The Ukrainian divide

The power of historical narratives, imagined communities, and collective memories

in Regions and Cohesion
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Alina PenkalaUNU-CRIS and Ghent University, Belgium apenkala@cris.unu.edu

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Ilse DerluynGhent University, Belgium ilse.derluyn@ugent.be

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Ine LietaertUNU-CRIS and Ghent University, Belgium ilietaert@cris.unu.edu

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Abstract

Ukraine is usually portrayed as a cleft country with a determining internal East–West divide. However, critical researchers in Ukrainian scholarship emphasize that the East–West paradigm fails to adequately reflect the complex reality of the Ukrainian society and its historical, linguistic, economic, and political mixture. This article deconstructs the origins and evolution of the eastern and western Ukrainian identities and argues that the current clash between the two regions should not be explained by linguistic and ethnic differences, geopolitical strategies, economic interests, or political gains but rather by symbolic geographies, historical myths, and political imaginations. As a consequence, Ukraine is unable to make clear choices about its geopolitical future and remains a liminal space of east and west, where the broader EU-centered and Russia-centered regions overlap.

Resumen

Ucrania suele ser retratada como un país caracterizado por una división interna determinante entre el este y el oeste. Sin embargo, algunos investigadores critican este paradigma Este-Oeste, que no refleja la compleja realidad de la sociedad ucraniana y su mezcla histórica, lingüística, económica y política. En este artículo se deconstruyen los orígenes y la evolución de las identidades ucranianas orientales y occidentales y se argumenta que el actual choque entre las dos regiones debería explicarse por el nuevo enfoque de geografías simbólicas, mitos históricos e imaginaciones políticas. En caso contrario, Ucrania no puede tomar decisiones claras sobre su futuro geopolítico y sigue siendo un espacio liminal de este y oeste, donde se superponen las regiones más amplias centradas en la UE y en Rusia, respectivamente.

Résumé

L'Ukraine est généralement présentée comme un pays avec une division interne Est-Ouest déterminante. Cependant, des chercheurs ukrainiens critiquent ce paradigme Est-Ouest, qui ne reflèterait pas la réalité complexe de la société ukrainienne ni son mélange historique, linguistique, économique et politique. Cet article déconstruit les origines et l'évolution des identités ukrainiennes orientales et occidentales et soutient que le conflit qui les oppose actuellement devrait être expliqué par la nouvelle approche des géographies symboliques, des mythes historiques et des imaginations politiques. A défaut, l'Ukraine est incapable de faire des choix clairs quant à son avenir géopolitique et reste un espace liminaire entre l'Est et l'Ouest, où les régions plus larges centrées sur l'UE et la Russie se chevauchent.

The spring of 2014 in Ukraine and the avalanche of events that ensued caused serious regional, interregional, and global implications, and up until today, the East–West regional divide is unequivocally problematic and present in Ukraine. A deeper look into the existing literature on the topic revealed that many Ukrainian scholars criticize the common ethno-linguistic explanation of this divide by comparing the regions that are situated at the opposing poles, the regions of Lviv and Donbass (Hrytsak, 1998; Riabchuk, 2002, 2015; Sereda, 2020; Zhurzhenko, 2015). Several of those scholars also challenge the simplistic conceptualizations of the conflict through a stereotypical, macro-regional division. Instead, these researchers use rich empirical data to provide a more nuanced and varied interpretation of the Ukrainian situation, pointing at an everchanging mosaic of different factors impacting the divide. Some conclude that both ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians, both Russophones and Ukrainophones, are divided internally or that one group is more conservative and the other more individualistic.

Others suggest that the value-based and identity-driven divide Soviet–Pan-Slavonic and anti-Soviet–Pan-European regions correlate less with ethnicity and language and more with the education, age, socio-economical stratification, urban versus non-urban identification, professional identification, and local, regional, and borderline identification of the respondents (Hrytsak, 2004; Portnov, 2010; Richardson, 2004; Zhurzhenko, 2002). There are also proponents of an axiological dimension in the East–West divide (Riabchuk, 2015; Torbakov, 2014) who suggest that what matters in the essence is axiology and the way the past is remembered and represented.

