Borders of Identity: Ukraine's Political and Cultural Significance to Russia

Borders of identity: Ukraine’s political and cultural significance to Russia. Canadian Slavonic Papers 38.1-2 (March-June 1996), pp. 177-93.

17 Pages Posted: 19 May 2016

Date Written: March 8, 1996

Abstract

This is an attempt to disentangle Ukrainian and Russian national identities. The article focuses more on the identity struggles in Russia than in Ukraine. I claim that the Russian national identity is, essentially, East Slavic in its core. The direct descendance of the Russian statehood from Kievan Rus makes it especially difficult for Russians to think of Ukraine as the Other. Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is characterized as more of a lingering attachment to their immature common identity than a typical imperialist project of a fully developed nation. The article cautions that the cultural boundaries between the two countries are fuzzy and amorphous, thus making them difficult to define but easy to overstep.

Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, nationalism, national identity, otherness, complementarity, East Slavic unity

JEL Classification: B30, B31, H10, H19, H77, H89, N43, Z10

Suggested Citation

Molchanov, Mikhail, Borders of Identity: Ukraine's Political and Cultural Significance to Russia (March 8, 1996). Borders of identity: Ukraine’s political and cultural significance to Russia. Canadian Slavonic Papers 38.1-2 (March-June 1996), pp. 177-93.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2781105
No contact information is available for Mikhail Molchanov

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