Voices from
Ukraine VII

Weaponizing History. The Role of Memory in the Russian War against Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine is at its core also about re-framing and re-inventing history. While Russia tries to re-establish its former strength based on glorifying the Soviet Union, Ukraine has to deal with an ambivalent heritage of both pre-communist and communist histories. Since Ukraine’s independence, commemorating Soviet history has been part of the development of a modern Ukrainian identity both in integrating and boundary-drawing approaches. Since Euromaidan, a more critical approach of remembrance, including a plurality of artistic confrontations with history, has found its place in the Ukrainian society. However, Ukraine’s Soviet, Jewish, resistance, nation-building, independence and other aspects of memory and remembrance are contested, conflictual, and they are finally heavily distorted by Russia in order to seek legitimation for the war. We will discuss memory culture and memory politics in Ukraine, inter alia focusing on World War II, Soviet (Des-)Integration and Ukraine’s Jewish heritage, including holocaust memory such as Babyn Jar.

Tatiana Zhurzhenko – political scientist with a focus on memory politics and border studies. Currently, she is a researcher at ZOiS, Berlin, where she works on Ukrainian border regions within the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)

Georgiy Kasianov – professor at the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University of Lublin, Poland. His areas of interests are history of Ukraine in the 19th to 21st centuries, social history, intellectual history and politics of memory.

You are cordially invited to participate in the online event. After registration you will receive an access link. You can register here: https://t1p.de/lf6ew

The series “Voices from Ukraine – Writing and Researching in War: Dialogue with Scholars from and in Ukraine” takes place on Thursdays at lunchtime. VOICES FROM UKRAINE presents Ukrainian analyses and perspectives on the war. We discuss the current situation with academics in Ukraine and listen to their evaluation of how Ukraine can move forward. At the Viadrina, we offer our colleagues in Ukraine a platform to be heard – in Germany, in Europe. Streams of the previous events can be found here.

The series of events is a cooperation of Viadrina Institut für Europa-Studien (IFES) and the project Ukraine Calling at European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).