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Russian-Ukrainian “War for History” at “Radio Liberty”

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Abstract. The article analyzes the historical narrative presented at the Russian and Ukrainian services of “Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty / Radio Svoboda” in the second half of 2010s. This period was marked by a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and Ukraine, which significantly affected the tone and content of media broadcasts. According to the author, the information and analytical platform of “Radio Liberty” is a space where intense “combats for history” take place regularly. Modern historiography often deals with general issues of historical and memorial policy in Russia and Ukraine. However, the tools used for "battles for the past" are clearly insufficiently studied. First we are talking about mass media as the most efficient, accessible and effective resource for the implementation of historical propaganda. International media that work simultaneously with Russian and Ukrainian audiences are of particular interest. Such media are extremely interesting and informative for imagological analysis, despite the fact that they almost do not attract research attention. The popular radio broadcasting organization “Radio Liberty” actively retransmits the historical narrative, but its content and ideological character differ in the presentation of the Russian and Ukrainian editions. The purpose of the article is to provide a comparative analysis of the historical narrative at the Russian and Ukrainian services of “Radio Liberty”, as well as to identify those problems (“battlefields”) where the differences between the Russian and Ukrainian vision of the past become the most conflicted and acute.

Keywords: Ukraine, Russia, mass media, “Radio Liberty”, historical politics, commemoration/politics of memory, “war for history”, “battles for the past”.

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