Ukrainisation and Early Soviet Power in Ukraine

Ukrainian Institute London

Professor Matthew Pauly (Michigan State University) in conversation with Olena Palko (Birkbeck)

Join us to discuss how Ukrainian national culture and language shaped early Soviet power in Ukraine.

About this event

In a televised address on 21 February that served as a justification of the Kremlin’s escalated aggression against Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Ukraine was “entirely created by Russia or, to be more precise, by Bolshevik, Communist Russia.” In fact, the true history of Ukraine’s early place in the Soviet Union is the opposite: a pre-existing Ukrainian national culture and language shaped the contours of Bolshevism in practice, not the other way around.

In 1923, the Communist Party leaders embarked on a novel campaign to use “national culture” to build socialism in Soviet Ukraine. Known as ukrainizatsiia (Ukrainisation), this effort to legitimise and consolidate Soviet power gave a central role to education. The Communist Party intended schools to be the training ground for a new generation of skilled, politically conscious, and economically informed Soviet citizens. It was through the national language, promoted by schoolteachers, that the Soviet ideal was to be realised.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception.

Date and time

Mon, 20 June 2022

19:00 – 20:30 BST


Ukrainian Religious Society of St Sophia

79 Holland Park


W11 3SW

Get your tickets here.

Published by sgmhbasees

The BASEES Study Group for Minority History (SGMH) is a forum devoted to the study of minority groups in the national and regional histories of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European from the Napoleonic Wars to the contemporary past.

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