Divide and Rule: Daniel Fedorowycz on Ukrainians in Interwar Poland

Daniel Fedorowycz

On Monday, March 27, HURI’s Seminar in Ukrainian Studies features Daniel Fedorowycz, Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellow. A graduate of Oxford University, Fedorowycz studies inter-communal ethnic violence. During the seminar, he’ll present his research on the experience of the Ukrainian minority in interwar Poland, the prelude to his current project as a fellow at HURI.

Although his presentation focuses on Ukrainians in Poland, the talk may be of interest to social scientists, historians, and others interested in ethnic politics in multinational states in general.

In this Q&A, Fedorowycz gives us a sneak peak at his talk and current research project. All are welcome to attend the seminar (or watch it online through our Facebook page) to learn more.

Q&A with Alisa Sopova, Harvard's First Ukrainian Nieman Fellow

Alisa Sopova

‘Mordor’ and ‘Black Hole’: In Ukraine, these are the terms frequently used to describe the territories controlled by separatists in the east, Alisa Sopova says. While these metaphors paint a picture of a wasteland or void controlled by dark powers, their use also reveals a kind of ‘othering’ on the part of people outside of these zones. For many in Ukraine and abroad, the ongoing conflict – now in its third year – is something ‘over there,’ something strange, abstract, and at odds with regular life.

Sopova, a journalist from Donetsk and Harvard’s first Ukrainian Nieman Fellow, notes that even Kyiv’s residents don’t know what life is like in the separatist-controlled territories. Yet, 3.5 million people live there and try to carry on normal lives, despite regular shelling, uncertain government jurisdiction, and infrastructure interruptions.

We asked Sopova a few questions about journalism in Ukraine and her own experiences as a Donetsk native reporting on the war.

Ukrainian Studies Without Borders: HURI Sends Recent Publications to Ukraine


HURI’s founding mission is to advance knowledge of Ukraine in the United States through high-quality teaching and research. Since Ukraine’s independence, HURI also aims to develop supportive and collaborative relations with Ukraine’s cultural and academic institutions.

As part of that effort, HURI has been donating copies of its publications to libraries and academic institutions in Ukraine every two or three years. This year, the Institute carried out such a project to deliver our publications to 34 libraries, including some institutions that needed to relocate due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Forced by circumstances to leave their collections behind in Donetsk oblast, these institutions started from scratch, with limited funding to rebuild their academic resources.

Проект «МАПА. Цифровий Атлас України» - Вікно у Новітню Історію України

History and Identity

Однією з найбільш масштабних програм, над якою зараз працює Інститут, є проект «МАПА. Цифровий атлас України». Сутність цього проекту - вивчення новітньої української історії та політичної географії за допомогою найбільш сучасних досягнень у галузі інформаційних технологій. Використовуючи географічні інформаційні системи (GIS), Інститут досліджує, вводить у науковий обіг (і тим самим робить загальнодоступною) всю відому на сьогодні інформацію не лише про певні ключові події в історії України, але і про економічні, історичні, політичні та соціальні зміни, які вона нині зазнає. І до цієї праці ми залучаємо і заохочуємо вчених, студентів й аспірантів, як у Гарварді, так і за його межами.

Ініціатором і науковим керівником проекту «МАПА. Цифровий атлас України» став д-р Сергій Плохій, професор кафедри української історії ім. М. Грушевського Гарвардського університету і директор УНІГУ.

The Man with the Poison Gun: Q and A with Serhii Plokhii


The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story, Serhii Plokhy’s latest publication, tells the captivating story of Bohdan Stashinsky, a KGB assassin who eventually defected to the West. The product of meticulous archival research, the book sheds new light on this thrilling real-life drama.

While there are good reasons to associate a KGB assassin with a cold-blooded killer, Stashinsky’s path to that role was far more complicated and tragic. Forced to cooperate in order to save his family from arrest, he agreed to be a KGB informant and was subsequently groomed to serve as an assassin. His later defection and trial is a story filled with intrigue and political implications at the highest levels of the Soviet regime.

We sat down with Serhii Plokhy to ask him a few questions about the book, his research process, and the interesting surprises he uncovered.



Monday, March 27, 2017 4:15pm - 6:00pm

Divide and Rule: Managing the Ukrainian Minority in Interwar Poland
Daniel Fedorowycz, Shklar Research Fellow, HURI
Room S-050, CGIS South, Harvard University

Full Calendar


Serhii Plokhii, HURI Director

December 22, 2016. Foreign Policy. The Dissolution: Why Did the Collapse of the Soviet Union Go So Wrong? 

December 22, 2016. Wall Street Journal. Serhii Plokhy on Soviet espionage.

December 22, 2016. Boston Globe. Book Review: Assassination 101, KGB style.

December 21, 2016. New Pathway. Toronto Annual Ukrainian Famine Lecture 2016.

December 6, 2016. Voice of America. Interview: 25 лет после распада СССР: «Историю обмануть не удалось».

December 1, 2016. Україна Модерна. Сергій Плохій: “Україна змінюється: я відчуваю себе тут сьогодні більш-менш нормальним істориком України, який не мусить платити за свої тексти.”

October 1, 2016. Укрінформ. Україна має союзників для побудови відносин з адміністрацією Трампа.

August 24, 2016. Громадське Радіо. Я написав книгу, щоб іноземці розуміли українську історію, — професор Гарварду. 

