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Kurkov, Andrej

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Lrt - Lithuania | 17/09/2015

Putin using Syria to distract from Ukraine

A truce has been in force in eastern Ukraine since the start of September. But rather than offering a real chance for peace the move is just a diversionary tactic on the part of Russia, Ukrainian author Andrej Kurkov writes in a commentary for the website LRT: "In all likelihood Putin won't mention Ukraine - to say nothing of Crimea - at the UN General Assembly. What he does talk about is Syria and the Islamic State. By doing so he emphasises that this topic is far more important than Russia's conflict with Ukraine. Putin's goal is to have Europe and the US concentrate on Syria and forget Ukraine. ... It's said that Russia is waging a war whose goal is to destroy Ukraine and to prevent the West from coming to its aid. If that works Ukraine will be left crippled: amputated of Crimea and Donbass."

Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | 28/09/2007

Andrej Kurkov on the European idea in Ukraine

In an interview with Barbara Oertel, Ukrainian author Andrej Kurkov lashes out against the politicians who fronted the "Orange Revolution" and says his country is not yet ready for EU membership. "Europe has enough problems of its own. What's important is that Poland and Lithuania continue to act as advocates for Ukraine. This will suffice to keep the European idea alive in Ukraine. It will be at least another 15 years before Ukraine is ready for EU membership anyway. We must be patient and wait and see what the EU looks like fifteen years from now. Then we will know whether EU membership is worthwhile for Ukraine."

Delo - Slovenia | 06/09/2007

Andrey Kurkov: a pessimistic optimist

The work of Russian writer Andrey Kurkow, who grew up in Ukraine, has been translated into Slovenian for the first time. In an interview with Zdenko Matoz, Kurkov explains his approach to writing and his particular brand of humour. "At the beginning of the post-Soviet era, in the early 1990s, most of the books written in Russia were dark, pessimistic novels about brutal and senseless reality; tragic stories. When people read these stories describing how miserable their lives really were, they almost committed suicide. I, too, wanted to write about reality, but also about hope. I would describe myself as a pessimistic optimist. ... I like humour, particularly the type of humour employed by Daniil Charm, the father of Russian surrealism and the absurd. I simply can't write purely realist novels."

New Statesman - United Kingdom | 24/04/2006

Twenty years after Chernobyl

Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov was a 25-year-old conscript serving with interior ministry forces in Odessa at the time of the disaster. He recalls the arbitrariness of Soviet crisis management. "When, in 1986, a Soviet official was handed a map and told to mark out the 'Chernobyl Zone' he happened to have a pair of compasses to hand. So he stuck the needle in the power station and drew two circles around the station: one at ten kilometres and another at 30 kilometres. Thus the 'Chernobyl Zone' was defined: a closed, heavily guarded and very dangerous area. In fact, the area affected by radiation has little in common with the circles on the map. The real 'danger zone' is shaped more like a gigantic egg, half of which lies in Belarus. Well outside the official zone, there are areas with radiation levels higher than those generally found inside the circular, closed zones. The discrepancy is purely a result of the Moscow official's passion for geometry."

Die Welt - Germany | 24/01/2006

Kurkov on Yushchenko as anti-Hero

Author Andrey Kurkov, who lives in Kiev, doubts whether Viktor Yushchenko really has the qualities of a hero. "We're having a hard time with him. He doesn't want to be a hero; he wants to be a democrat. But democrats have never become heroes, either in the Soviet Union or in post-Soviet literature," Kurkov observes. "Viktor Yushchenko is a Don Quixote who is fighting against both Russia and enemies in his own parliament. In fact, his fate is even more tragic than that of Don Quixote, because he lacks a Sancho Panza. He's all alone up there. In the beginning the Ukrainian people loved him and gave him their support. Now they feel sorry for him more than they love him. The people want a resolute president who's feared by his enemies. For the first six months, his enemies did fear him, but then they began to think 'What are we so afraid? Yushchenko is just a good, quiet romantic.' He breeds bees and collects Ukrainian folk art." 

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