This article is the first comparative study of the policies taken by Russian and Ukrainian émigré’s, governments and intellectuals towards the legacy of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The article analyses how these differing approaches have contributed to diverging national identities in Russia and Ukraine which preceded, and were reinforced by, the 2014 crisis in their relations and war between both countries. Stalinization was not a central question for Russian émigrés and was supported by 50 out of 69 years of the USSR and since 2000 by the Russian state. Ukrainian émigrés were more influential and the state actively supported de-Stalinization over the majority of 25 years of independent statehood that integrated de-Stalinisation with national identity and since 2015, de-communization.

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