Ukraine and Russia: Representations of the Past
University of Toronto Press, 2008 - History - 391 pages
The question of where Russian history ends and Ukrainian history begins has not yet received a satisfactory answer. Generations of historians referred to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as the starting point of the Muscovite dynasty, the Russian state, and, ultimately, the Russian nation. However, the history of Kyiv and that of the Scythians of the Northern Black Sea region have also been claimed by Ukrainian historians, and are now regarded as integral parts of the history of Ukraine. If these are actually the beginnings of Ukrainian history, when does Russian history start?
In Ukraine and Russia, Serhii Plokhy discusses many questions fundamental to the formation of modern Russian and Ukrainian historical identity. He investigates the critical role of history in the development of modern national identities and offers historical and cultural insight into the current state of relations between the two nations. Plokhy shows how history has been constructed, used, and misused in order to justify the existence of imperial and modern national projects, and how those projects have influenced the interpretation of history in Russia and Ukraine. This book makes important assertions not only about the conflicts and negotiations inherent to opposing historiographic traditions, but about ways of overcoming the limitations imposed by those traditions.