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Reclaiming the Past, Confronting the Past: OUN–UPA Memory Politics and Nation Building in Ukraine (1991–2016)

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War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Part of the book series: Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies ((PMMS))

Abstract

This chapter traces the history of the memory of the wartime Ukrainian nationalist movement, represented by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its military, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), from 1991 to the present. Via an analysis of the changing official political discourse over this period, the chapter investigates what role the issue of the history of the OUN and UPA has played in Ukrainian political debates, and how it has been instrumentalized by different political actors. It argues that post-independence Ukrainian memory politics have been shaped in crucial ways by the tension between two different frameworks of dealing with the past: reclaiming the past, and confronting the past (with an emphasis on a critical view on difficult aspects of that past).

I would like to thank Julie Fedor and Tatiana Zhurzhenko for their helpful comments on the draft of the chapter.

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Yurchuk, Y. (2017). Reclaiming the Past, Confronting the Past: OUN–UPA Memory Politics and Nation Building in Ukraine (1991–2016). In: Fedor, J., Kangaspuro, M., Lassila, J., Zhurzhenko, T. (eds) War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus . Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66523-8_4

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