Special Issue: Weaponizing History in the Russo-Ukrainian War

B.A. de Graaf, Lien Verpoest

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The 2022 double issue is fully dedicated to one topic: the Russo-Ukrainian war. The conflict that started with the annexation of the Crimea in Spring 2014, escalated on 24 February 2022 with the full-scale invasion of Russian troops into Ukrainian territory. Historical claims, narratives, myths and other distortions of the past have been at the heart of the build-up to the current war and its legitimation and contestation. Russian president Vladimir Putin has mined the past to construct a narrative of Russian greatness, to support geopolitical claims on Ukrainian territory as historically ‘belonging’ to Russia, and to legitimize a battle against so-called nato imperialism. Historical myths form the disturbing foundation of xenophobic rhetoric. All of this and more called for a critical reflection on the role history and claims on and about the past play in the current war. Our guest editors Beatrice de Graaf (Utrecht University) and Lien Verpoest (Leuven University) offer such a critical reflection with this special issue of the Journal of Applied History, which carries the title: Weaponizing History in the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages172
JournalJournal of Applied History
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022


  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • History
  • Weapons


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