Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2022

In Osteuropa 6-8/2022

Attack on Historical Heritage
Russia Targets Ukrainian Archives

Bert Hoppe

Deutsche Fassung


Russia’s war is also directed against Ukraine’s historical memory. The large number of attacks on architectural monuments, cultural institutions, and archives suggests that these are not instances of so-called collateral damage. Russia’s army is striking pillars of Ukrainian national consciousness. In the vicinity of Kharkiv, the Hryhorii Skovoroda Museum of Literature was destroyed, and near Bucha, the archives of the Chornovil Foundation went up in flames. In Chernihiv, the regional archive of the secret service SBU with its historical holdings of records from the NKVD and KGB was hit. This was where the files of the perpetrators and victims of the Stalinist terror were held. The destruction of such an archive weighs all the more heavily given that Ukraine, with its liberal, open archival policy, enabled scholarly research into the history of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the German occupation. Ukraine’s historical memory is largely at the mercy of Russia’s rockets and shells.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2022, pp. 201–210)