Open Democracy publishes Dr Zbig Wojnowski's article about Putin's Ukraine rhetoric
- Monday, February 28, 2022
By Professor Edward Vallance
Roehampton Senior Lecturer in History Zbig Wojnowski writes in Open Democracy that the Russian President is using familiar rhetoric to deny Ukrainians the right to exist.
The article argues that Vladimir Putin's view of Ukraine is based on the crude 19th century notion that all Slavs are somehow 'destined' to accept Moscow's leadership. This idea was used to justify Moscow's invasion of another peaceful neighbour in 1968 - when the USSR and its allies marched into Prague to crush attempts at democratisation in Czechoslovakia. Putin's nationalist, expansionist rhetoric today suggests that Russian imperial ambitions extend well beyond Ukraine.
Dr. Wojnowski specialises in the history of Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, and socialist Eastern Europe during the twentieth century. His 2017 book The Near Abroad: Socialist Eastern Europe and Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine examines the relationship between Soviet and Ukrainian identities in the 20th century. He is currently working on the history of systemic transformation in the former USSR, using popular music as a prism to understand how people in Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asia experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union.