Cover Osteuropa 7/2021

In Osteuropa 7/2021

Revisionism and Threats
Vladimir Putin’s Speech on the Unity of Russians and Ukrainians

Andreas Kappeler

Deutsche Fassung


In July 2021, the Kremlin published an essay “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. Its authorship is attributed to Vladimir Putin. This lends the text special weight. In terms of historiography, it builds on the Great Rus-sian and Soviet interpretation of the history of Russia and Ukraine. Politically, it provides insights into Putin’s thinking: a jumble of Soviet patriotism, imperial and Russian ethno-nationalism, and revisionist thinking. For Putin, Ukraine is an “anti-Russia”, behind which lies a Western conspiracy. Ethnic Russians in Ukraine are said to be threatened by a “violent assimilation” comparable to the “use of weapons of mass destruction”. The essay provides documentation for the thesis that Russia’s state leadership has yet to accept Ukrainians as a separate nation with an independent state. Putin’s threats should be taken seriously.

(Osteuropa 7/2021, pp. 67–76)