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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

A conversation which is undiplomatically open

Larysa IVSHYNA: “If Ukraine is not Russia, why isn’t it today where Poland is?”
24 December, 2013 - 11:37

The students of the Foreign Policy Course at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited Den/The Day’s Editor-in-Chief Larysa Ivshyna to an open lecture. The diplomats-to-be showed great interest in a discussion of the current situation in the country, reputation loss, reaction of the world, above all with an authority empiric. In spite of tight schedule, Ivshyna agreed to talk to them and greeted the academy audience with the words: “Diplomats are professionally interested in existence of Ukrainian state.”

“We have spoken a lot about the information support of foreign policy, but today it would be interesting for us to learn more about the experience of Den, its projects, and professional priorities. In the flow of life the newspaper chooses the topics which shape the citizenship, ‘raise’ it, make you moderators of sociopolitical process of the country,” a moderator, teacher of Diplomatic Academy Valentyna RUDENKO said when she was introducing Larysa Ivshyna. “For the audience it is important to understand that Den has been published since 1997. And the newspaper is not just functioning; it has become the main mouthpiece in the printed media field. Speaking figuratively, the Ukrainian mass media market is a ‘cemetery of opportunities.’ Many wonderful projects have disappeared. And you continue to publish your wonderful newspaper and attract new readers.”


“Thank you, Valentyna Stepanivna, for invitation. If not for your insistence, I would think long whether I have a new feeling that I have something to say.

“The current events in our country were part of my forecast I formed long time ago. Those who were studying in Soviet time and saw the collapse of the Union could imagine how much time we had to come to senses, started very quickly to build our own state. Therefore it seemed to me that the time in the new history of the country should have been used with maximum efficiency. We set an aim to publish a newspaper, which in fact ‘draws’ people and helps to shape a civil society,” Larysa Ivshyna noted, “What has taken place in Ukraine over this time, on what depth is our country now and where are we at the moment in the end of the day? To understand this, it seems to me, one should read consistently the newspaper Den/The Day. I speak with our readers about this, understanding where we should start and where we should end. But sometimes the audiences that are living their interesting lives, but somehow without Den/The Day, cannot understand elementary things. I think the reason is that we did not all read in time a certain minimum of important books. We have neither understood them, nor cognized them. Our heads are filled with all kind of things but what we need. We must set the question: if Ukraine is not Russia, why isn’t it today where Poland is? And it is pleasant that the young people who went out to the Maidan ask themselves this question. It turned out that Ukraine has many people with such an acute feeling of dignity. Intelligent youth has grown up. In the time of the first Euromaidan I felt that I must be with them and come there, because I felt that there is my audience among them – those whom I met and those who read the newspaper or take part in our projects. Then I felt that I needed to go to those students. And I had an interesting conversation there. One boy came up to me and asked for an autograph. I told him: ‘I you sure that you want my autograph. I am not a television person.’ He said, ‘No, I know and read the newspaper Den and thank you for the books.’ Maybe he was the only one on the Euromaidan, but I happened to meet him and I was warmed by this. I thought, ‘Maybe these books have indeed made their job and sprouted with new knowledge and understanding of our world.’ Therefore, on the one hand, I am proud of people on the Maidan. On the other hand, I think it is abnormal to go once in nine years to protest in such conditions. This is proof that politics is ill-functioning. I would like Ukrainians to live in a country where everything would be solved at the elections. Of course, protests and rallies are also possible, like everywhere in the world, but they should not be so heartrending and so cataclysmic. With the help of our projects we tried to help the society understand itself as a common national organism. Is history taught correctly in our country? Where is the country going? What values are dear for us? Everything must be rebuilt in a totally different way – for function-value need. If people want to understand their country, they must be allowed to take special courses on history and state-building. And we are helping in this.”

Larysa Ivshyna’s speech gave way to a dialogue. Future diplomats sought to ask the noted editor as many questions as possible about her vision of the “inner kitchen” of Ukrainian political elite, scenarios and characters of the Euromaidan.

By Vadym LUBCHAK, photos by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day
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