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Ukraine’s Decommunization Laws: Legislating the Past?

In May 2015, the Ukrainian government passed four controversial laws aimed at initiating a clean break with the country’s communist past. Included in the laws are instructions on removing remnants of the communist past (monuments and street names), prescriptions on how to write the country’s history, as well as new measures to reconfigure the country’s archives. While the defenders of the laws argue similar measures were taken in other post-socialist countries and they are necessary to win the current conflict with Russia, scholars and other groups have questioned the impact on academic freedom, as well as freedom of speech more generally in Ukraine.

Date & Time

Friday
Jul. 24, 2015
11:00am – 12:15pm ET

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

In May 2015, the Ukrainian government passed four controversial laws aimed at initiating a clean break with the country’s communist past. Included in the laws are instructions on removing remnants of the communist past (monuments and street names), prescriptions on how to write the country’s history, as well as new measures to reconfigure the country’s archives. While the defenders of the laws argue similar measures were taken in other post-socialist countries and they are necessary to win the current conflict with Russia, scholars and other groups have questioned the impact on academic freedom, as well as freedom of speech more generally in Ukraine. Dr. Marples and Dr. McBride discussed the debates surrounding the laws and in particular, the effects on academic discourse, archival politics, and Ukraine’s relations with the EU and Russia.

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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more

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