is a vice president of Ukrainian PEN Center and author of many books including Die reale und die imaginierte Ukraine [The real and the imagined Ukraine], Suhrkamp 2006.
Even Ukrainian cultural journals have become the target of "raiders" -- shady groups working on behalf of powerful interests who use bogus property claims to close down businesses. The biggest raider of all is the Yanukovych government itself, says Mykola Riabchuk. [more]
The EU shouldn't be surprised by the Tymoshenko verdict: its support of anything nominally reformist has been perceived as acceptance of a range of repressions. Tough measures are now needed to prevent another authoritarian state forming on the EU's borders. [more]
Whatever one thinks about the "centuries-old affinity" between Ukraine and Russia, any western policy towards Ukraine that downplays the issue of values is fundamentally flawed, writes Mykola Riabchuk. [more]
After Viktor Yanukovych's election victory, Ukraine is supposedly back where it belongs: in the Russian sphere of influence. The reality, however, is more complicated, writes Mykola Riabchuk. For the Ukrainian leadership, it will be more a case of "muddling through" -- for the time being. [more]
The Russian-Ukrainian agreement over gas supplies will not last, writes Mykola Riabchuk. It runs against the economic interests of the Russian elite, whose pressure Ukraine lacks the capacity to withstand. The EU, meanwhile, is reluctant to play the role of strong arbiter. [more]
Mykola Riabchuk recalls how the politics of the Prague Spring filtered through to Ukraine until the crackdown on "bourgeois nationalism" five years later; and how, during perestroika, the roles were reversed and he brought banned literature to friends in Czechoslovakia. [more]
Viktor Yushchenko's election victory in September 2007 opened up an opportunity for improvement of Ukraine's democratic institutions, writes Mykola Riabchuk. The current crisis, a symptom of "pluralism by default", represents a setback for those hopes. [more]
Ukrainian democracy might be chaotic and immature -- but at least it's democracy. Nevertheless, there's still a lot to do before the country achieves anything like stability. [more]
The current stand-off in the Ukraine is a result of "incomplete revolution". The failure to establish democratic structures has allowed the mechanisms of authoritarianism back into Ukrainian politics. [more]
Western civil society should stop tolerating cynical realpolitik towards Belarus and put pressure on their governments to blacklist offending officials. [more]
Can a state based on blackmail be reformed?
What will it take to really change the Ukrainian political system? [more]
Mykola Riabchuk on the history of Ukrainian independence and the ideological background of Victor Yushchenko's "Orange Revolution". [more]
Does the Ukrainian political elite use the country's deep sense of political ambivalence to stay in power? [more]
In his analysis of the Ukrainian media landscape, Mykola Riabchuk maintains that a situation when people have plenty of rights on paper but cannot employ them in reality has largely persisted in the post-Soviet space. [more]