Memory Laws and Memory Policies in Russia and Ukraine

The paper discusses conflict of collective memories between Russia and Ukraine, which until recently shared a similar vision of history. It discusses fundamental shifts in Ukraine’s understanding of the WWII and its Soviet past to explain origins of the conflict with Russia and political reasons behind it. Considering that the conflict of memories is reflected in memory laws and judicial practices, the paper overviews recent memory laws and legislative memorial initiatives in Russia and Ukraine in context of freedom of speech and interstate relations.
The paper tackles the questions: what are the aims and methods of memory policies in Russia and Ukraine? What are the historical narratives supported by these states? Why have they been selected as the ‘official’ truths? What are the reasons for Russia-Ukraine memory wars and perspectives for further development (escalation or reconciliation)?