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Honorary President of Ukrainian PEN will reflect on the ideological significance of Europe for recent Ukrainian history, culture and politics.


This event is part of the new programme of webinars introducing the “Ukrainian Voices” book series published by ibidem Press. Ukrainian political analyst and writer MYKOLA RIABCHUK will present his collection of essays on Europe, Ukraine, and Europeanization “At the Fence of Metternich’s Garden” in conversation with JAMES SHERR, an associate fellow of Chatham House, who wrote the foreword for Mykola’s book. They’ll share their views on Ukraine’s complex political circumstances within contemporary Europe with Professor ANDREAS UMLAND, leading international expert on Ukraine.

Please book your tickets at Eventbrite

Once tickets are booked, participants will be sent the Joining Details with a Zoom link on 20th April.


This collection of essays reflects the personal experience of a Ukrainian intellectual engaged, since his Soviet-time youth, in a painstaking but fascinating process of the both cultural and political ‘Europeanization’ of his country. The title refers, ironically, to the notorious Chancellor Metternich’s quip that Asia presumably begins at the eastern fence of his garden (or, as another apocryphal version maintains, at the eastern end of the Viennese Landstrasse). This is a story of both exclusion and inclusion, of walls and fences, but also of a longing for freedom and a quest for solidarity. It is a book on different ways of being a ‘European’—at both the collective and individual level,— despite various challenges or, perhaps, thanks to them.

Dr MYKOLA RIABCHUK studied history and literary theory in Moscow in 1985–1988. During the 1990s, he co-edited the leading Ukrainian intellectual journals Vsesvit, Suchasnist, and Krytyka. Since 2012, he has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Riabchuk served as a Fulbright Fellow at Penn State University, the University of Texas, and George Washington University, Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC, Reuters Fellow at Oxford, Milena Jesenska and EURIAS Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Ramsay Tompkins Professor at the University of Alberta, and Ukrainian Studies Fellow at Harvard.

Riabchuk is Honorary President of the Ukrainian PEN Center and Jury Head for the Angelus International Literary Award. His previous books include From ‘Little Russia’ to Ukraine (Krytyka / Universitas 2000; L’Harmattan / Markovic 2003); Two Ukraines: Real Borders and Virtual Wars (Krytyka 2003; KEW 2004; Örökség Kultúrpolitikai Intézet 2015); Die reale und die imaginierte Ukraine (Suhrkamp 2005); Gleichschaltung: Authoritarian Consolidation in Ukraine, 2010-2012 (KIS 2012); Postcolonial Syndrome (KIS 2011; KEW 2015); Eastern Europe since 1989: Between the Loosened Authoritarianism and Unconsolidated Democracy (SEW 2020).

JAMES SHERR, OBE is an associate fellow of Chatham House and former head of the Russia and Eurasia programme (2008-11) He was a member of the Social Studies Faculty of Oxford University from 1993 to 2012; a fellow of the Conflict Studies Research Centre of the UK Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 2008; and director of studies of the Royal United Services Institute (1983-85). James has published extensively on Soviet and Russian military, security and foreign policy, as well as energy security, the Black Sea region and Ukraine’s effort to deal with Russia, the West and its own domestic problems.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List for his services to British interests overseas.

ANDREAS UMLAND, Dr. Phil. (FU Berlin), Ph. D. (Cambridge), is a Senior Expert at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future in Kyiv, a Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm and general editor of the “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” book series published by ibidem Press at Stuttgart. He’s also responsible for collecting the “Ukrainian Voices” series in which Mykola’s book appeared.


The “Ukrainian Voices” book series includes English- and German-language monographs, edited volumes, document collections and anthologies of articles authored and composed by Ukrainian politicians, intellectuals, activists, officials, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, and diplomats.

The series aims to introduce Western and broader audiences to Ukrainian explorations and interpretations of historic and current domestic as well as international affairs.

The purpose of these books is to familiarise non-Ukrainian readers with how some prominent Ukrainians approach, research and assess their country’s development and position in the world. The series was founded in 2019, and the volumes are collected by Andreas Umland.

We look forward to seeing you at our event!

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British-Ukrainian Aid supports people suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, including the injured and wounded, orphaned children, the elderly, internally displaced persons, refugees and families who have lost their main earners.

British-Ukrainian Aid is a Charity Registered in England and Wales 1164472


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