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Efim, Emil, and Eksi

There was a man in the Kharkiv of my childhood. He lived very centrally, somewhere in the numerous green courtyards right off the city’s main square (if I remember correctly). His name sounded like sand on a windy beach: Efim Isaakovich.

Photograph by Patrick Breslin

On being a Snob

Meanwhile, an offer to post a piece on Snob has arrived, and was gladly accepted — because a text has been in the making all this time, while I processed the postdoc year spent in Russia. That processing is still not over (will it ever be quite over?), but some contemplations did take shape.

In Russian.

Einstein logo

In Germany

Now, I take up the 2015 Einstein Fellowship at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany — with a rather personal (and rather mysterious) research project I will soon blog about.


Russian Sketch 3

One of the security guards in our building, Leonid, a lively and kindly man of Armenian descent in his late sixties, spent this whole year languishing in his desire to talk Ukrainian politics.

What does Ukraine think3

What does Ukraine think?

“Beyond Pro and Anti: Monochrome Prefixes and Their Discontents” — my thoughts on the spiral of silence, the inverse echo chamber, and wartime’s semantic chameleons, in “What does Ukraine think?” collection from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ed. by Andrew Wilson).


Podcast from Columbia

Podcast from our Columbia University panel (part of Kharkiv: City of Ukrainian Culture conference) is now available. There were three panels: focusing on the Kharkiv Romantic school, the 1920-1930s, and the post-Soviet period. Mine was the last one.

Nemtsov BBC

One Year Since Submission

Nothing big, nothing overpowering. Just a gentle, droning whisper in the back of your mind. What will you really change if you go to that march now, and another passing car leaves you without a leg?

Kharkiv conference image

Conference at Columbia

While I come up an overdue update piece for this blog, here’s a conference announcement:

Please join us on March 12-13 at Columbia University for a conversation about “Kharkiv: City of Ukrainian Culture”. It is free and open to the public.

Return of Names

Return of the Names 2014

For eight years now, Russia’s oldest and arguably most noble human rights group, Memorial, has been organizing an annual commemoration event for victims of the Great Terror. The ceremony, called Return of the Names, takes place every year on October 29.