El Huffington Post - Spain | 17/04/2014

Slavoj Žižek on what Ukraine can teach Europe

The confrontation over Ukraine holds up a mirror to Europe, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek comments in the left-liberal online newspaper El Huffington Post: "Europe can't be reduced to a single vision: the spectrum reaches from nationalist (or even fascist) views to ideas that Étienne Balibar calls 'égaliberté' (equal freedom) - the only thing Europe has to offer the world in terms of political ideas, even if the European institutions are increasingly betraying this ideal. ... What Europe should recognise looking at the Ukrainians' protests is the best and the worst of itself. ... It's true that the demonstrators on Kiev's Independence Square were heroes. But the true battle is only starting now: the battle to define the new Ukraine. This confrontation will be far tougher than the struggle against Putin's intervention. The question here is not whether Ukraine deserves Europe, whether it is good enough to join the EU. The real question is whether the current Europe deserves the profound hopes of the Ukrainians." (17/04/2014)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 13/04/2014

Timothy Snyder accuses Germany of colonial thinking

In view of the crisis in Ukraine Germany in particular is ignoring a large part of the country's history and falling back into a colonial mentality, historian Timothy Snyder writes in the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "No other European country was subjected to such intensive colonisation [by Stalin and Hitler] as Ukraine, and no European country suffered as much. Between 1933 and 1945, Ukraine was the deadliest place on earth. In today's Germany, no one is talking about the aspect of colonisation. The Germans are thinking of the crimes against the Jews and against the Soviet Union (which is wrongly equated with Russia). But almost no one in Germany recognises that the main object of colonial thinking and action was precisely Ukraine. ... The Russian invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea was a direct attack on European security, and on the Ukrainian state. It has tempted the Germans and others to fall back into the traditional world of colonial thinking, to ignore decades of law and to consider the Ukrainians as unworthy of having their own state." (13/04/2014)

Der Spiegel - Germany | 14/04/2014

Heinrich August Winkler on Putin's defenders in the West

The historian Heinrich August Winkler examines in the news magazine Der Spiegel what inspires people in the West to defend Russia's actions in Ukraine: "The approval that Vladimir Putin is now garnering in conservative circles in the West is no accident. His fight against 'homosexual propaganda', the spirit of feminism and libertinism, his support for the traditional family and traditional values: all of this has brought him praise from Christian fundamentalists and ideologists of the American right. Pat Buchanan, a leading representative of the 'moral majority' in Ronald Reagan's day, recently praised Putin's 'paleo-conservative movement'. Putin's conservative antimodernism aims to provide today what proletarian internationalism was supposed to give Russia in the past, namely the backing of a global solidarity movement. ... But neither expansion abroad nor repression at home are fitting means to enduringly weaken the force of attraction asserted by human rights, the rule of law and pluralist democracy on parts of Russian society." (14/04/2014)

Der Spiegel - Germany | 30/03/2014

Erich Follath believes EU is the winner of the Crimea crisis

The Crimea crisis shows that in today's multi-polar world, empires based on coercion belong to a bygone era and the model of the European Union will triumph, journalist Ernst Follath writes in the news magazine Der Spiegel: "There is no longer a Pax Americana or a world order decided in Washington. But one thing's for sure: there's no Pax Putina either. The largest country in the world will choke on its home-brewed problems. ... After decades of impressive economic growth, cracks are also emerging in the Chinese economy where gaps between the poor and the rich, the city and the countryside are growing inexorably. ... China has not yet become a new, attractive superpower. ... On the long term, the days of empires based on coercion are over. Such regimes have become obsolete, even if here and there anomalies occur. The future belongs to voluntary integration. And that means that there is only one winner of the Crimea crisis: the European Union. With all its imperfections and problems, it is still the most attractive of all the unattractive models." (30/03/2014)

Le Temps - Switzerland | 28/03/2014

Joschka Fischer calls for a revival of the EU peace project

The Crimea crisis can help invigorate the EU, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer writes in the liberal daily Le Temps: "Europeans have reason to be worried, and they now have to face the fact that the EU is not just a common market - a mere economic community - but a global player, a cohesive political unit with shared values and common security interests. Europe's strategic and normative interests have thus re-emerged with a vengeance; in fact, Putin has managed, almost singlehandedly, to invigorate Nato with a new sense of purpose. ... The EU peace project - the original impetus for European integration - may have worked too well; after more than six decades of success, it had come to be considered hopelessly outdated. Putin has provided a reality check. The question of peace in Europe has returned, and it must be answered by a strong and united EU." (28/03/2014)

Other content