December 7, 2023


Українська світова інформаційна мережа | Ukrainian Worldwide Information Network

Ten reasons by Timothy Snyder

Dr. Timothy Snyder, the Levin Professor of history at Yale University, on May 8th, gave a speech at the Kyiv Security Forum, titled “Why the Ukrainian Victory is Important for the World?”. The full version of the speech was published on the KSF site.

The American historian gave ten reasons why the Ukrainian victory is important for the world:

— The first perhaps the most fundamental is that Ukraine’s victory, Dr. Snyder believes, is the only way to achieve peace.

— Secondly, he believes that the Ukrainian victory is important for the security of the region.

— The third reason the American historian believes that Ukrainian victory is important has to do above all with the citizens of Ukraine.

— The fourth reason, extremely important he believes, has to do with the defense of a democracy.

— But T. Snyder believes, and this is his next point number five, that this is important for democracies as such.

— Relatedly, and this is reason number six, that a victory by Ukraine is also a victory by a state which is traditionally been seen as peripheral, which is traditionally been seen as colonial against a power which was like to see itself as central and as imperial.

— Speaking of a post-imperial world, Prof. Snyder’s seventh reason for believing that Ukrainian victory is important has to do with a recollection of the World War II.

— Number eight. Dr. Snyder believes that Ukrainian victory is also very important for the future of Russia.

— Number nine. Ukraine must win this war because Ukraine, as everyone knows, is a major source of food for the rest of the world.

— Tenth finally, last but not least, and in some ways summing up all of these other points. Ukrainian victory is necessary to help point not just Ukrainians but all the rest of us towards the future.

“In a way the problem of Russian propaganda is a problem that we all share perhaps in less sharp form. Russian propaganda is all about the past, it’s all about the how things are predetermined, it’s all about seeking some kind of moment at some point in history where we were right and everyone else was wrong. But that is not what we need. We, everyone needs a future. We need a politics of the future”, American historian underlines.

All said Prof. Snyder, of course, does not cause objections, especially — if you approach the phenomenon under discussion situationally. Perhaps that is why, reading the reasons of the American historian, you catch yourself thinking that he is positioning himself here more as a political scientist, but not as a historian. The problem, obviously, is that as a historian he does not understand both the nature of Russian-Ukrainian relations in the historical perspective in general and the nature of this Russian war in Ukraine in particular.

Unfortunately, this is a common problem of almost all foreign historians, including Timothy Snyder, one of the best, but it still does not solve the problem.

Volodymyr Ivanenko

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