Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Ukraine (1991–2010)

Analysis of the post-Soviet memory wars in Ukraine have tended to focus overwhelmingly on the ways in which Ukrainian memory is shaped by regional differences. The regional dimension is certainly important here, but approaching Ukrainian memory exclusively through this lens can serve to obscure other aspects of the landscape. In this chapter, I aim to shift the perspective, with a view to emancipating the rich social reality of Ukrainian memory from the pressures of normative and essentializing schemas and one-sided reductive assessments.

Focusing on the changing politics of memory during the presidencies of Leonid Kravchuk (1991–94), Leonid Kuchma (1994–2004) and Viktor Yushchenko (2005–10), I will show that this politics, far from having being structured and predetermined by rigid and entrenched regional fault lines, has in fact been deeply contingent and deeply contradictory.


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