Kotryna Zukauskaite

On the evening of February 21, 2022, three days before Russian forces began the largest land invasion on the European continent since World War II, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an angry televised speech. In it, he expressed familiar grievances about the eastward expansion of NATO, alleged Ukrainian aggression, and the presence of Western missiles on Russia’s border. But most of his tirade was devoted to something else: Ukrainian history. “Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us,” Putin said. “It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” Ukraine’s borders, he asserted, have no

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