Simplifying Ukraine, BBC style

Simplifying Ukraine, BBC style

The situation in Ukraine is reduced to a simple eastern Ukraine/western Ukraine binary of pro-Russian/pro-European by simply visiting Donetsk and Lviv.
Of course, the photo above – of a poster attached to a city-centre bookshop, stating ‘Our home is Europe, not Asia’ – suggests that popular consciousness can relate to a simple East/West (Asia=Russia, Europe=Ukraine) dichotomy, and this is useful in mobilising people. 
However, the situation in Ukraine cannot be divided simply between its eastern and western parts, assuming that geographical location correlates with a particular outlook. The danger is that the east of the country is assumed to be automatically anti-European, whereas the reality is more complex. Indeed, Steve Rosenberg avoids the question of Kyiv’s position in relation to East and West, employing a large degree instead of geographical determinism.

Reports like this, with the Western media being treated as a source of authority, can only harm the prospect of Ukrainians around this vast country finally coming to think of each other in terms other than stereotypes and archetypes of Western “Banderivtsi”, or fascist bandits, and Eastern “Moskali”, or Muscovites.


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