Building on the axiological dimension, in this article we argue that it is in the realm of values and memory, and not of ethnicity and language, that the conflict between East and West Ukraine is shaped.

Scholars writing about the Ukrainian divide use social science terms, such as “nation,” “ethnicity,” “identity,” and “community” as categories of social practice applying them as categories of social analysis. Following Roger Brubaker and Frederick Cooper's (2000) call for separating analytical categories from categories of practice, which are developed and deployed by social actors in everyday life, many terms and categories used fail to adequately describe the problem. They argue that “the very categories ‘Russian’ and ‘Ukrainian,’ as designators of distinct ‘identities,’ are deeply problematic in the Ukrainian context (Brubaker & Cooper, 2000, p. 26) and explain that simple binary understandings of phenomena, such as ethnicity and language, tell us little about the existence of a sense of “groupness,” mostly because the boundaries between them are permeable (Onuch et al., 2018). To overcome this theoretical challenge, we borrow the concept of “imagined communities” from Benedict Anderson (1991), which focuses on the dynamics of socially and culturally organized imaginations as a process of self-understanding. Further, we employ historical narratives in specific relational settings to illustrate that people are story-telling creatures and use the stories existing in their culturally available repertoire and collective memories to make sense of their reality (Anderson, 1983; Brubaker & Cooper, 2000; Calhoun, 2016; Somers, 1994).

Based on a critical review of the rich and comprehensive literature on the topic, we identified three elements: historical narratives, imagined communities, and collective memories, which help to understand the East–West divide in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian relations, and the problem for Ukraine in its strategic geopolitical choice between Europe (EU-centered region) and Eurasia (Russia-centered region). The lens of historical narrative, imagined communities, and collective memories allows us to focus on the perspective of the Ukrainian people, which is often neglected.

In the first section, we will introduce the historical narratives that dominate Ukrainian historiography: Ukraine as a liminal space between East and West and Ukraine as not-Russia. These narratives will be used to explain the processes that shaped the different regions, using symbolic geography of East and West, portraying Ukraine as a borderland and frontier, replacing Russia in its claim to the heritage of all East Slavs cradle. In the second section, we will present the process of creating “imagined communities”: in the Eastern part of Ukraine—“Little Russians” and in the Western part—“Ruthenians.” In the last section, conflicting collective memories on the Great Patriotic War and the Ukrainian war of liberation are presented, illustrating the bipolar split between the two regions in their collective memories.

Historical narratives

History-writing plays an important role in a nation-building process. In Ukraine, the stakes of this history-writing process are even higher; since Ukraine was a “non-historical” nation, characterized by discontinuity in the history of its statehood (Plokhy, 1995), historians felt compelled to create a national past (Szporluk, 2008). It is important to understand historical narratives as they guide actions and serve as a lens through which events are experienced. “People are guided to act in certain ways and no other on the basis of the projections, expectations and memories derived from social, historical, public and cultural narratives” (Somers, 1994, p. 614).

We identified two main historical narratives on the Ukrainian context: Ukraine as a liminal space between East and West, and Ukraine as non-Russia/Ukraine as Russia.

Narrative Ukraine as a liminal space between East and West

The narrative of Ukraine as a liminal space between East and West has been present in Ukrainian historiography since its beginning in the 19th century. Ukraine is here portrayed as a territory whose history has been pulled between two or more empires and their geopolitical struggles transpire on Ukraine's territory (Von Hagen, 2009).

For some historians, the region has been a battlefield between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the expanding Russian empire (Plokhy, 2008); for others, Ukraine formed a bridge between two different traditions, a territory where West and East meet (Hnatiuk, 2003). For Andrew Wilson (1997) Ukraine's history could be written in terms of its oscillation between Poland and Russia, showing that the challenge between “Europe” and Russia has been continuously enacting for centuries and it is a cornerstone of Ukraine's history.

