chapter  5
The Ukrainians: Engaging the “Eastern Diaspora”
ByAndrew Wilson
Pages 29

This chapter concentrates on what Ukrainians refer to as the "eastern diaspora", ethnic Ukrainian communities living in the states of the former Soviet Union and in Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. It addresses the issue of the actual number of Ukrainians in the eastern diaspora, before examining the different relational configurations and geographical and sociological contexts of the diaspora. The chapter explores the development of Ukraine's policy toward the eastern diaspora, seeking to explain why Kyiv has been relatively restrained in its efforts to reach out to co-ethnic communities since 1991. Although Ukrainian nationalist political entrepreneurs often try to project a homogenous identity onto the eastern Ukrainian diaspora, it analyzes several different ways of living as a diasporic group. Ukrainians have always shared the area with Russians. The Ukrainian version of history is that the Kuban was singled out for harsh treatment precisely because of the strong local Ukrainian movement.