‘Memory Wars’: Overcoming polarization in Ukraine


Since Ukraine first gained independence in 1991, historical memory and national identity have been a point of contention and subject for manipulation, the Atlantic Council reports.

Thanks in good part to Kremlin aggression, a real sense of Ukrainian identity has emerged in the center and east of the country, too. Yet, the memory war that has characterized Ukraine for the past three decades has not disappeared. And it has been exacerbated by Kremlin disinformation campaigns. The Kremlin has inflamed controversy over historical narratives, weaponizing history in the unsuccessful effort to undermine Ukrainian statehood.

A groundbreaking recent report by the London School of Economics and Political Science’s (LSE) Arena program, From ‘Memory Wars’ to a Common Future: Overcoming Polarisation in Ukraine (right), details the challenges facing Ukraine’s information environment along with recommendations for reducing societal polarization. Several authors of the report, Anne Applebaum, Director, Arena, LSE, and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) board member; Natalia Gumenyuk, Co-founder, Public Interest Journalism Lab; and Peter Pomerantsev, Director, Arena, LSE, present the key findings (above). Yevhen Hlibovytsky, Founder, ProMova provides commentary and Ambassador John Herbst.

CBC News explains why experts think Belarus won’t be Putin’s next Ukraine.

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