Oh ****, I actually found a different speech then. (aillarionov.livejournal.com/192431.html)
Will look for Jaroslaw's speech now.
Ukrainians should codify and standardize Russian as spoken in Ukraine as a standard on its own
I think this is a non-starter, if Snyder is referring to Суржик (pidgin Russian spoken in kiev, the south and the east). Though as an idea it is interesting, I'm afraid it would be completely unpalatable to nationalistically-minded Ukrainians who are fighting for Ukrainian.
modern Ukraine is the largest Russian speaking area in history where citizens have something like freedom of speech
This is absolutely true. At the same time, as someone who reads a lot of both, I have to say that the quality of journalism in Ukraine, compared to their Russian colleagues, is still of a lower, more provincial, quality. That is, you don't often see them use their journalistic freedom in a truly bold fashion that challenges the status quo, as of yet. Instead, this freedom has so far been more often demonstrated through the non-stop injection of "kompromat" against rival factions. This is probably a result of the fact that all print publications, radio stations and tv channels in the Ukraine are owned by oligarchs, who each have their own puppet political parties. In Russia, of course, all mass media at this point are owned by the state or state affiliated entities (i.e. Gazprom Media), so all these fights happen under the carpet, with the public left to just guess at what is really happening. However, Russian journalists do write amazing pieces sometimes (latest example is the scandalous story of Golunov's arrest), that proudly carry on the Russian dissident tradition. It'll be some time before Ukraine can truly be a beacon of freedom for Russia. Now, it is more a Scarecrow reminding people of the dangers of excessive democracy.