Richard Sakwa is Professor Of Russian And European Politics at the University of Kent, with an extensive knowledge on the history of Russia and Ukraine.

He chatted to me about the region and why understanding historical context matters.

Conversation summary

  • Ukraine and Russia have a shared history extending back to the 9th-century.
  • Ukraine has been dominated by many forces, including the Mongols and the Russian Empire.
  • After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, it briefly declared independence.
  • Under Soviet administration, Ukraine suffered from forced collectivisation, which resulted in the Holodomor.
  • Ukraine gained independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.

History is a story we tell each other over and over, until we forget that it’s a lie.

Oliver Stone

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