Out of Russia’s Long Shadow: The Making of Modern Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova

  • Serhy Yekelchyk


Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova are among the world’s youngest states, having claimed their independence in the wake of the Soviet collapse in 1991. The peoples that gave their name to these polities have histories just as ancient and epic as those of other European nations, yet they lack a continuous state tradition. When modern nation-states developed in Europe during the nineteenth century, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Moldovans lived in the corner of this continent still ruled by multinational dynastic empires: the Ottoman, the Russian, and the Austrian. Because of prolonged foreign domination, the three peoples no longer retained their indigenous political institutions, ruling elites, or native literary traditions. But in the age of nationalism, beginning in the late eighteenth century, patriotic intellectuals all over Eastern Europe began reinventing their nationalities based on the new notions of popular sovereignty and “nation” as a cultural community rooted in peasant culture.


Late Eighteenth Century Nation Building Interwar Period National Movement Popular Front 
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Copyright information

© Oliver Schmidtke and Serhy Yekelchyk, eds. 2008

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  • Serhy Yekelchyk

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