Comments on "UKRAINE" entry
in Webster's New World Encyclopedia.
Some time ago I was lucky enough to encounter an article
on Ukraine in "Webster's New World Encyclopedia". Along with appreciating
the fact of publishing of that article as well as the unbiased spirit of
the exposition, I however can not stand a feeling of duty to comment on
some factual mishandling, which, to my opinion, slipped in that entry.
Although the ("college") edition I cite is somewhat outdated by now, I
hope that my remarks, if considered, may contribute to certain improvements
in future editions. I wish the Reader will take my remarks as such that
come out from but the very best intentions to offer some minor help on
the subject of representing the true picture of the country I inhabit,
and to no extent as a case of criticism or grievance.
For the sake of the consistent approach the true Ukranian
spelling of names should likely be much appreciated (see Merriam-Webster
pronunciation symbols guide at http://www.m-w.com/pronguid.htm)
The comments on the name "Little Russia" might be augmented
to give it also the meaning of "maternal" or "concise".
I cannot guess the grounds for the use of the definite article
in the phrase "in the Ukraine there are distinct Ukrainian communities..."
Its use may seem somewhat offensive.
Please, pay attention that in fact there does not exist any
"distinct community" such as "Verkhovyntsi" — in any case not in the EAST
of Ukraine. The word "Verkhovyntsi" derives from "Verkhovyna" which means
Highlands (so – "the people of Highlands") — but there is no highland in
the east of Ukraine! On the other hand, most of Hutsuls (this word is misspelled
in the article) and some of Lemkies occupy the highland of the Karpathean
Mountains, but even in the case that these two communities are – for some
unknown reason – being distinguished out, they ought canonically be accompanied
by the third one – the Boykeis. The "community" of Verkhovyntsi would then
comprehend the total of that part of the integrated above mentioned three,
which inhabits the true highland area.
I also can not clearly understand
the reason for distinguishing out such an ethnic geographic part of the
West Ukraine as Volyn' (by means of referring to "Volynians"). It is true
that in West Ukraine there exists a "canonical" division into three parts,
as Volyn’, Podillya, and "Galiciya" (Halychyna), but, first, "Galiciya"
is not so much an ethnical region as rather the historically administrative
region, and, secondly, there exist some more ethnographically distinct
regions, as Polissya, Pokuttya, Opillya, Bukovyna, the Transkarpathean
region, Besarabiya — only in West Ukraine alone! So, there seems to be
no good reason to emphasize on Volyn’.
Shcherbyts'kyj (not "Shcherbitsky"!) never "was ousted as
CP leader". He died of rape age and of accompanying grave disease in quite
a short time after his dismissal. His retirement just before his death
was indeed caused by the state of his health and by no means was
it a result of rallies or any uprising.
Anti-Gorbachov attempted coup in Moscow was (to my personal
great sorrow) not "followed by a series of Rukh-led pro democracy
rallies in L'viv". In fact the rallies in case (and the only ones) preceded
the "March 1990 republic Supreme Soviet elections" and it was just owing
to them that "the democratic block polled strongly in western areas".
Ukrainian nation of course is "a member of the East Slavonic
branch", but it is "related to Russian" not more closely than, say, to
Polish. Russian nation originated from and developed under the decisive
impact of the two races (the Finno-Ugric and the Ural-Altaic one), alien
to the Indo-European one, whereas Ukranian nation belongs to the latter.
On the counterpart, Ukrainians anthropologically tend more to the SouthEast
of Europe, and even to the Middle East. Such race types as those of Pontus,
as well as Dinaric, are characteristic. But also the Ukrainian type is
related to the Iranian and on the other hand — to Celtic culture. The latter
by reason of the presence of long barrows, known as tumuli.
I hope that these my minor remarks will help the future editions
of the Encyclopedia run more closely to the adequate description of Ukraine
and will provoke the Editors in Head to engage a still larger number of
In the names of cities:
L’viv \lyvEv\, Keyive \'k[OE]yEv\ (the capital
of Ukraine), Dnipropetrovs'k \"dnEpropet'rOsyk\ (originates
from the major river Dnipro \dnE'pro\, not "Dniepr"), Luhans’k \lü'h[a']nsyk\,
Donets'k \do'ne[ts]yk\, Mariupol' \marE'üpoly\,
Kharkiv \'k[a']rkEw\, Kryvyj Reegh \kri'v[OE]y 'rEh\, Zaporizhzhya
In the name of rivers: Dnipro \"dnE'pro\, Boh \boh\ (not
In currency name: hryvnya \'hr[OE]wnya\ (not \grEvnya\!)
15 Dudayev Str.
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