January 21, 2015

Notes for Vienna 2015 Com.Sult Congress: It Is Time to Look at the Ukrainian Crisis in a Broader Context

When I was asked by David Ungar-Klein to speak here today on Ukraine, I hesitated. My knowledge of Ukraine is rather limited and I don´t pretend to be an expert on this sorely tried country. I am not someone who follows the day by day developments there. I also know that my views on that topic are against the mainstream and that they would not be much welcome. I know as well that there are real experts on Ukraine here in this audience (not only foreign observers but insiders), President Yushchenko being one of them.
In spite of all that, I accepted the invitation to address this gathering because with the passing of time I have become more and more convinced that the so called Ukrainian crisis is only mistakenly considered to be an Ukrainian crisis or Ukrainian-Russian conflict. It is not so. Ukraine is – to my great regret – only a place where the much more general crisis manifests itself most visibly. I have in mind an evident crisis of the West, which we experience but are not ready to admit. We try to hide it. One method of its manifestation is an intensive and widespread dissemination of Western values all over the world which creates new seeds of tensions. Ukraine is one of them.
Let me develop this point. On the one hand, the current crisis in Ukraine is undoubtedly originally home-made. It is basically the consequence of the evident failure of this country to make successful transition from communism to the system of freedom, pluralistic parliamentary democracy and market economy, from passive role in Soviet imperium to its own statehood and sovereignty.