Historian Von Hagen characterized the Ukrainian historical scholarship as “searching for roots” (1995, p. 658). Modern states do not owe their legitimacy solely to historical predecessors or memories, but the complex and different histories of the various geographical components of Ukraine certainly fed the need to create one founding myth (Calhoun, 1993). As such, it was an immense task for the father of Ukrainian historiography, Mykhilo Hrushevsky, to write a history that would offer a sense of common heritage to Ukrainians, who had been subjected to many different empires, and to replace their split identities (Plokhy, 1995). Hrushevsky presented the Ukrainian past in the context of the European history with a narrative that went beyond the struggle between Orthodox Rus and Catholic Poland by adding a history of Cossacks and placing the origin of Ukraine in the early Middle Ages, within the Kyievan Rus. However, the narrative remained centered around the geographical position of two different civilizations (Plokhy, 2008; Subtelny, 2000).

The East–West historical narrative illustrates the bipolar geopolitical position of Ukraine and its people since the Middle Ages. With the boundary of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth reaching deep into current western and central Ukraine, people were exposed to some Western influence (Magdeburg rights, universities, notions of rule of law) and were set apart from those who experienced only Russian and Soviet rule (Riabchuk, 2015; Soltys, 2005).

Narrative Ukraine is Russia/Ukraine as Non-Russia

The Russian imperial and Soviet historical narratives persistently claim the unity of Ukrainians and Russians as one people (East Slavs) and portray Ukrainian history as a continuous struggle to “reunite” with its elder Russian brother (Subtelny, 2000). An opposing narrative was created in defiance of the imperial and colonial Russian narratives. Constructing an alternative historical narrative that would “prove” those nations have always been separate was an immense challenge since the beginning of Ukrainian historiography. In this newly constructed narrative, Russia is the main point of contestation and the opposition is not only to the Russian narrative about Ukraine but also to the Russian narrative about Russia. The crucial dispute concerns the heritage of the Kyivan Rus, the first political entity in the East Slavic territory, established in the mid-ninth century.

Russian historiography claims that, after its collapse, the Kyivan Rus transferred its power to Vladimir-Suzdal, Muscovy, and later the Russian empire (Kuzio, 2006), creating a thousand-year-old continual dynastic state and thousand-year-old history of Orthodox Russia. This version of history denies the existence of Ukrainians as a separate ethnic group, defining them as a Russian subregional group belonging to an all-Russian nation (Kappeler, 2014). Such understanding of “common history, common religion, similar culture, language and tradition implies that Ukraine can only have a future alongside Russia” (Wilson, 2014, pp. 148–149), directly threatening the Ukrainian independent state (Shevel, 2011).

In dealing with the all-Russian historical narrative, Ukrainian historians tried to establish a Ukrainian claim to significant episodes of the Russian historical narrative, including the history of Kyivan Rus (Plokhy, 2005). Nearly all Ukrainian historians follow the paradigm that was established by Mykhilo Hrushevsky, who claimed the heritage of Kyivan Rus for Ukraine only (cf. supra) and presented Ukraine as more ancient than Russia, therefore deserving its own unobstructed existence.

The ongoing altercation between Ukraine and Russia about the origins and the heritage of medieval Rus is not only a historical matter but also a political one and is strongly promoted in the educational system. In Ukraine, since the independence in 1991, all presidents used the narrative Ukraine is not Russia as a cornerstone of the nation-building project: seeing Kyiv Rus as a proto-Ukrainian state and Ukrainians as a more ancient people than Russians. It was essential in Ukraine's emancipatory process from the imperial legacy (Riabchuk, 2008). However, in the Eastern part of Ukraine, Russian and Soviet narratives are deeply rooted and the Ukrainian narrative “Ukraine is not Russia” is considered a threat to the close relationship with Russia.

Imagined communities

The following paragraphs show how imagined communities, on the one hand, “Little Russians” (Eastern Ukrainians), and on the other, “Ruthenians” (Western Ukrainians), drew particular maps—symbolic geographies of their ideal homelands. After all, nation formation demanded the development of a “symbolic geography,” anticipating a future political reality and statehood (Szporluk, 2008). Historian Serhiy Bilenky (2012) uses symbolic geography to map imagined communities on the contested territory of today's Ukraine. Imagined communities, understood as socially constructed groups of people who perceive themselves as part of a group through defining sameness and difference (Anderson, 1991).