August 24, 2016. Hromadske. How Ukrainians Were Responsible For The End Of The Cold War (YouTube). 

August 19, 2016. Hromadske Radio.Shadow of the 1991 Moscow Coup Today. 

August 19, 2016. Громадське Телебачення. Україна зіграла вирішальну роль у розпаді СРСР після путчу — Сергій Плохій (YouTube).

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. To and for Europe: Review of 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

May 23, 2016. New Eastern Europe. Plokhy awarded as "Ambassador of New Europe."

May 18, 2016. The Financial Times. Ukraine sings to a tune of new national pride.

March 5, 2016. Україна Модерна. Вийти за межі: міркування над епілогом «Останньої імперії» Сергія Плохія 

March 1, 2016. Chornobyl: The Tombstone of the Reckless Empire. 

January 10, 2016. The Daily Beast: Are Russians and Ukrainians the Same People?

December 24, 2015. The Telegraph. The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy, review: 'an indispensable guide to a tragic history'.

December 12, 2015. Голос Америки. Чому імперське бачення веде до війни та що собою являє українська нація - Гарвардський історик.

December 3, 2015. The Independent. The Gates of Europe, A History of Ukraine by Serhii Plokhy, book review.

December 2015. H-Net. Zayarnyuk on Plokhy, 'The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine'.

October 26, 2015. Publishers Weekly. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. 

October 11, 2015. El País. Las sombras del imperio. 

October 8, 2015. Wirtualna Polska. Kulisy rozpadu ZSRR. Serhii Plokhy dla WP: zadecydowały negocjacje przywódców Rosji i Ukrainy.

September 2, 2015. Kirkus Reviews. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. A sympathetic survey of the history of Ukraine along the East-West divide, from ancient divisions to present turmoil.

August 15, 2015. The Future of the Past: The Ukraine Crisis in the Historical Perspective.

May 18, 2015. History of the final days of the USSR wins Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.

May 18, 2015. «Последняя империя» Сергея Плохия была объявлена победителем Русской Книжной Премии Пушкинского Дома 2015.

May 5, 2015. Serhii Plokhii on Hromadske International "The Sunday Show".

April 22, 2015. Scholar Reframes Vision Of Cold War’s End. Serhii Plokhy interviewed by Marta Dyczok. 

April 17, 2015. The Globe and Mail. The Soviet Union didn’t die.

March 30, 2015. Lionel Gelber Prize Announces 25th Anniversary Winner. 

March 6, 2015. Сергій Плохій: «Суспільство, яке сьогодні твориться, вимагає іншої історії…».

March 6, 2015. Pasaulis neišmoko 1938–1939 m. pamokų. O Lietuva? (in Lithuanian) 

March 4, 2015. Serhii Plokhii Discusses 'The Last Empire'. 

March 3, 2015. Тиждень.ua. Для багатьох уперше виникає образ Росії як іншого й дедалі частіше як ворога.

July 27, 2014. The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhii.

July 14, 2014. The Dissolution of the Soviet Union.

June 24, 2014. Chronicling the Last Empire.

June 21, 2014. World History - "The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union" - Book TV.

June 9, 2014. The Ghosts of ’91.

June 2, 2014. The Last Empire. The Final Days of the Soviet Union.

June 2, 2014. Then and Now. Ukraine and Russia, Money and Politics.

May 21, 2014. The Moscow Times: Plokhy's 'The last empire' is the best account of the Soviet collapse yet

May 18, 2014. Book Review. Plokhy's 'The Last Empire' Is the Best Account of the Soviet Collapse Yet.

May 12, 2014. The Takeaway. Eastern Ukraine Votes, Pro-Russian Separatists Claim Victory.

May 3, 2014. Сергій Плохій: «Історики мають перейти від пропаганди місцевих «правд» до написання історії нації, де фігуруватимуть усі регіони, включно із Кримом».

February 25, 2014. The New York Times. The West Must Work With Russia.

February 21, 2014. Here & Now. What Ukraine’s History Tells Us About Its Future.

February 21, 2014. The Takeaway. Violence & Political Unrest Continues to Erupt in Ukraine.

February 20, 2014. The Ohio Channel. Ukraine: Headed for Revolution?

February 20, 2014. Bloomberg's Radio. Harvard’s Plokhii Calls Ukraine Violence Unprecedented.

February 20, 2014. Harvard Gazette. Confrontation in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Catholic Register. Ukraine at the Breaking Point: 26 Dead, but Spirit Undefeated.

February 19, 2014. KQED Radio. Violence Grows in Ukraine.

February 19, 2014. National Geographic. Q&A: Ukraine's Dangerous Turn Has Roots in History.

January 27, 2014. Majority Report: Ukraine Protests Explained.

December 27, 2013. National Catholic Register. Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ Protests Are Spiritual as Well as Political.

December 4, 2013. NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Ukraine Splits Over East-West Economic Rivalry.

Christian Raffensperger, HURI Associate

Anne Applebaum, HURI Affiliate

Oxana Shevel, HURI Associate

Nadiya Kravets, HURI Research Fellow

HURI Shapes US View on Ukraine

Olga Onuch, HURI Affiliate

MAPA Project

Yuri Shevchuk, HURI Affiliate

Volodymyr Dibrova, Preceptor at Slavic Department, Editor at HURI

Volodymyr Sklokin, Shklar Fellow 2014-15

Roman Szporluk, Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History, Emeritus, Harvard University

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