Second World War he lobbied the Nazi government for the release of the leaders of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists imprisoned in German concentration camps. He was mortally wounded during an Allied air raid on the railway station at Plattling, in Bavaria, and was buried in Wiesbaden. Excerpts from his memoirs appeared in Khliborobs’ka Ukraïna (vols 4 and 5 [1922–3, 1924–5]) and under separate cover as a 1992 Kyiv volume of his Spomyny (Reminiscences). A collection of essays about Skoropadsky and his times, edited by Olena Ott-Skoropadska, appeared in 1993 as Ostanni het’man (The Last Hetman). Skoropadsky’s memoirs regarding events from late 1917 to December 1918, edited by Jaroslaw Pelenski (who also provided a foreward) were published in 1995.”

    Comment by AP — January 4, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  92. Anyone remotely familiar with Skoropadsky would know…

    To be fair to Mike (aka Andrew#3, Sissy Pie, BS Serum and whatever else he calls himself these days), he’s making some progress. A couple years ago he couldn’t even spell “Skoropadsky” remotely correctly.

    Comment by peter — January 6, 2011 @ 4:36 am

  93. The crackpot revisionism on Gogol has been thoroughly deconstructed:

    http://marknesop.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/the-khodorkovsky-conviction-dont-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-ass-on-the-way-in/#comment-2203

    So much for the La Russophobe troll and limited in knowledge hack claiming differently.

    The Harvard label is by no means flaw free and in the discussed instance is nothing more than a demagogic coverup. There is more than one hack in political academia. It is therefore no surprise that they can find each other.

    Comment by Anya — January 6, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  94. PS – Like the U of Toronto is not free of crackpot Ukrainian nationalist revisionism.

    Comment by Anya — January 6, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  95. Nothing in the supposed “deconstruction” wasn’t covered here. Attacking Harvard or the University of Toronto suggests an inability to attack the arguments on its own merits.

    Comment by AP — January 7, 2011 @ 8:03 am

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