Little Russians

In the 19th century, all Europeans, Ukrainians, Poles, and Russians had to remake their history in a national form. The national awakenings created a tension in the Russian empire because national (exclusive) and imperial (inclusive) identifications were colliding (Weeks, 1996).

Little Russia, within bounds of Left Bank Ukraine (Poltava, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv regions), was a place of intense Ukrainian-Russian contacts. In those interactions and relations with other groups, the building blocks of an “imagined community” were put together: language, history, religion, political loyalty, institutions, and ethnography (Bilenky, 2012).

Great Russians, a 19th century construct of all Orthodox East Slaves who were also called all-Russians, were juxtaposed against Little Russians (Cossacks), who were seen as a junior branch of the Russian family (Szporluk, 1997; Fournier, 2002). At the time, the Russian empire was already a multinational state, and dynastic loyalty became an overarching norm. However, imperial policies toward particular regions and ethnic groups varied. Little Russians, because they were Orthodox, were allowed to join the ruling “Great Russian” community (Bilenky, 2012; Szporluk, 2008), and many joined the elite of the empire. Little Russians’ background was not an impediment in the upward mobility as long as the Little Russians’ self-identification was shed.

Many Little Russians chose to side with the empire, while others stayed within the boundaries of their “imagined community.” The Cossack historical myth became an important part of the modern Ukrainian national project and established distinctions between “Great” and “Little” Russians (Plokhy, 2006; Sysyn, 1991). The memory of the Cossack's polity, where all people were equals and lived in a harmonious society, created a myth of a happy Cossackdom, destroyed by the arrival of “Muscovites” (Russian empire). This myth reinforced the feeling of uniqueness of Little Russians (Molchanov, 2002).

Following Brubaker and Cooper's (2000) concept of idioms of nationality, religion is an important one. Orthodoxy as an idiom of Russian nationality was used to exclude the Catholic Poles, but trying to exclude Orthodox Ukrainians, the Russians highlighted language and ethnography as the defining idioms of their nationality. Russians denied the existence of a separate nation of Little Russians, using Orthodoxy as a defining idiom. Ukrainians employed the same tactics and considered religion as an idiom of their imagined community in juxtaposition with Poles, but not with Russians (Bilenky, 2012).

Ruthenians in Galician Rus

In a smaller Western part of Ukraine, Galician Rus, the construction of the “imagined community” is the story of a struggle against Polish domination. Ruthenians lived within the boundaries of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and after the partition of Poland, in the late eighteenth century, this region fell under a relatively liberal, constitutional, and law-abiding Austrian rule (Riabchuk, 2015).

John-Paul Himka (2001) identified several factors impacting the formation of the imagined community of Ruthenians in Galician Rus. First, it was a struggle with the dominant Polish culture in the absence of Ruthenian high culture. Secondly, both “communities,” Poles and Ruthenians, were subjects of the Commonwealth and, later, of the Austrian-Hapsburg German-speaking empire and competed for—strongly contrasting—reforms that would best suit their own interests. Third, Poles were Catholic (Western Christianity) and Ruthenians were Greek Catholic (Eastern Christianity), both loyal to Rome but with different rites. Last, there was a strong impact of social stratification, since almost all landlords were Polish, and Ruthenians were the peasants working on their fields.

For the so-called Ruthenians (Rusini in Polish, Pуси́ни in Ukrainian), any social mobility was dependent on the adoption of the Polish culture and language (Sysyn, 1991). As a consequence, Ruthenians were comprised of mainly plebeian people (peasants) and a small educated stratum of Greek Catholic priests that led the national awakening movement (Himka, 2001). This movement grew unexpectedly strong and fast since priests carried a huge sway among Ruthenian masses (Armstrong, 1992).

The deep religious divide between Western and Eastern Christianity made it easier for Ruthenians from Galician Rus to reach out to the fellow Orthodox Christians, Little Russians. The Ruthenian national movement, connected with their counterpart on the Left Bank Ukraine, grew and was aided by occasional favors from the government in Vienna. It created numerous voluntary associations in the countryside, established an academy of sciences in Lviv, and set the goal of erecting an independent Ukrainian state (Hrytsak, 2010).

