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Stalin's Empire of Memory by Yekelchyk, Serhy

By Yekelchyk, Serhy

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This pocket of East Slavic highlanders, ruled since the eleventh century by Hungary and after the First World War by Czechoslovakia, presented Ukrainian ideologues with a challenge. What historical arguments could they muster to support the designation of contemporary Transcarpathians as Ukrainian? ) Nevertheless, as the Red Army approached the Carpathian mountains in the late summer of 1944, Radianska Ukraina published an article by two historians who proclaimed Transcarpathia 'the westernmost outpost of the Ukrainian people' The Unbreakable Union 49 and the land of'our dear blood brothers,' who for 1000 years had suffered from national oppression and yet preserved their identity.

In his review, the Ukrainian playwright demanded the revision of'South-Western Rus" and 'Russian' in the text to 'Ukraine' and . 'Ukrainian' throughout, a more inspiring portrayal of Khmelnytsky as a great military leader and statesman, and the exaltation of the Pereiaslav Treaty. In his conclusion, Korniichuk added sarcastically, 'Comrade Picheta not long ago publicly argued that Khmelnytsky was a feudal lord and an ardent enemy of the people. 36 During the Ukrainian historians' conference with the local party ideologues in early 1945 Professor Kost Huslysty raised the issue of the 'Russification' in the central press of Danylo of Halych.

Their publications never directly challenged the Russian claims, but the archives preserve the traces of their subtle struggle to affirm Ukraine's ethnic difference and historical separateness from Russia. Actually, these two notions did not undermine the central myth of the new The Unbreakable Union 43 official historical memory, that of the beneficial union with Russia. Historical Ukraine had to be a separate and distinct entity in order to be able to conclude a union treaty with fraternal Muscovy.

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