One of the major shortcomings of the post-revolutionary government in Ukraine is the inability to communicate properly with the outside world, Anne Applebaum, a prominent Pulitzer Prize winning author and a columnist for The Washington Post agrees. She is convinced that Ukrainian leaders should understand that this is part of their job as politicians to constantly explain who you are and what are you doing: “I’m not sure that Ukrainian politicians, all of them, have yet to understand this.”
On a larger scale, there is a monumental task ahead of Ukrainian leaders: creating a state in a society that people feel attached to, Applebaum adds. According to her, this is the way to win a war in Eastern Ukraine and also the battle against corruption. “The Ukrainian government made a mistake of not fighting corruption and not fighting for economic reforms using this kind of language. This is the life and death of Ukraine: whether you can create a viable state and a place where people want to live,” Applebaum suggests.
Answering the question on rising populism in Ukraine and the country’s controversial anti-communist legislation, Applebaum sided with the lawmakers: “I’m not bothered by this anti-communist law. Maybe it is now unnecessary, but in principal, I don’t see why you can’t ban communist symbols if you want to for a while and if it is useful in creating a sense of cohesion.”
Maxim Eristavi spoke to Anne Applebaum during the Lviv Media Forum on May 28th, 2015.