Also, by the end of the 19th century, the Ukrainian language, before almost singularly used in a spoken form, was well on its way to being an established language, and the first literary works were already published in Ukrainian language (Shevelov, 1980).

Little Russians/Cossacks and Ruthenians drew maps of their ideal homelands on the same territories where “Great Russians” and Poles had their symbolic geographies (Sysyn, 1986; Szporluk, 2008). Although no evidence presents itself that those populations would consider themselves as one “imagined community,” Kyiv was their uniting element, the cradle of civilization (Kyiv Rus’) and its spiritual center (Kravchenko, 1996). However, it would take several generations for Ukrainians on both sides to place Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv in the same “identity space” on a mental map (Szporluk, 2008).

Collective memories

Collective memories, especially those of war and suffering, have been a crucial component of belonging to an “imagined community.” Historical continuity and common heritage create cohesion where memory is a tool in bonding and othering processes (McGrattan & Hopkins, 2017). In Ukraine, the memories of war are in conflict. The west of the country is an ardent believer of a nationalistic version of World War II history; the east follows the legacy of the Soviet war myth.

Great Patriotic War

The Soviet narrative of a Great Patriotic War stressed heroism and the unity of “Soviet people” in their fight against fascism and claimed the victory and the liberation of Europe by the Red Army. This narrative symbolically divided the world into two camps: fascists and anti-fascists, and the propaganda on the superiority of the Soviet system was rooted in the fight against fascism. No criticism on the Red Army conduct and Soviet leadership actions was ever permitted (Kattago, 2008; Yurchuk, 2017), and no one could compete with the Soviets for the heroic status. The taboos in the Soviet narrative included the Soviet Famines (where mostly Ukrainians suffered), national terrors, deportations of ethnic groups (Tatars, Meskhetians, etc.), Soviet prisoners of war, and the Holocaust (Snyder, 2010).

Regional elites in Eastern Ukraine used the myth of the Great Patriotic War as a symbol and presented themselves as the guardians of the “Great Victory.” The myth became an instrument of regional branding to induce local patriotism and to consider the war as a cultural heritage. The narrative continues to be replicated and reproduced by the pro-Russian political parties and pro-Russian civil society organizations (Fedor, et al., 2017).

Ola Hnatiuk (2018) explained the Great Patriotic War narrative as an “organized forgetting” of the joint Nazi-Soviet responsibility for starting the war, hiding its crimes and replacing the memories of individuals and communities with the narrative of the new imagined community—the Soviet people (Hnatiuk, 2018; Ricoeur, 2004).

Ukrainian War of liberation

In Ukraine, the official narrative of the Great Patriotic War started to be questioned in the last years of the Soviet Union. The fight for the independent state by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUP) and its armed wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), laid the ground for a new national identity.

On the one hand, the Soviet narrative described the OUP/UPA as villains, fascist collaborators, and bourgeoise nationalists who fought against the brethren Ukrainian Red Army soldiers (Subtelny, 2000). On the other hand, the Ukrainian diaspora and nationalistic historians pictured OUP/UPA as heroes and patriotic fighters of the Ukrainian independence. The collapse of the Soviet Union demanded a new history writing, and the diaspora supplied its own version of the past (Rudling, 2011). The newly produced nationalistic narrative was particularly well received in the western parts of the country, so communist orthodoxy could be replaced with a nationalist interpretation of the history.

The narrative that was created did not include accounts on the OUN/UPA ideological attributes (of fascism, anti-Semitism, and a commitment to a fascist New Europe) and their deeds, namely collaboration with Nazi Germany, joining the auxiliary police, complicity in the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing of the Polish population in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia (Portnov, 2012; Snyder, 2010). Most of these difficult aspects of the past were ignored, simplified, or denied by those writing the new version of the national narrative of World War II in the 1990s (Yurchuk, 2017).

Apologists of OUN and its legacy explain the nationalistic narrative as a way of dealing with the colonial legacy, putting it in the center of the nation- and state-building processes (Kuzio, 2002). Another prominent scholar in Ukraine, Mykola Riabchuk, points to the struggle of Ukraine as a postcolonial state, where the national democrats’ imperative was to shed the historical narrative imposed by the imperial center (Riabchuk, 2008).

