On the subject of Ukraine, my father, a Russian-speaking Jew who has lived in Canada for the past 19 years, is constantly getting awards for literary achievement from the Ukrainian government. The awards are well-deserved on literary merit, and it looks like the the agencies that award them don’t take anything else into consideration. My father is a poor Jew so it’s not like he’s contributed any money to Ukraine or anything like that. He now looks like a total Brezhnev with a chest full of Ukrainian medals.
He was honored at the Ukrainian Embassy just a couple of weeks ago and today he’s gotten news that he, together with the Ambassador Shevchenko, has been awarded the Mazepa medal for patriotism.
And in case you begin to suspect this is done for publicity, these awards aren’t in any way publicized save for small notices on the embassy’s webpage.
Once again, he’s a Russian-language writer who doesn’t write about politics at all. He writes nostalgic postmodern fiction about the USSR and the glory of the Soviet generation that won WWII. And in Russia his books are burned.