This account of historical politics in Ukraine, framed in a broader European context, shows how social, political, and cultural groups have used and misused the past from the final years of the Soviet Union to 2020. Georgiy Kasianov details practices relating to history and memory by a variety of actors, including state institutions, non-governmental organizations, political parties, historians, and local governments. He identifies the main political purposes of these practices in the construction of nation and identity, struggles for power, warfare, and international relations.
Kasianov considers the Ukrainian case in the context of a global increase in the politics of history and memory, with particular emphasis on a distinctive East-European variety. He pays special attention to the use and abuse of history in relations between Ukraine, Russia, and Poland.
PART I: CONCEPTS AND CONTEXTS
Chapter 1. Notions and Definitions
Historical memory. Historical politics. History and memory. Basic definitions.
Chapter 2. Contexts
On stereotypes. “Western Europe.” “Eastern Europe.” Post-Soviet space.
PART II: ACTORS
Chapter 3. State Institutions
President. Parliament. Government. National Bank of Ukraine. Ukrposhta. Judicial bodies. Security Service. Ukrainian Institute of National Memory. Local authorities and self-government bodies. Archives and museums.
Chapter 4. Nongovernmental Organizations
Political parties. Civil organizations. Mass media and web-based communities.
Chapter 5. Historians
Communists to nationalists. Roles of historians.
PART III: PRACTICES
Chapter 6. Historical Politics: An Overview
On the nationalization of the past. Sovereignization. Nationalization.
Chapter 7. Spaces of Memory
Lenin, Bandera, and others. “Battle of Kruty”: victims and heroes. The Holodomor Territory. Genocides at the edge. Memorial laws.
Chapter 8. Historical Politics: Beyond Borders
Ukraine–Poland: “thorny issues.” Ukraine–Russia: “fraternal rivalry.”