Tatiana Zhurzhenko similarly asserts that the “reinterpretation of the WWII and its role in Ukrainian history is directly linked to the post-colonial search for national identity and the problem of geopolitical choice between Russia and the West” (Fedor et al., 2017, p. 171).

However, emancipation of the national identity, collective memory, and culture from colonial legacies can hardly be achieved by embracing another historical mythology (Rudling, 2011).

At first, the nationalistic narrative, the narrative of heroic OUN and UPA, was dominant only in the regions of Western Ukraine but, after the Orange Revolution, it was imposed upon the whole country. Contrary to the Great Patriotic War narrative, it represented the war not as a glorious event, but rather a terrible tragedy that happened to Ukrainian people in the absence of a national state (Zhurzhenko, 2015). At the same time, the founder of OUN/UPA was awarded the highest state honor “Hero of Ukraine,” and the government denounced the Soviet regime as anti-Ukrainian. As a consequence, the bipolar narratives have split the society further, and Eastern and Western Ukrainian regions became the arena of memory wars (Kasianov, 2012; Snyder, 2010). Citizens of both regions struggle to find ways to cope with a difficult and painful past, and leaders fail to move forward toward reconciliation.

Conclusions

The East–West regional division in Ukraine, seen through the lens of historical narratives, imagined communities, and collective memories presents multiple challenges for Ukraine: the challenge of nation-building; the challenge of the reclamation of the national past free from colonial and imperial narratives; and the challenge of the dialogue between the conflicting collective memories.

So far, depending on who had the political upper hand, different visions of the nation, the historical narrative, and the collective memory were promoted. Critics of Ukrainian radical nationalism have often downplayed Soviet crimes. At the same time, critics of the Russian and Soviet past “forget” the dark legacy of the nationalistic movement.

Our contribution—an analysis of historical narratives, imagined communities, and collective memories—explains why formulating a common vision for the Ukrainian nation has proven to be unsuccessful. While Ukraine is internally struggling and failing to create its national identity, it is further being pulled apart by the supranational regions surrounding it, with the European Union offering it a glimpse of a liberal democracy and Russia reaffirming itself as a confident and powerful nation in the east. It seems like Ukraine has a clear option to choose from between two regions or models. It does not. Any binary thinking between these two “options” fails to grasp the deep-rooted emotional connection of its people to its regional history. Yet, history is made by choices, and Ukraine cannot and will not escape the gravitational pull of its bigger neighbors. While making its geopolitical orientation toward Europe or Eurasia, it will further exacerbate the division and strife between Eastern and Western regions.

As debates on historical events, flags, and monuments continue to erupt around the world, Ukraine illustrates how the historical narratives, collective memories of the past are constructed and change over time, rather than being literal expressions of the past. This history allows us to look at what is remembered, add perspectives of others and what they remember, and create a critical dialogue between them. Ukraine, with its regional diversity, needs such approaches to its history in order to fully accept its own complex heritage, not to be bound to its narratives and allow the process of defining itself by creating new ones.

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  • Richardson, T. (2004). Disciplining the past in post-Soviet Ukraine: Memory and history in schools and families. In F. Pine, D. Kaneff, & I. Haukanes (Eds.), Politics, religion and memory: The past meets the present in contemporary Europe (pp. 109135), Munster: Lit.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ricoeur, P. (2004). Memory, history, forgetting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Rudling, P.A. (2011). The OUN, the UPA and the Holocaust: A study in the manufacturing of historical myths. The Carl Beck Papers in Russian & East European Studies, 2107. https://doi.org/10.5195/cbp.2011.164.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sereda, V. (2020). “Social distancing” and hierarchies of belonging: The case of displaced population from Donbas and Crimea. Europe-Asia Studies 72(3), 404431.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shevel, O. (2011). The politics of memory in a divided society: A comparison of post-Franco Spain and post-Soviet Ukraine. Slavic Review 70(1), 137164. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2020.1719043.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shevelov, G. Y. (1980). Ukrainian. In A.M. Schenker & E. Stankiewicz (Eds.). The Slavic literary languages: Formation and development (pp. 143160). New Haven, CT: Yale Concilium on International and Area Studies.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Snyder, T. (2010). Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin. Basic Books.

