The history of Donbas is a history of anti-cosmopolitanism and resistance to outside political forces, says Hiroaki Kuromiya, the author of Freedom and Terror in the Donbas: A Russian-Ukrainian Borderland, 1870s-1990s. The book is perhaps the most comprehensive research on the modern history of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
The Donbas has long served as a haven for those facing persecution elsewhere, fostering a political environment both difficult to control and highly suspicious to outsiders. Donbas’ distance from the historical political centers of Moscow and Kyiv has only further fueled the region’s reputation as an intractable borderland in the Russian-Ukrainian context. Based on this viewpoint, Kuromiya believes that an extensive reconciliation process between Donbas and the rest of Ukraine is of the utmost necessity.
Hromadske International’s Ian Bateson and Angelina Kariakina spoke with Hiroaki Kuromiya on April 26, 2015.