• Milan Subotić Институт за европске студије Београд


Holodomor, Ukraine, genocide, politics of history, collective memory, historiography


In the second part of the study on the politics of history of modern Ukraine, the author has analyzed the victimological aspect of the Ukrainian national-historical narrative which centers around the debates about the millions of victims of hunger during the Soviet collectivization at the beginning of the 1930s. Started within the academic historiography, the debates of “Holodomor” (“killing by hunger”) were first and foremost focused on the problem of its characterization as genocide perpetrated by the Soviet government against the peasantry as a majority of the Ukrainian nation. The first part of the text presents the arguments for and against the representation of the “Great Famine” as a “genocide”, and then the consequences that accepting either of these opposite positions had in constituting the national self-consciousness of the modern Ukraine. By pointing out the different possibilities of interpretation of the legal concept of “genocide”, the second part thematizes their function in formulating the “politics of history” during various periods of the Ukrainian post-Soviet development. By highlighting the important role of memorial and commemorative practices of remembering Holodomor in the construction of “victim-nation narrative”, the author has shown the unequal reception of that narrative in different parts of Ukraine, and the paradox that the national-integrative capacities of such narrative were weakest exactly in those areas that were most affected by the hunger. Besides the collective memory of tragic past, Russian Federation's role in challenging Ukraine's territorial integrity had the decisive role in spreading and acceptance of the victim-nation status. Under the influence of the ongoing “hybrid war”, the victim component of the Ukrainian politics of history personified by Holodomor was relegated by the advance of its heroic component symbolized by promoting the historical continuity of struggle for national independence and state sovereignty.


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How to Cite

Subotić, M. . (2018). WAR AS A CONTINUATION OF ‘POLITICS OF HISTORY’ BY OTHER MEANS: THE UKRAINIAN CASE (PART TWO). KULTURA POLISA, 15(36), 11–37. Retrieved from https://kpolisa.com/index.php/kp/article/view/463



Original scientific work