Cover Osteuropa 5/2010

In Osteuropa 5/2010

The Price of Victory
The War and the Competition of Veterans in Ukraine

Tetjana Portnova, Andrii Portnov

Deutsche Fassung


Over 2.5 million veterans of the Second World War are still living in Ukraine, among them, however, are only several thousand frontline soldiers. The war remains a central element of society’s historical identity. The dissolution of the Soviet Union also led to the dissolution of the monolithic image of the war. In Ukraine, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and its fighters came into view. Today, Soviet veterans and UPA brotherhoods compete for recognition and privileges. What these veterans have in common is that they do not understand themselves as victims and are bound to the propagandistic rhetoric of the war. The fate of the forced labourers, the Holocaust victims, and the prisoners of war is hardly present anymore. Officially, Ukraine presents itself as the victim of two totalitarian regimes.

(Osteuropa 5/2010, pp. 27–42)