Prisma Ukraïna
2017/ 2018

Yuliya Yurchuk

Propaganda and Information Management in the Ukraine–Russia conflict: The Role of Historians in Turbulent Times

is a postdoctoral researcher at the History Department at Södertörn University, Sweden. She defended her doctoral dissertation “Reordering of Reordering of Meaningful Worlds: Memory of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Post-Soviet Ukraine” at Stockholm University in 2015. Her ongoing research deals with memory and religion in Ukraine and with historians’ responses to the Ukraine–Russia conflict, funded by the Baltic Sea Foundation. She specializes in memory studies, the study of nationalism in East European countries, and postcolonial studies. Her recent publications include “Special Volume on Memory of Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists”, in Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, 3:2, 2017 (co-edited with Andreas Umland); “Memory Politics in Contemporary Ukraine. Reflections from the post-colonial perspective” forthcoming in Memory Studies (co-authored with Barbara Törnquist-Plewa); “Reclaiming the Past, Confronting the Past: OUN-UPA Memory Politics and Nation-Building in Ukraine (1991-2016)”, in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Markku Kangaspuro, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies, 2017.

Propaganda and Information Management in the Ukraine–Russia conflict: The Role of Historians in Turbulent Times

The studies of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine inevitably include research on information technologies, as the Ukrainian-Russian conflict once again demonstrates that they play a crucial role in the warfare. Most of the studies, though, focus on the Russian propaganda and information technologies, while they often overlook in what way Ukraine manages information. This project aims to anaylze the techniques and strategies applied by a new type of Ukrainian actor, Ukrainian historians, responding to the challenges of the information war.

More specifically, the project sheds light on the securitization of memory, the use of history in the military sphere, and the formation of Ukrainian narratives of the current. Yurchuk argues that since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Eastern Ukraine, historians have experienced an empowerment of their profession giving them the chance to claim back the status of the intelligentsia which had been in decline since the 1990s. This study adds to the understanding of the profession of the historian when he becomes an activists taking the role of an intellectual-legislator, as Zygmunt Baumann has elaborated before.