Articles by Volodymyr Ishchenko

About Volodymyr Ishchenko

Volodymyr Ishchenko is a research fellow at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Technical University of Dresden. His research focuses on protests and social movements, revolutions, right and left politics, nationalism, civil society. He has authored a number of articles and interviews on contemporary Ukrainian politics, the Maidan uprising and the following war in 2013-14 for various publications including The Guardian, New Left Review, and Jacobin. He is currently working on a collective monograph “The Maidan Uprising: Mobilization, Radicalization, and Revolution in Ukraine, 2013-14”. He used to be a member of various new left initiatives in Ukraine and a founding editor of left-wing intellectual publication Commons: Journal of Social Criticism.

From Ukraine with Comparison: Emerging Notes on Belarus

We share here notes by LeftEast contributing editor Volodymyr Ishchenko on Belarus from August 10th (Part 1) and 19th (Part 2), 2020. Part 1: SOME QUICK COMPARATIVE NOTES ON BELARUS (August 10, 2020) 1. Both Lukashenka and Tsikhanouskaia claim ~80% voters. The official results look suspicious as they are improbably stable. Lukashenka gets ~80% of the voters in the fifth elections in a row despite all ups and downs, particularly, the COVID crisis. But 70-80% that Tsikhanouskaia claims may be even further from the real support. It is extremely hard to believe that a person who was virtually unknown just a few month ..

Contradictions of Post-Soviet Ukraine and Failure of Ukraine’s New Left

Dossier 1989 Thirty Years Later: Several profound contradictions have defined the dynamics of Ukrainian economy, politics and society since the collapse of the Soviet Union: the contradiction between transnational and local capital, those between factions of the local capital, Ukrainian national identity contradictions, geopolitical contradictions with Russia, the US, and EU, and contradictions between civil society, the active public, and Ukrainian society at large. I will first expose them, and then discuss how the Ukrainian new left has been failing to respond to these contradictions with a project for Ukraine ..

A Comedian in a Drama

This article was first published in Jacobin. In Sunday’s election Ukrainian voters dealt a decisive rebuttal to the post-Maidan establishment. Yet well-organized nationalist forces represent a time bomb under the new president-elect. American readers won’t be too surprised by a tale of an inexperienced candidate winning against the establishment’s pick. But in the case of Ukraine’s new leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy, this widely made comparison is even something of an understatement. Imagine that Donald Trump was thirty years younger and had never written any books or participated in any (even allegedly) seri ..

A comedian could be Ukraine’s next president. How did that happen?

This article by Volodymyr Ishchenko, a member of LeftEast’s editorial collective, was originally published in The Guardian. Volodymyr Zelenskiy has united a polarised country by rejecting angry nationalism – but his politics offer no panacea. A politically inexperienced comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is in the leadafter the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine – and by a huge margin. He is almost 15 percentage points ahead of the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko. Zelenskiy’s unconventional campaign, relying primarily on Instagram and a TV show in which he plays a fictional Ukrainian presi ..

Denial of the Obvious: the Far Right in the Maidan Protests and Their Danger Today

We are publishing this article in collaboration with Vox Ukraine. Recently the massive rallies of the far right parties, the powerful public presentation of the National Militia affiliated to Azov’s “National Corps” party, escalating attacks by extreme right groups against leftist, feminist, LGBT, human rights events brought Ukrainian radical nationalists back into the center of the public discussion. The dominant narrative since Maidan in Ukrainian and much of the Western public spheres have been systematically downplaying the problem – either arguing that Ukrainian far right are not really “fascists ..

VIDEO: The World Today: Ukrainian Complexities

Tariq Ali and LeftEast editorial board member Volodymyr Ishchenko discuss the manifold ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which may have fallen out of the news of late but has not lost its importance for the peoples of the region. This video originally aired on Telesur English. Volodymyr Ishchenko is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. He is the Deputy Director of the Center for Social and Labor Research (Kiev), an editor of Commons: Journal for Social Criticism, and a lecturer at the Department of Sociology in the Naitonal University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

A socialist case for Ukraine

On the anniversary of the fall of Ukrainian President Yanukovych, which marked the onset of the current conflict, Rob Ferguson and Tomas Tengely-Evans interview Volodymyr Ishchenko in Kiev. Originally published at Socialist Review. RF: Volodymyr, there is currently a crisis over the ceasefire in the east and the retreat from Debaltseve. What is your judgement of the crisis in the east of Ukraine? It depends how the Ukrainian state perceives the takeover of Debaltseve. We don’t know exactly what happened in Minsk and whether it was decided that Debaltseve would go to the separatists, or why the Ukrainian governm ..

Maidan, the Right-Wing and Violence in Protest Events Analysis

Source: DANYLIW RESEARCH SEMINAR ON CONTEMPORARY UKRAINE How significant was the participation of the far right in Maidan? Unfortunately, this question quickly falls  victim to extreme politicization due to two phenomena: first, active propaganda aimed at discrediting Maidan by its opponents, including the Russian media, and second, by whitewashing attempts by Maidan’s (left-)liberal or moderate nationalist supporters. Despite the hot polemics there are very few attempts to systematically assess the participation of the far right in Maidan. Typically arguments are supported with survey results conducted am ..

On the Possible Banning of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Its Meaning for Democracy and the Left

On July 24 the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Oleksandr Turchynov announced the disbanding of the parliamentary group of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) over a ridiculous technicality. The court trial over CPU’s ban as a political party started the same day with the next session of the court scheduled for mid-August.  The CPU is accused of supporting ‘terrorism’ and the separatism of Eastern Ukrainian pro-Russian rebels. While Ukrainian and international left should not have any illusions about the CPU just because of the “communist” word in its name, nevertheless, we should worry and act ..

Ukrainian elections results

Source: Transform-Network.Net Exit-polls and preliminary results showed a decisive victory for Petro Poroshenko at the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25. One of the richest man in the country (7th rank according to Ukrainian Forbes list) with liberal economic program is taking 54% according to over 64% counted protocols from electoral precincts. Yulia Tymoshenko – the major competitor – is far below with 13%. The third place got Oleh Lyashko who should be most precisely characterized as populist political clown. The candidates who could be seen as representing ‘South-Eastern Ukraine’ like Serhiy ..