  • Soltys, D. (2005). Shifting civilizational borders in Orange Ukraine: Dilemmas and opportunities for Western diplomacy. International Journal 61(1), 161178. https://doi.org/10.2307/40204136.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Somers, M.R. (1994). The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network. Theory and Society 23(5), 605649. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992905.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Subtelny, O. (2000). The Ambiguities of National Identity: The Case of Ukraine. In Ukraine: The Search for a National Identity, ed. S. L. Wolchik and V. Zviglyanich. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sysyn, F. E. (1986). Between Poland and the Ukraine: The dilemma of Adam Kysil. Monograph Series. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sysyn, F. E. (1991). The re-emergence of the Ukrainian nation and Cossack mythology. Social Research 58(4), 845864.

  • Szporluk, R. (1997). Ukraine: From an imperial periphery to a sovereign state. Daedalus 126(3), 85119. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351308809-5.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szporluk, R. (2008). Mapping Ukraine: From identity space to decision space. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 33–34, 441452.

  • Torbakov, I. (2014). This is a strife of Slavs among themselves: Understanding Russian-Ukrainian relations as the conflict of contested identities. In K. Bachmann & I. Lyubashenko (Eds.), The Maidan uprising, separatism and foreign intervention: Ukraine's complex transition (pp. 183205). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Von Hagen, M. (1995). Does Ukraine have a history? Slavic Review 54(3), 658673. https://doi.org/10.2307/2501741.

  • Von Hagen, M. (2009). Revisiting the histories of Ukraine. In G. Kasianov & P. Ther (Eds.), A laboratory of transnational history: Ukraine and recent Ukrainian historiography (pp. 2550), Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weeks T. R. (1996). Nation and state in late imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier 1863–1914. Chicago: Northern Illinois University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, A. (1997). Ukrainian nationalism in the 1990s: A minority faith. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wilson, A. (2014). Ukraine crisis: What it means for the west. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Yurchuk, Y. (2017). Reclaiming the past, confronting the past: OUN–UPA memory politics and nation building in Ukraine (1991–2016). In J. Fedor, Kangaspuro, M., Lassila, J., & Zhurzhenko, T. (Eds.), War and memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (pp. 107137), Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhurzhenko, T. (2002, September 17). The myth of two Ukraines. Eurozine. Retrieved from https://www.eurozine.com/the-myth-of-two-ukraines/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhurzhenko, T. (2015). Shared memory culture? Nationalizing the “Great Patriotic War” in the Ukrainian-Russian borderlands. In M. Pakier & J. Wawrzyniak (Eds.), Memory and change in Europe: Eastern perspectives (pp. 169192). New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Contributor Notes

ALINA PENKALA is a PhD fellow at UNU-CRIS and Ghent University and holds a master's degree in political science from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In her research she focuses on return migration and reintegration processes of migrants returning from Europe to Ukraine. She is interested in psychological, economic, political, and social aspects of the phenomenon. She has worked for the Ministry of Defense in Poland as a security policy expert and later in conflict-affected areas; in Georgia for the EU Monitoring Mission, and in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Email: apenkala@cris.unu.edu

ILSE DERLUYN is affiliated as a full professor with the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy (Ghent University) where she teaches courses in migration and refugee studies. Derluyn's main research topics concern the psychosocial wellbeing of unaccompanied refugee minors, migrant and refugee children, war-affected children, victims of trafficking, and child soldiers. She is actively involved in supporting refugees and practitioners and in policy research. Prof. Derluyn is heading CESSMIR and is co-director of the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS). She is the PI of the ERC-SG ChildMove and coordinates the H2020-project’ RegugeesWellSchool’. Email: Ilse.Derluyn@UGent.be

