Ukraine in the political crisis:
the image of Russia as catalyst of contradictions


Vendina O.I.,

Cand. Sci. (Geogr.), Leading Research Fellow, Centre of Geopolitical Studies, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, o.vendina@gmail.com

Kolosov V.A.,

Dr. Sci. (Geogr.), Professor, Deputy Director, Head, Laboratory of Geopolitical Studies, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor-Researcher, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, vladimirkolossov@gmail.com


elibrary_id: 625820 |

Popov F.A.,

Cand. Sci. (Geogr.), Research Fellow, Laboratory of Geopolitical Studies, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, fpopov15@gmail.com


elibrary_id: 623528 |

Sebentzov A.B.,

Cand. Sci. (Geogr.), Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory of Geopolitical Studies, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, asebentsov@gmail.com


elibrary_id: 618867 |


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2014.05.05


For citation:

Vendina O.I., Kolosov V.A., Popov F.A., Sebentzov A.B. Ukraine in the political crisis: the image of Russia as catalyst of contradictions . – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No. 5. P. 50-67. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2014.05.05



Abstract

This paper deals with the period that is prior to Ukraine’s crises of 2013 14. The image of Russia shaped by political discourses, TV news and school textbook on history and geography is analyzed. The authors examine in what way the political doctrines which were in use exerted influence upon public opinion and resulted in direct and indirect consequences. They argue that the “European prospect”, which is serving as a guide line for social and institutional modernization all around Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia, has been transformed in Ukraine into an ideology for identity and state-building. The European aspiration was legitimized by an idea that “Ukraine is not Russia”. This concept kept its importance during the Post-Soviet period regardless of changes in political elites and has been transmitted through the mass-media and school education. The politics of the Ukrainian media was one-sided in spite of declared pluralism of opinions and freedom of speech. The TV news has not reflected the current events so much as a “war of discourses” promoted by protagonists and antagonists of the Ukrainian government. The observed plurality of Ukrainian media did not become a plurality of meanings and approaches. Analyses of the political discourses and mass media are balanced by review of school textbooks on history and geography. The authors discovered that all of the textbooks assumed a similar initial hypothesis despite the change in textbooks’ generations and political assessments. First, the history of the country and the history of the Ukrainian nation are considered as identical. Second, the approaches, which are well known as “victimization” and “occidentalisation” of national history, were applied to explain Ukrainian history. Third, history itself was considered as a predetermined process driven by the logic of history, not by people’s decisions. Objectifying history, the school textbooks interpreted historical incidents from the perspective of the current political agenda. School students built up an image of Ukraine as a colony first of the Moscow state, then of the Russian Empire and the USSR. In conclusion the authors argue that the opposition of Russia and Ukraine, which has been widely used as a tool for the creation of a unified nation in Ukraine, has played a destructive rather than a constructive role for both Ukrainian society and the state.

Keywords
Ukraine; Russia; political discourse; mass media; school textbooks; national identity; national interests.


Content No. 5, 2014

See also:


Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I.,
Identity in the system of coordinates of the world development. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No3

Fedotova V.G.,
Distinctions of political cultures and the international conflicts. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No1

Pastukhov V.B.,
Ukraine Not with Russia (Causes and Consequences of Strategic Errors of Russian Policy towards Ukraine). – Polis. Political Studies. 2005. No1

Kazantzev A.A.,
Grammar of «Russian Idea», or how to create new ideologies in Russia?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No3

Evgenyeva T.V., Smulkina N.V., Tsymbal I.A.,
Russia’s Place in the World in the Perception of National Citizens: Identification Dimension. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No4

 
 

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