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Photo therapy and healing drops of knowledge

The Day’s new publications Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 and People of the Maidan. A Chronicle keep on acquiring admirers
23 October, 10:57
Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day

In these complicated times, The Day not only provides quality information on the situation in all spheres (political, economic, or military), but also supports the moral, psychological, and intellectual spirit of Ukrainians, especially those who fight in the east, with its new books. The first reviews of the book Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25, which was published in Ukrainian, Russian, and English, and also on the new photo album People of the Maidan. A Chronicle show that the demand for quality literature has increased significantly after the Maidan. One of the reasons is that Ukrainians are trying to figure out what the Revolution of Dignity has meant for them. And as the first readers – philosophers, historians, writers, ministers, journalists, photographers – admit, The Day helps with this task in its new publications by means of context and visual material.


 Maria TOMAK, journalist, Center for Civil Liberties, special correspondent for The Day:

“Frankly speaking, I have already given away three of my copies of Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25. The Russian copy went to the Russian human rights activist, who recently became Ukrainian citizen; I sent the English one to a French lady who works for one of the largest international organizations, which often lack basic knowledge about our country; and the Ukrainian one – to an activist from Donbas, who showed the noblest features during the last months: courage and responsibility for his region and peaceful citizens who are forced to live in that hell. I am sure that this book provides a lot of clues to the question all these people are so eagerly seeking to answer: what has been happening in Crimea and Donbas? And also I just want to share Serhii Krymsky and his ‘High Sky Effect,’ Yaroslav Dashkevych and his deep understanding of Muscovy, which misappropriated the history of Kyivan Rus’, George Shevelov and his ‘Moscow, Maroseika,’ James Mace and his ‘A Land in Blood,’ which became his native American land. And of course, the choice of people I shared this with was not coincidental.

“I also find it significant that out of the whole bundle of articles I wrote for The Day, this book, which is published in the most critical time for the independent Ukraine (and due to my age, I can only remember it independent), includes the material about the non-Putin, anti-authoritarian, and differently minded (again!) Russia.

“The complicated and ambiguous role of Russia in Ukraine’s life was recently revealed in all its charm. To be more precise, in all its ugliness, fatality, inevitability, and morbidness.

“I think it will be no exaggeration to say that out of all Ukrainian mass media, The Day has always been paying the most conscious and deep attention to the Russian question. Many naively believed that Russia changed after 1991. But as it turned out, The Day’s contributors were right in their warnings, and we saw that a different Russia turned out to be not a democratic country, but Limonov’s ‘other Russia,’ which instantly rushed to support the Russian brothers in Donbas. And judging by information in social networks, to support them not with humanitarian aid, but by firing MANPADS in their direction.

“But for those who have been reading articles and comments by Lilia Shevtsova, Larysa Ivshyna, Yurii Afanasiev, Yurii Shcherbak, Petro Kraliuk, and many other intellectuals, this turn of events came as no surprise. They have foreseen this war long ago and realized where the front line was situated and what the fighting was for.

“From this point of view, I would advise the greatest enthusiasts to read The Power of the Soft Sign, but war is a time for concise forms and the most significant and capacious plots, which are already gathered in the new Ukraine Incognita. This is our weapon, which will soon become classics for all Ukrainians. You understand this very quickly, when you hear cab drivers pondering with sincere indignation on whose heritage Kyivan Rus’ really is. And you have to agree that the latest hit from our football fans gives a feeling that the history has finally become popular.

“Therefore, all the effort is not in vain. By the way, it is a great honor, to have your work published along with those by people mentioned in this text under a cover of Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25.

“Many thanks to The Day! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!”

 Serhii KOT, Doctor of History, compiler and editor of the book The Ukrainian Question by Lancelot Lawton, chairman of the board at Oleh Olzhych Foundation:

“Editors of Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 Larysa Ivshyna and Ihor Siundiukov have carried out an enormous amount of work when selecting the material: out of all publications of the ‘Ukraine Incognita’ section, which has existed for many years, they were able to handpick 25 texts, which they thought contained new approaches to assessments of the events of the past that have conceptual significance and greatly influence the deep understanding of processes that took place in the past. We all understand perfectly well that history and its evaluation acquire tremendous importance, especially today. I would like to quote the famous Ukrainian figure Mykhailo Drahomanov, who once said that the knowledge of history is as essential for politicians as the knowledge of anatomy for surgeons. This has a profound meaning: wherever we move today in the reconstruction of our country, in the fight for our independence, for establishment of the modern Ukrainian political nation, we will address historic events, in one way or another. This is happening because we are confronted with questions: Who are we? What land do we live in? What is the local tradition of organizing social life and state-building? These are the questions that motivate a nation to keep working, while leaning upon the deep roots of its development. And as we see, it is simply impossible to build the state further without this solid foundation, because it is unknown how to merge a nation into a single organism with common goals and common vision of processes. This very basis of united understanding of what had happened to us in the past and what is going on at the moment lays the foundation of unity of a nation, which is capable of performing colossal tasks, the greatest of which is to build a truly democratic and fair Ukrainian state; and the second is to come back to Europe, the world based on democratic European traditions. The role of knowledge of the past is extremely important here. I would like to stress that The Day’s work in maintaining the ‘Ukraine Incognita’ section and constant publication of the best articles is extremely necessary and useful for society, because the turning points and modern understanding of Ukrainian history are presented here in an accessible, concise form.

