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Olesya Khromeychuk

Much historiography focusing on women in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army consists of describing, rediscovering, and celebrating the participation of women in the nationalist underground. This article rejects the celebratory approach to the inclusion of women in the narrative of the nationalist struggle. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which militarization of women was carried out by the nationalists from the 1930s to the 1950s. The article argues that the nationalist leadership was able to militarize a large number of women because no viable alternative to the nationalist state-building project was offered at the time, and because the nationalists propagated a conservative type of femininity that did not threaten traditional gender norms. By exploring the movement’s construction, control, and use of femininity, the article argues that deviations from traditional gender roles occurred only within the limits of, and for the benefit of, nationalist militarization.

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Tetiana Shevchenko

This article deals with religious discourse in modern history school textbooks in Ukraine that cover early modern times in Ukrainian history. It analyzes the place of religious discourse within national discourse, the correlation between local Ukrainian religious and more general discourse, and the representation of the relationships between Christian churches. Further, it defines a methodological approach and assesses the accuracy of facts presented in textbooks as well as the interpretation of religious life, normative language, and denominational labeling. It demonstrates the discrepancy between the achievements of academic historiography and school history, including the isolated and exclusive nature of history discourse in Ukrainian schools today.

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Exploring Continuities and Reconciling Ruptures

Nationalism, Feminism, and the Ukrainian Women's Movement

Martha Kichorowska Kebalo

Aspects of the women's movement evolving in post-Soviet Ukraine may be viewed as an extension of a transnational Ukrainian women's movement that had its origins in the nineteenth-century Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. This essay traces the continuities of personnel and mission that serve to link disparate historical phases of such a movement over temporal and geographic discontinuities, even over homeland and diaspora communities. A central question is how the political history of Ukraine, and in particular, its lack of a unified state for most of the twentieth century, has affected the history of the country's women's movement. Historically, the feminism of Ukrainian women, often clearly evident in their pronouncements and strategies, has been obscured by the political context of their movement, which has encouraged its framing as nationalist, even by the women themselves. It is suggested that a growing body of historical scholarship is promoting a broader understanding of Ukrainian women's activism. Such projects can serve to bridge ruptures in the 'national ethos' that stem from Ukraine's complex history, reclaim the feminism of the movement, and focus the range of women's activism in Ukraine on a consensual, specifically women's, agenda.

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Love and Sex in Wartime

Controlling Women’s Sexuality in the Ukrainian Nationalist Underground

Marta Havryshko

This article examines how the constructions of gender, female sexuality, nation, and war by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army influenced their attitudes to intimate fraternization between women (both members of the nationalist underground and civilians) and enemy men between 1939 and the mid-1950s. Conclusions are based on the analysis of a wide range of sources. The article highlights various forms and methods of repressive measures against women who transgressed sexual norms. The article argues that the violent practices against women were not standardized, and largely depended on subjective decisions of the local leaders and commanders, as well as on the level of women’s engagement in the underground activities. Violence against women represented a tool of preservation of patriarchal power and traditional gender roles but became one of the means of constructing power relations among the nationalist men, as well as their relations with enemy men.

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Four Dimensions of Societal Transformation

An Introduction to the Problematique of Ukraine

Zuzana Novakova

Four years after the Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian society is passing through multiple parallel transitions. More often than not, the problematique of Ukraine is framed as a discussion of the speed and extent of reforms’ adoption. This article highlights the need to look in a more organic, interrelated manner, with attention to the sociospatial context that embeds all of the potential institutional change targeted by reforms. Using interviews and group discussions with public servants and civil society actors actively involved in the ongoing reform processes, this article zooms out from the rather fragmented reforms discussion to embed it in a broader societal context. It highlights crucial developments in the four quadrants of the social quality debate: the socioeconomic, the sociopolitical, the sociocultural/welfare, and the socioenvironmental dimension of societal life in postrevolution Ukraine.

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'If I Receive It, It Is a Gift; If I Demand It, Then It Is a Bribe'

On the Local Meaning of Economic Transactions in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Abel Polese

Challenging the main reports of corruption in Ukraine, this article proposes that most of the 'economic transactions' that are reported as bribe taking have a deeper meaning and can be analysed within the framework of gift exchange proposed by Marcel Mauss. This paper thus focuses on the three alleged most 'corrupted' places in Ukraine: a university, a hospital and a police control post, in order to develop a detailed analysis of the meanings behind these transactions. Furthermore, it examines the particular role that social actors take within these arrangements. Finally, I propose the recognition of a grey zone between corruptions as evident in the ethnographic examples analysed in the course of this paper.

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Narrating the Second World War

History Textbooks and Nation Building in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

Lina Klymenko

This article explores the theoretical understanding of the relation between school history textbooks and the state-led construction of national identity. It does this by conceptualizing a history textbook as an assembly of historical narratives that provide young readers with an opportunity to identify with the national community in which they live. By focusing on narrative techniques, including plot, concepts of time and space, and the categorization of characters as in- and out-groups, this article shows how narratives of the Second World War in Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian textbooks contribute to nation-building.

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War Memories and Online Encyclopedias

Framing 30 June 1941 in Wikipedia

Mykola Makhortykh

This article examines how digital media interact with collective memories and teaching practices by exploring a selection of Wikipedia articles that describe the capture of Lviv by the Germans on 30 June 1941. This event constitutes an important episode in the history of Ukraine and a complex case of violence that produced several controversies concerning the national historiographies of the Second World War in the post-Soviet region. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics, this article investigates how the event is represented in different language versions of Wikipedia and assesses what kind of memory is produced by each of them.

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Alla Sokolova and Valery Dymshits

The sixteenth-eighteenth century stone synagogues of the Right-Bank Ukraine (Eastern Galicia, Volyn and Podolia) as well as of Byelorussia, are a remarkable but still insufficiently studied phenomenon of European architecture.

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The many faces of Turkish Odessa

Ecumenical communities and multiple alliances across the Black Sea

Vera Skvirskaja

The article discusses regional territoriality by looking at the heterogeneous community of Turkish male migrants and the multiple alliances they establish in post-Soviet Odessa, Ukraine. In its public image, the city plays down ideas of urban continuities with the Ottoman past, but new relations between Turkish newcomers and various Turkic-speaking groups in the area both create different and overlapping “ecumenical communities” and actualize long-forgotten connections or marginal historical visions. These migrants also generate important links to the area through marriage and intimate relations with Slav women. I argue that alliances between Turkish migrants and Turkic-speaking minorities and local women not only allow them to make the city their own, but also create a distance from wider Odessan society.