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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

What Den has taught us

These past 22 years have been like a page-turning thriller, an intellectual marathon
12 September, 2018 - 18:51

Editor-in-Chief Larysa IVSHYNA: “When we were discussing what materials to include in the jubilee issue, Alla Dubrovyk-Rokhova suggested that I answer the question ‘What has Den taught us.’ To begin with, Den hadn’t existed before I became editor-in-chief, so I believe that we made Den come to be, and that this periodical has helped our progress... Now and then we see beautiful online photos by Serhii Piaterykov and Valerii Miloserdov, dating back to the early 1990s, like in Kievskiye vedomosti. We recognize some faces, including those of today’s noted media people, and tell ourselves those were the days... we were so young, the boys and girls were so handsome and pretty. The atmosphere was great! True, but it is important to know what those people would do in the long run, what kind of journalism they’d come up with. I believe the day will come when we’ll have a true story about Ukrainian journalism, mentioning facts and names.

“Den offered us an opportunity to make an entry into our history. We started by boldly competing with the leading periodicals [in Ukraine] at the time, but I realized in the end that it was a bad mistake, that we should’ve started by developing our own journalism, starting from scratch. These past 22 years have been like a page-turning thriller, an intellectual marathon. Not everyone involved from the start has reached the finish line. There has been a lot of frustration, disillusionment and sad departures, but also there have been those who held the fort and who have shared our joy as we realized that we’d not labored in vain. I mean our bona fide journalists and partners. They all took risks when everyone knew that supporting Den was fraught with danger... From day one, Den has been more than an opposition periodical; it has supported an alternative to the neo-oligarchic narrative. Our periodical is evolving; it is meant for both the Ukrainian in the street and power brokers. Let me remind you of one book in our Library Series, entitled Return to Tsarhorod (2015). When it appeared in print, no one would’ve even considered the possibility of the Tomos [i.e., autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church, granted by Constantinople – Ed.]. Today, we hear that our society is prepared to accept it, but is it, really?

“I recommended to read the book The Power of the Soft Sign or Return to Rus’ka Pravda [the soft sign has a number of meanings in Russian, and Rus’ka Pravda (Rus’ Justice or Rus’ Law) was the legal code of Kyivan Rus’ and the subsequent Rus’ principalities during the times of feudal division; it was written in the early 12th century and remade during a number of centuries – Ed.]. It was published in 2011 and was actually a warning.

“Regarding the first question – what Den has taught me – it has taught me patience (given my innate impatience) and optimism. And I mean optimism without an alternative. One of our slogans reads: ‘Sow the Seeds and Reap the Benefits!’”

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