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Deadly Illusions: The Ukraine War and Russian Historical Imagination

Some commentators have aptly called Russia’s Ukraine war a “war of obsession.” Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be genuinely obsessed with Ukraine. The decision to attack Russia’s Slavic neighbour was influenced in large part by his belief in historical fantasies that have long circulated among Russian imperial-nationalists. This project seeks to investigate three intertwined sets of problems: What lies at the core of the “Ukrainian question” as seen by the Kremlin? What key elements does the Russian leadership’s idiosyncratic vision of the two countries’ entangled history consist of? What historical myths inform Russian political imagination? The project will demonstrate that at the heart of all this historical mythology lies the Russian elites’ twisted understanding of what nation and national identity really are.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].