“The collection Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 includes iconic figures. It is no coincidence that the book is opened and concluded with philosophical maxims by Serhii Krymsky, who interprets spiritual processes on Ukraine’s territory back from Kyivan Rus’ and into our day. The reader will find here publications by Serhii Hrabovsky, Petro Kraliuk, and Viktor Horobets. The Day reveres the memory of James Mace. His writings are extremely topical again. Even the symbolic title of one of the publications, ‘Enchanted Circles of the Idol,’ reflects the elements behind the topping of all those lenins, the idols of the totalitarian epoch. Ukrainian state failed to launch a timely process of creation of parks and museums of totalitarianism, where all those statues should have been gathered. So today no one should complain about the spontaneous ‘cleaning,’ unfolding against the backdrop of a horrible war and struggle for independence of Ukraine. The standpoint of the Communist Party of Ukraine, which had until recently claimed to be part of the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union, also plays a role. This is society’s natural response to those processes which the government sadly failed to guide along a civilized course. Now in these conflicts we have to reap what was sown. Yet Mace was able to foresee these processes of confrontation with the ideological legacy of totalitarianism.

“I feel very privileged that my publication also found its place in Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25. It is dedicated to an outstanding British journalist Lancelot Lawton, who back in the 1930s was one of the first to raise his voice in Britain and launch an entire social movement for the acknowledgement of the right of Ukrainians to the unification of their then disunited ethnic territories and creation of the Ukrainian European democratic state. Back in 1935 he said out loud what some contemporary Ukrainian historians are still not prepared to acknowledge. He wrote that Ukrainians are one of Europe’s most ancient nations with great traditions and culture. He spoke explicitly about the democratic Ukrainian Cossack state against the background of all those absolute monarchies, which prevailed in Europe in that time. He also wrote about the Ukrainian liberation movement, and he was very clear when he wrote about the man-made terror famine – the Holodomor. And all that was written by an outsider, who never lived in Ukraine and had no Ukrainian ancestry. However, Lawton was aware of Ukraine’s role, as a country with a huge democratic potential, for establishment of perpetual peace in Europe. He emphasized that entire Europe’s peace and democratic progress depended on the correct, objective, and respectful solution of the so-called Ukrainian question. This is how he titled one of his articles, a report before the House of Commons.

“I would also like to congratulate The Day on its photo album People of the Maidan. A Chronicle, which leaves extremely strong emotional impressions. This is a true exploit, creating such a book while the tracks are still warm, capturing all the facts. These photos take us back to those events and remind us of our great obligation before the survivors and especially before those who sacrificed their lives for a new, changed Ukraine. It is our duty to carry out those changes together. I am extremely thankful to The Day for being such an ice-breaker of change and reform and promoting them regardless of the faces in government. The newspaper’s standpoint remains unchanged, and this is an enormous contribution in the development of our state.”


Toichi SAKATA, Japan’s ambassador to Ukraine, and The Day have a long history of friendship. He has never refused to give an exclusive comment or interview to our paper. Mr. Sakata has visited The Day’s office several times, twice as a lecturer of the Summer School of Journalism, where he shared his views on Japan’s relations with Ukraine and Russia with Ukrainian students.

Last week Mr. Sakata gave a farewell reception on occasion of completion of his mission in Ukraine. We presented him a new publication of The Day’s Library, Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 in English. On his part Mr. Sakata agreed to share his impressions of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

“I like the kindness and generosity of Ukrainians, and also their love for get-togethers. In general, Ukrainian mentality resembles Japanese. I had no problems in communication while working together with Ukrainians. They were always sincere and amiable while responding to any request on my part. I appreciate this very much,” remarked Mr. Sakata. “Now the Ukrainian people are as united as the Japanese, which brings us closer to each other. This was emphasized by our shared experience of nuclear energy disasters [Chornobyl and Fukushima. – Ed.]. Again, I greatly appreciate the relations between the Ukrainian and Japanese nations. I hope that our joint efforts in the fruitful cooperation between our countries will continue to progress.

“I find your present, Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 extremely interesting. I know that this book tells about unknown pages in Ukraine’s history and aims to deepen the public’s knowledge of Ukraine’s identity. I am looking forward to an opportunity for a closer acquaintance with it upon my return to Japan. Ukraine historically found itself on the crossroads, and now that Ukrainians are undergoing a test of their identity, I believe The Day’s project to be really necessary for a new realization by them of Ukraine’s importance as a state. In my opinion, this would also be a great example to follow in Japan as well.

“Unfortunately, on October 15 I’m leaving Ukraine, since my diplomatic mission is over. So, I won’t be able to be present at the opening of The Day’s annual photo exhibit, but I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion. In past years I had an opportunity to visit the Photo Exhibit, and I remember quite a lot of unique works. Now that Ukraine is in the global limelight, I think it is crucial to depict and promote scenes from Ukrainians’ everyday life. I wish this project a lot of success and long years of life.

“Over the three years I spent in Ukraine, I had an opportunity to meet The Day’s editor-in-chief Ms. Ivshyna several times, and speak on a number of topics. I have remembered these conversations as extremely interesting, informative, and very helpful in my acquaintance with Ukrainian society and history. I have given your newspaper several interviews and also talked to the participants of the Summer School of Journalism, for which I would like to thank you once more. I wish your edition to continue this extremely important mission of mass information media for the sake of progress and further democratization of Ukrainian society.”

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