Seventy years after the end of World War II, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, the fight for hegemony in Europe continues – disguised as a conflict of historical master narratives. The beginning of the current round of memory wars in the post-Soviet space can be dated back to 2005, when the sixtieth anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany turned into a loyalty test for the politicians of neighbouring countries.
In these impressions of the Maidan protests collected by Timothy Snyder and Tatiana Zhurzhenko, one hears the voices of those who witnessed history in the making. The role of civil society and the Russian-speaking middle class, as well as individual existential decisions, also come to the fore.
In an interview conducted before Euromaidan commenced, Tatiana Zhurzhenko discusses the intricacies of regional tensions surrounding Ukraine, taking into consideration questions of memory, language and a putative civic, liberal Ukrainian nationalism.
From borderlands to bloodlands
With Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, the era of post-Soviet tolerance of blurred identities and multiple loyalties has ended. Borderlands, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, have once again turned into bloodlands.
Putinism is not communism, yet it seems that many in the West are willing to understand and even accept Moscow’s actions. So how firm will the West’s stance be in protecting the foundations of European security subverted by Putin’s actions in Ukraine?