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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

The Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist in Ukrainian

Roman VYBRANOVSKY: “What really matters is a view free of emotions and attitudes to politicians”
27 January, 2014 - 18:21

Euromaidan has given an impetus to the birth of many new media resources. Late 2013 saw the launching of the website “The World Press on Ukraine and Euromaidan: Prompt Translations.” At present, this online portal’s archive comprises 24 translations of foreign-language materials in response to the latest events. The organizers point out that volunteers translate foreign analytical publications on EU-Ukraine-Russia relations and Euromaidan-related events for this site. The readers of this site have free access to the translations of articles from such well-known media as The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, World Affairs, The Washington Post, et al. The Day has interviewed Roman VYBRANOVSKY, one of the initiators of this media resource.

“This idea came up when my colleague Taras Kuzmovy, a media expert and member of the Journalistic Ethics Commission, and I were exchanging our impressions of The Economist’s sober, unbiased, and high-quality description and analysis of events in Ukraine. For, what really matters for many Ukrainians, is a view free of emotions and attitudes to politicians. We have found many texts of this kind – the foreign press has virtually exploded with publications that not only describe the situation in Ukraine, but also explain its true geopolitical effect. This ‘picture,’ which the analysis of the foreign press allows us to draw, radically differs from that in the Ukrainian and Russian mass media.”

Why did you pick up this idea if there have already been websites that specialize in translating the foreign media?

“We have never come across the translations of these articles – just some parts of phrases sometimes. There is one, titled inosmi.ru, but it is a Russian site which offers disputable translations at times. It is not about Ukrainian political scientists, for they provide geopolitical comments of a somewhat different quality. Whatever the case, we are here, but the authors we translate look at everything a bit from aside, taking into account the knowledge of Ukraine among the local audiences and elites. This is why we hit upon an idea to make sure that all the publications be in one place. Moreover, we only choose the texts and interviews that suggest an interpretation of events which is non-conventional and new for Ukraine. Our friend Olena Boltushkina created this website for us in few days’ time. A group of volunteers offered to help us do translations.”

Judging by the site menu, you focus on not only political, but also economic articles. Why?

“We opened the chapter ‘Economy’ because it is economic terms that people from different camps use to explain one decision or another, knowing that Ukrainians like to confuse concepts and nobody checks up on this. It seems to us that rather tough but still fair texts by foreign analysts better explain the situation in Ukraine.”

It was announced that “the site will exist as long as it remains interesting to readers.” Do you feel the interest of readers? Is it on the rise or on the decline?

“It will last as long as our readers show interest and volunteers have new interesting texts. We are setting no ‘quantitative and qualitative goals.’ For it is a project which people consider necessary and are trying to find time for.”

By Anna SVENTAKH, The Day