ECMI Publications Database

#125: Identity and Nation-Building in Ukraine: Reconciliation of Identities from a Conflict Prevention Perspective
Nina Henke
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In less than 20 years after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has faced several events, which have shaped the process of nation-building. The Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict with Russia have intensified the ‘us–them’ line of self-identification of the “Ukrainians” versus the “Others”. Ongoing “Ukrainisation” is spreading insecurity among minority groups and endangers possibilities to establish a cohesive Ukrainian society with a shared sense of belonging. In the context of a multicultural Ukrainian space and the international commitments of the State to protect and promote rights of its national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, adopting an ethnocentric approach to the nation-building of the country is a conflict-prone factor. By examining and discussing identities in the perspective of the ongoing nation-building process in Ukraine, this research paper aims to identify the potential of the State and individuals to find mechanisms and grounds for reconciliation and integration. This is approached through a series of in-depth interviews and a complex analysis of current political guidelines on education, language and decommunisation.

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