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Kiev, kosacker och konflikten: Historiebruk på ukrainska sedlar i skapandet av en nationell identitet
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and in the described polarization between Ukrainian identity and Russian identity in the country, I’ve conducted an iconographical analysis on the use of history on the Ukrainian currencies karbovanets and hryvnja as part in creating a Ukrainian national identity post-independence. I’ve identified historical people and places and tried to see which role they play in the creation of a Ukrainian identity and especially in relations to a Russian identity and the Russian speaking minority of the country.

The mythological siblings Kyi, Sheck, Khoryv and Lybid symbolize a rebirth of the country as well as tying the medieval state of Kiev Rus’ to Ukraine. This is something that the princes Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise also does, as well as representing the hugely important introduction of Christianity. The Cossack hetmans Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Ivan Mazepa both personify the idealization of Cossacks as well as the aspirations of independence, while authors such as Taras Shevchenko embodies the importance of the Ukrainian language and its oppression under Russian rule. Finally Mykhailo Hrushevsky is the engineer of modern Ukrainian nationalism and historiography in his claims that Ukrainians and Russians had been separated since the times of Kiev Rus’. The overall dominance of motifs from Kiev and lack of representation from the country’s southern/eastern parts cements the polarization between the different regions. The usage of religious sites also draws connections between religion and a Ukrainian identity.

In conclusion – the designs of the banknotes shows the fact that the political elite of independent Ukraine was forced to differentiate itself from Russia in order to legitimize its sovereignty and prevent another unification. At the same time this alienated the Russian speaking minority of the country. A historical figure such as the author Nikolai Gogol, who wrote in Russian but with a distinct Ukrainian perspective, might represent, without illegitimating Ukrainian sovereignty, an idea of unification instead of division.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
Cossacks, currency, history of Ukraine, iconography, Kiev Rus’, national identity, nationalism, Russia, Ukraine, Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian People's Republic
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254508OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-254508DiVA: diva2:818552
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-09 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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