Memory Crash: On the Use and Abuse of Ukraine's Past

Book Launch and Panel Discussion

Past cannot be controlled but it can be instrumentalised. Russia’s war against Ukraine, with Putin as war’s initiator aiming to fulfil his imperial worldview, serves as the main proof to this affirmation. The growing relevance of history politics in the war context raised new challenges for the construction of memory politics in Ukraine and the overcoming of a conflictual past between Ukraine and Russia.

Georgiy Kasianov’s new book, Memory Crash. Politics of History In and Around Ukraine, 1980s-2010s (CEU Press 2022), analyses how was historical politics constructed and instrumentalised in Ukraine and in its neighbouring states from the late Soviet period to the construction of an independent Ukraine, and up to today. Historical policies and practices of various actors such as the state institutions, NGOs, political parties, historians, and local governments are deconstructed and confronted in view of their aims and interests. It argues that the scope of building national identity, once clashed with that of gaining power and influence at the national and international spheres can often bring unexpected results, often in detriment of the society.

The panel discussion will revolve around the main book’s themes and the characteristics that make Ukraine a distinctive case in the study of historical politics. Such debated aspects as the "de-communisation" of public space by replacing it with other controversial heroes, the Holodomor, the WWII and the Holocaust will be reflected upon also from today’s war perspective.

Panel discussants:

Prof. Dr. Georgiy Kasianov, University of Lublin / National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv
Prof. Dr. Anke Hilbrenner, University of Düsseldorf
Prof. Dr. Martin Aust, University of Bonn

PD Dr. Svetlana Suveica, University of Göttingen / DGO-Branch Göttingen/Kassel

Zoom registration:


book_launch_2… (PDF, 357 kB)



26.01.2023, 18:00 Uhr bis 19:30 Uhr

Die Veranstaltung findet online statt.



book_launch_2… (PDF, 357 kB)

DGO-Zweigstelle Göttingen / Kassel