INE LIETAERT is affiliated as a professorial fellow with UNU–CRIS in Bruges where she coordinates the migration research program, and she is also an assistant professor at the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy (Ghent University) where she teaches the course International Social Work, (co)-supervises various PhD research project and is a research member of the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR). Her main research topics relate to migration governance, return migration, reintegration processes, assisted return, migration trajectories, unaccompanied refugees minors, wellbeing, internal displacement in urban settings, and social work practices. Email: ilietaert@cris.unu.edu

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Regions and Cohesion

Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

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  • Richardson, T. (2004). Disciplining the past in post-Soviet Ukraine: Memory and history in schools and families. In F. Pine, D. Kaneff, & I. Haukanes (Eds.), Politics, religion and memory: The past meets the present in contemporary Europe (pp. 109135), Munster: Lit.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ricoeur, P. (2004). Memory, history, forgetting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Rudling, P.A. (2011). The OUN, the UPA and the Holocaust: A study in the manufacturing of historical myths. The Carl Beck Papers in Russian & East European Studies, 2107. https://doi.org/10.5195/cbp.2011.164.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sereda, V. (2020). “Social distancing” and hierarchies of belonging: The case of displaced population from Donbas and Crimea. Europe-Asia Studies 72(3), 404431.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shevel, O. (2011). The politics of memory in a divided society: A comparison of post-Franco Spain and post-Soviet Ukraine. Slavic Review 70(1), 137164. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2020.1719043.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shevelov, G. Y. (1980). Ukrainian. In A.M. Schenker & E. Stankiewicz (Eds.). The Slavic literary languages: Formation and development (pp. 143160). New Haven, CT: Yale Concilium on International and Area Studies.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Snyder, T. (2010). Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin. Basic Books.

  • Soltys, D. (2005). Shifting civilizational borders in Orange Ukraine: Dilemmas and opportunities for Western diplomacy. International Journal 61(1), 161178. https://doi.org/10.2307/40204136.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Somers, M.R. (1994). The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network. Theory and Society 23(5), 605649. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992905.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Subtelny, O. (2000). The Ambiguities of National Identity: The Case of Ukraine. In Ukraine: The Search for a National Identity, ed. S. L. Wolchik and V. Zviglyanich. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sysyn, F. E. (1986). Between Poland and the Ukraine: The dilemma of Adam Kysil. Monograph Series. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sysyn, F. E. (1991). The re-emergence of the Ukrainian nation and Cossack mythology. Social Research 58(4), 845864.

  • Szporluk, R. (1997). Ukraine: From an imperial periphery to a sovereign state. Daedalus 126(3), 85119. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351308809-5.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szporluk, R. (2008). Mapping Ukraine: From identity space to decision space. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 33–34, 441452.

  • Torbakov, I. (2014). This is a strife of Slavs among themselves: Understanding Russian-Ukrainian relations as the conflict of contested identities. In K. Bachmann & I. Lyubashenko (Eds.), The Maidan uprising, separatism and foreign intervention: Ukraine's complex transition (pp. 183205). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Von Hagen, M. (1995). Does Ukraine have a history? Slavic Review 54(3), 658673. https://doi.org/10.2307/2501741.

  • Von Hagen, M. (2009). Revisiting the histories of Ukraine. In G. Kasianov & P. Ther (Eds.), A laboratory of transnational history: Ukraine and recent Ukrainian historiography (pp. 2550), Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weeks T. R. (1996). Nation and state in late imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier 1863–1914. Chicago: Northern Illinois University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, A. (1997). Ukrainian nationalism in the 1990s: A minority faith. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wilson, A. (2014). Ukraine crisis: What it means for the west. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Yurchuk, Y. (2017). Reclaiming the past, confronting the past: OUN–UPA memory politics and nation building in Ukraine (1991–2016). In J. Fedor, Kangaspuro, M., Lassila, J., & Zhurzhenko, T. (Eds.), War and memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (pp. 107137), Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhurzhenko, T. (2002, September 17). The myth of two Ukraines. Eurozine. Retrieved from https://www.eurozine.com/the-myth-of-two-ukraines/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhurzhenko, T. (2015). Shared memory culture? Nationalizing the “Great Patriotic War” in the Ukrainian-Russian borderlands. In M. Pakier & J. Wawrzyniak (Eds.), Memory and change in Europe: Eastern perspectives (pp. 169192). New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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